Dropping a Bomb on Penn State

In honor of Robby Anderson becoming eligible, we can only think of one song appropriate to the occasion.

Technically, it will not be until around 6:30 p.m. on the night of Sept. 5 before Temple fans learn whether their long Commonwealth nightmare is over. Substantively, though, they learned the result yesterday when Robby Anderson was declared eligible.

That's a 44-inch vertical, great hands, escapability an 4.5 speed.

Temple tested a smaller nuclear device last week when it learned Pitt transfer Adonis Jennings was declared eligible. Monday’s news about Anderson was one of those megaton Hydrogen-type jawns and the Nittany Lions have no idea of what is about to hit them..

We will not paraphrase former U.S. President Gerald Ford by calling the failure to beat Penn State a long national nightmare but, since 1941, it certainly has been a Commonwealth (of Pennsylvania) nightmare. We should all wake from that slumber in one month and one day, thanks to the special talents of one Mr. Anderson.

Temple tested a smaller nuclear device last week when it learned Pitt transfer Adonis Jennings was declared eligible. Monday’s news about Anderson was one of those megaton Hydrogen-type jawns and the Nittany Lions have no idea of what is about to hit them.

After carefully observing both Anderson in 2013 and the Penn State secondary last season, I have come to the conclusion—sad for them, good for the Owls—that the Nittany Lions cannot stop Anderson or even hope to contain him. Anything Jennings can add to this mix is just a bonus. Anderson should help open a Temple offense that was closed tighter than one of those Kansas silos.

Anderson’s eligibility is huge because is a proven big-play receiver, not only in the AAC, but from a national standpoint. His 18.7-yards-per-catch average was second in all of college football in the 2013 season. His three touchdown receptions in a 41-21 win at Memphis was an exclamation point in a five-game season that saw him catch nine touchdown passes from true freshman quarterback P.J. Walker.

Walker, who started the same number of games at quarterback, finished with 20 touchdown passes and only eight interceptions. Without Anderson, who flunked out of school in January of 2014, Walker looked to be out of his comfort zone a year ago and suffered a sophomore slump in which he only had 12 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions. The news about Anderson came four days after Temple learned that the NCAA granted Pitt transfer Adonis Jennings, a four-star wide receiver recruit, a hardship waiver to become immediately eligible.

To be sure, there were signs this was coming over the last few weeks or so. A wide receiver transfer from Hawaii, Keith Kirkwood, who wore No. 19 last year, changed his number from 19 to 89 last week and Anderson attended a couple of team charity functions wearing his familiar No. 19.

As it turned out, those were clues to a mystery that was solved on Monday and will be the talk of AAC Media Day. More importantly, although there is still a lot of work to do over the next month, the confidence level of Temple fans going into a Penn State game has never been higher.

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21 thoughts on “Dropping a Bomb on Penn State

  1. The coaches did an excellent job recruiting talent for this team. Now it comes down to gameday coaching. We’ll see how much MR has learned over the past couple of seasons.

  2. I happen to have high hopes for correcting Temple’s coaching miscues last season. In addition to great player recruiting, Temple has added some well-qualified and experience coaches, most notably, Coach Thomas and Jackson. Thankfully both are on the offensive side of the ball where these miscues tend to be more numerous.

    • i agree. Snow mostly redeemed himself last season. Had he blitzed more in the PSU, Cincy, and Memphis games, I would have rated him an A for the season.

      • Temple finished at 6-6 last year for several good reasons. Credit to MR and the coaching staff for increasing the talent level and overall dept during the off-season. This season comes down to how well the offensive line plays. And, hopefully one of the incoming freshmen RBs will step up and become a game changer, that would help tremendously.

        The offensive line was one of the weakest units in the entire conference last year and the team still finished at 6-6. Plus, PJ played hurt through much of the year. The Spring game showed me he has finally adjusted to the added bulk and muscle since his freshman yr.

        Our WRs are top notch, we just need improved play from the offensive line and have one of the freshmen RBs become a starter. None of the RBs from last year’s team will get drafted.

  3. Jahad might be the starting tailback this season, but eventually T.J. or Jager will separate from the other and earn the job. One of those two kids will be drafted. I think Zaire Williams will contribute, too, but eventually in a Jamie Gilmore-type role. I hope one of the above can block and protect P.J.”s back side.

  4. And huge props to Coach Rhule for maintaining a relationship with Robbie and never giving up on him. A lot of coaches would have just moved on after Robbie was expelled. Big reason why his players love him and why he recruits at a higher level then we have seen at Temple.

    • Agreed. If coach can devise some back side protection for P.J. and give the kid a chance to look downfield and pick out a receiver, it’s going to be a special year. Maybe that’s why they brought in coach Thomas. At least I hope so. A QB coach can teach all he wants, but if the poor kid doesn’t get more than a split second to see down the field, nothing positive is going to happen.

  5. I’m as optimistic as anyone, but our passing game is not the only deciding factor vs. PSU.
    I’ve never seen a Temple team that could stop PSU’s run. I’m talking about their 5th string RB gashing us up the middle for 6-8 yards a play. No fancy play calling, just the same guy getting a first down every other snap all the way down the field. This isn’t about any one player, it’s about EVERY player on their offense having a few inches’ and a few pounds’ advantage. We’ve been getting close to their skill level, enough so that we could use tactics to beat them one play at a time.
    BUT
    Have we finally narrowed the size gap enough to keep them from using smashmouth football to demoralize and embarrass us? This happened to Temple teams we were excited about, and it happened more than once.

    • You are absolutely right about their running game. Last year’s game really came down to their two big running plays and in both instances, the same kid missed the tackle because he got run over. Hopefully, the transfer from North Carolina, who is a true big body type can plug up the middle. In addition, run blitzes will help.

      • Greg Webb is trying to become eligible. Most of the reports are pessimistic. Wish I could give him some suggestions on electives that helped me skate through Temple (err, Norm Kaner’s Sports in America course was one). There was another course–I forget the name–where all we did was watch movies at Tomlinson. Don’t think he should try nuclear physics for now.

  6. While I really think the Owls have a legitimate chance against the Lions I also think PSU knows how to win, has that winning tradition – they do it one way or another against good Temple teams. Can Temple’s coaching do what it needs to in a close game? And let’s hope Anderson is the same Anderson from 2 seasons ago. Missing a whole year can take the edge away, maybe not physically (he’s a young man) but mentally – he’s been through a lot. I have my fingers crossed for him and this first game. It would be awesome…….

    • Would have been worried about that except for his story this season paralleled his story the 2013 season. Missed all summer camp and the first couple of games to fix family issues in Florida, then came back, slapped on the pads and became a star wide receiver after not playing the WR position for two years (he was a d-back for the Owls in that year’s spring game). He will be fine. This fine: 88 receptions, 18 touchdowns, 1,448 yards. Temple will lead PSU at halftime, 21-6, with RA catching all three TD passes. I woke up after that.

      • No lie. Last night I dreamed Temple was leading 21-0 after the first 3 series. Two passing TD’s and a pick six. Unfortunately the game was delayed because Penn State fans were waving confederate flags, and I woke up. I hope security at the Linc will be on the lookout for prohibited confederate banners. 🙂

  7. Has anyone noticed that Lenny Williams isn’t listed on the roster??

    • Yes, he transferred to Indiana University of Pennsylvania (the Division II school, not the Philadelphia school who has an Indiana U. of Indiana CEO, CFO and AD). Good luck to Lenny. He’s way better than our current fourth-string QB from Frankford, but not as good as P.J., Logan or Frank.

  8. We may need to be ahead 21-6 or 0 at halftime. Temple’s 2nd halves can be devastating. But hopefully the coaching staff we have now will know how to handle things (even with a closer score). I fear the possibility of choking against PSU just because of the history. But I’m sure these kids want this bad. Go Owls.

  9. i don’t see Khalif Herbin name on the roster. also Greg Webb?

  10. Hows Anthony Davis coming along after his ACL injury?

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