Outstanding (and also a good report).
When I was a teenager, a friend of mine got a brand new Ford Pinto and the rest of us packed into the car and he took us for a joy ride. It was anything but joyful. We turned off onto the back roads of Bucks County and found only dead ends before finally backtracking into Philly well after midnight.
“Enjoy the ride,” he said.
Watching Temple beat Tulsa, I had one overwhelming thought: This is definitely a win for the “shut up and enjoy the ride” crowd.
Sometimes, you have to take off the Cherry and White-colored sunglasses—I have several pair—and look at these things objectively. While Temple is 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference, it struggled to beat a Tulsa team that was hammered, 52-7, by Oklahoma and 42-17 by Colorado State and lost to Texas State. Not Texas. Not Texas A&M. Not Texas Christian. Not Texas Tech.
I’m under no illusions that Temple is Oklahoma, but I was thinking the Owls would be closer to Colorado State until yesterday. If Tulsa is perhaps the third-worst team in the league behind Tulane and UConn (and it is), it is really hard to imagine the Owls getting two more wins for the rest of the schedule.
They have to play better but, more importantly, they have to scheme better.
It could be so much better because watching Jahad Thomas play was like going back into a time machine and watching the great Todd McNair play for the Owls. Both wear No. 34. Both have the same running style. McNair had great blocking fullbacks to follow through the hole and Thomas could have the same thing but both great blockers, Kenny Harper and Marc Tyson, are sitting on the bench when Thomas is in the game. McNair’s running opened up the play-action passing game for the Owls back then and Thomas’ running could open up the play-action passing game for P.J. Walker now. The two-back set is supposedly in the playbook, with plays featuring Harper as lead blocker through the hole for Thomas also in the playbook. Houston hasn’t seen that part of the playbook yet. Maybe it’s time to wipe the dust off those pages.
For five games, I have waited like one of those Seventh-day Adventists waiting for the Second Coming of Robbie Anderson. None of those supposedly just-as-tall and just-as-good receivers Temple has reminds me of Robbie Anderson. He ain’t coming back. (I would have had a GA follow him into every class like a stalker but that’s water under the dam. Damn.)
The defense seems to reverting to its bad habits of 2013 in allowing receivers to make great catches in the secondary and sustain drives that should have been stopped. Houston has a great receiver in Devonte Greenway. A successful and sustained running game accompanied by play-action passing could do more to keep the ball out of his hands than any defense.
Enjoy the ride.
Advance the tape to 1:35 before watching ….. 🙂