Flux in Kicking Game Good, Not Bad

It’s officially game week and the focus is on Vanderbilt.

Err, maybe more Stanford and UCLA.


That’s because while the Temple Owl coaches are looking at Vanderbilt film to get an idea of personnel, the real film study is Stanford and UCLA and that’s probably a smart thing to do. Stanford, because Vandy head coach Derek Mason was the DC out there and runs a 3-4; UCLA, because that’s where current Vandy OC Karl Dorrell was in his last college football stop and he runs a West Coast offense.

To me, the biggest news out of Temple camp this summer has been the emergence of Jahad Thomas at running back. That was an unexpected development between the end of last season and now. He’s been described as a “one-cut runner” and the last “one-cut runner” Temple had was Baltimore Ravens’ starter Bernard Pierce. 

Meanwhile, the Temple kicking game is in a state of flux and, unlike last  year, that’s a good thing, not a bad one. In the video above, head coach Matt Rhule said the indecision on which kicker to go with is a product of all the kickers doing a good job. Last year, the indecision was because of the opposite reason. Temple made only three field goals all of last year and was killed by kickoffs that often reached only the 10 or 15. 

If they are all even, I’d go with the kid with the highest upside and that appears to be true freshman Austin Jones, who is able to boom kicks through the end zone in addition to being an accurate placekicker. Temple hasn’t seen that since Brandon McManus, which only seems like 100 years ago now.

In reality, it was just the year before last. 


16 thoughts on “Flux in Kicking Game Good, Not Bad

  1. The Vandy game is not the time to give somebody a chance because his dad was a Temple kicker. Last year stunk up the stadium. If Jones can get it through the end zone, use him! If somebody else is better at field goals, use him for that. Having a better chance of winning should be the criteria for settling on who starts.

  2. I wonder if Cooper will get the start? He’s already had the ND shock treatment and may be ready to drill one and get the monkey off his back.

  3. ok, here it goes…., Temple will play the first two games against two of the most physical teams on their schedule in Vandy and Navy. An 0-2 start is expected by every legitimate college football analyst in the country. Key questions out of the first two games will include the number of season ending injuries, turnover ratio, and FGA/FGM.
    the key to this season is the ability to win three straight after an 0-2 start?

    • very strange depth chart. not surprised austin jones is the starting kicker, am surprised that cooper is kicking off. all we heard about was how great Jahad was but he is not listed as one of the top 3 tailbacks (Harper, williams, gilmore in that order). Maybe I got the wrong depth chart.

  4. Mike – since it is game week and the game is on Thursday, will there be a throw back Thursday? Us old geezers really enjoy that.

    • It’ll be tough this week since the throwback on game week is a past game with the same opponent and I already used the one Temple highlight in that game, the 79-yard Temple run by Tim Brown (a great Philadelphia football name, by the way). Throwbacks for subsequent weeks are on the schedule, though.

  5. Well I hope Cooper is putting it through the end zone. If not, why is he the kick off guy and not Jones?

  6. Unless he took some good steroids, I don’t see him suddenly booting the ball through the end zone when he struggled to get it to the 10 last year.

  7. Who is the special teams coach? I do not see one listed on the roster. How can the kicking game and special teams improve without any responsible coach?

  8. last year it was mogridge ..this year, don’t know … hopefully, snow’s not handling it.

  9. We will be at the game Thursday. Hopefully a big W or close game to start off my bachelor party. Go Owls!

    • close game does nothing for me, kj. win does. hoping for a win to make your bachelor party even more upbeat. have a great time.

      • I think the “close game” attitude is a problem with a lot of folks this season. I agree with you Mike, improvement this year will be turning some of last year’s close games into wins. So if we lose to good team by 1 or 2 points this year that is better than losing by 3 or 7 last year, don’t think so.

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