There’s not much to tell from a first-week AAC first-week football schedule that includes Connecticut being hammered by BYU and Houston vs. UTSA. If defense wins championships, neither Tulsa nor Tulane showed much of it in a 38-31 win by the Golden Hurricane. Fans will not find out much about East Carolina in a game against North Carolina Central.
“Vandy’s defensive line will
consist of Vince Taylor at nose,
who started 11 games last year.
Adam Butler, an absolute terror
who started 5 games after flipping
over from offensive tackle,
and Nifae Lealeo, a US Army All American
freshman who weighs in at a svelt 315.
As for the secondary Vandy returns Paris Head
who had as many picks last year as the entirety
of the Temple defense and Andrew Williamson
who boasts two picks …. top to bottom
this will be the most talented Vandy roster in history”
_ Vandy fan Tdog
There was, though, one game that really opened a lot of eyes and that was Temple’s 37-7 win at Vanderbilt. That’s because the Owls totally dominated a SEC team which returned 15 starters, including a quarterback, Patton Robinette, who started and won games at Georgia and Florida. The Commodores’ offensive line returned intact, with the exception of one player, Wes Johnson, and this was a group that held out some of the best defensive lines in the best conference in the country.
Nine months ago, Temple made a trip to Tennessee and came away with a 41-21 win over Memphis. Thursday’s win in Nashville was even more dominating. The last group of Yankees who had that much success in that state were led by U.S. Grant.
When James Franklin left to take over the head coaching job at Penn State, he did not leave the cupboard totally bare in Nashville. This was more Temple good than Vanderbilt bad and, in an AAC that could be wide open, this wins means the Owls could be major players in the conference this year and for years to come.
UCF lost a first-round quarterback pick to the NFL. Houston was dominated by Vanderbilt in a bowl game last year. Cincinnati has a talented quarterback in Gunner Kiel, but he’s also a guy who has not dropped back against a real rush in two years. That means something because Temple has a real rush. The Owls were all over Robinette like few SEC teams were and the reason was that they moved a couple of speedy linebackers up to defensive ends. The Owls had to do very little blitzing but, when they did, the consistent front four rush made the blitzes all the more effective. A blitz from linebacker Avery Ellis led to a sack, a fumble and a touchdown return by nose tackle Averee Robinson.
It was some very impressive coaching from second-year coach Matt Rhule and DC Phil Snow to make those kind of personnel changes.
It’s a long season and Temple would be wise to learn from its last dominating win over a Power 5 team, when the Owls went down to Maryland and beat the Terps, 38-7, in 2011. Full of themselves, the Owls were beaten, 38-13, at home by Toledo the next week. Maybe Rhule, an Owl assistant at that time, should show them that film.
Speaking about being full of themselves, remember this post by our Vandy friend visitor Tdog last week:
“Vandy’s defensive line will consist of Vince Taylor at nose, who started 11 games last year. Adam Butler, an absolute terror who started 5 games after flipping over from offensive tackle, and Nifae Lealeo, a US Army All American freshman who weighs in at a svelt 315. As for the secondary Vandy returns Paris Head who had as many picks last year as the entirety of the Temple defense and Andrew Williamson who boasts two picks and a wealth of experience. You’re spot on on the question marks at wr and the last 2 spots of the secondary, but top to bottom this will be the most talented Vandy roster in history”
If the Owls do not get full of themselves in a week against a very good Navy team, they have as much a chance of building the kind of momentum that could catapult them to an AAC title. Of all the AAC teams so far, they have a chance of building the best resume after two weeks.