Watching the first three games, either in person or on TV, something occurred to me: I have not seen a true play-action pass this season.
Most of the Owls’ offense against both Navy and Vanderbilt consisted of flare passes left and right and deep passes into double-coverage. A true play-action pass, the kind that is the meat and potatoes of the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense (above), has been missing. To me, faking it into Kenny Harper’s belly, leaving Kenny in as an extra blocker, is a win-win for Temple. It causes the linebackers to crowd the line of scrimmage and respect the run and creates open passing windows for P.J. Walker. Those windows, particularly in the open area in the middle of the field 15-30 yards down field, have been slammed shut because Temple almost never shows a play-action look. Plus, Harper staying in as a blocker protects Temple’s most valuable commodity, P.J. Walker.
Troubling Temple Stats
|Total Off.||3d down conv.||Passing Off.||Rushing Offense|
|95th nat/7th AAC||121 nat/10th AAC||89th nat/7th AAC||75th nat/10th AAC|
Maybe I was missing something so I viewed the entire Delaware State replay (fast-forwarding through the commercial breaks). I found one “semi” play-action, where P.J. faked in the general direction of a running back. It’s hard to sell a run that way. Gotta stick it in the runner’s belly and pull it out (see above, where that created a window for Nick Foles to hit Jordan Matthews). As it is now, P.J. has no windows to throw into and the results are not as pretty as they should be.
Also like to see one of the speedier Temple backs, say Jamie Gilmore, FOLLOW Harper through a hole. That way, he gets the benefit not only from offensive line blocks but from Harper’s dynamic blocking ability. If the Owls need the tough yardage inside, make the fake to Gilmore one way and give it to Harper up the middle.
Again, a win-win for Temple.
More play-action passing might not raise those national offensive stats, but as they say about a cold and chicken soup, it could not hurt.