Some Encouraging Words From Matt Rhule

Another great job by OwlsTV.

You have to take it with a large grain, maybe a boulder, of salt but this is the best quote we’ve heard in three years from Temple head coach Matt Rhule:

“How do we differentiate ourselves? How do we make ourselves hard to prepare for? Put two backs on the field. Put two tight ends on the field.

“This is what your roots are. These kids have made themselves really tough. And that’s the only way we’ll ever win–by being a really, really tough football team.”

“How do we differentiate ourselves? How do we make ourselves hard to prepare for? Put two backs on the field. Put two tight ends on the field. “This is what your roots are. These kids have made themselves really tough. And that’s the only way we’ll ever win--by being a really, really tough football team.”
“How do we differentiate ourselves? How do we make ourselves hard to prepare for? Put two backs on the field. Put two tight ends on the field. This is what your roots are. These kids have made themselves really tough. And that’s the only way we’ll ever win–by being a really, really tough football team.”

It was great to hear because two backs, not necessarily two tight ends, has been the essence of the “Temple Tuff” philosophy Al Golden took five years installing at Temple. By doing so, Golden paid tribute to the great Temple teams of the past under both coach Wayne Hardin and Bruce Arians in particular. Those were the Temple teams Golden remembered playing at Penn State, teams that would come at the Nittany Lions with a smash mouth approach and, though it took five years, Golden got it done at Temple.

When the Owls played UCLA in the Eagle Bank Bowl, Golden went with two backs and tried to ram it down the more talented Bruins’ throats. It would have been a successful approach had Bernard Pierce not pulled a hamstring at halftime. He beat Fiesta Bowl-bound UConn the next season with Pierce running behind a great blocker in fullback Wyatt Benson. The Owls did not have a quarterback people feared for either game.

In recent years, we have not yet seen what kind of offensive numbers this approach could lead to with a talented quarterback at the helm, but we might this season. Except for Adam DiMichele, who except for Joe Paterno’s pettiness would have been eligible for the Eagle Bank Bowl, the Owls have not had a quarterback perfect for this kind of offense. P.J. Walker is.

What we’ve seen offensively the past two seasons certainly has not been Temple Tuff. Too many empty backfields and single back approaches have not worked. Now the Owls have seemed to figure out that if you can attack a defense with more blockers than the defense has tacklers, you are giving your featured back a bigger hole to run through.

Whether that back is Jahad Thomas, Zaire Williams, T.J. Simmons or Jager Gardner, that extra lead blocker is going to make a difference. When the Owls show opponents they can run, everything else opens up. Watch P.J. fake it into the tailgate’s belly, pull it out and find Temple receivers open all day. That only works when the run is established first. I wonder what Wyatt Benson, who still has a year of eligibility, is doing these days?

If Matt Rhule is sincere about this approach, get your popcorn ready. It’s gonna be a show.

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7 thoughts on “Some Encouraging Words From Matt Rhule

  1. two backs, two tight ends, etc., etc., what Rhule failed to mention and what every opposing team will remember is the Temple offensive line does not have the physical ability to control the line of scrimmage and move people off the ball for four quarters – period! Friend is a great center, but he is a center! Dawkins is more finesse than physical, and the others would not start on any other team in the AAC!

    play the cards you are dealt! all of you “three yards and a cloud of dust” have your heads in the sand!

    • Dawkins is very physical; load up and power sweep with the tight end from Florida (Thompson) on Dawkins’ side with a big blocking fullback right behind him and the tailback behind the fullback. Unless we establish a running game, we are going to get nowhere with our passing game. Need to fake to the running back and be able to hold the LBs and the safeties close to the line of scrimmage; that gives guys like Anderson, Jennings and Christopher free receiving lanes.

  2. I still need to see it to believe it. The OL is still an enigma to me. Will the blow people off the line?

    • It will work because this team is bigger and stronger than last year’s team. In any event, it can’t be worse than last year’s offense, which was an abomination. By the way, Phil Snow said yesterday that in his opinion, the offense is far improved based on how it’s playing against his defense.

      • last year’s offense was a very bad joke. in the one game we needed to win, Cincy, we scored a measly six freaking points on a team that gave up nearly 30 a game last year. We made the Temple defense of 2013 look like the freaking Pittsburgh Steelers. Our whole approach offensively was not half-assed, it was full-assed. Love those people who posted last year if Rhule was following the advice of a blog, they’d want him fired. With two backs, two TEs, he is doing the exact same thing John and I screamed for him to do all last year. Where are those same posters? Silent as Helen Keller.

  3. The problem with last year’s offense was that PJ had little, if any time, to throw the ball because of the spread. That was exacerbated by the lack of a game breaker wide receiver like Anderson, who served as a safety valve for PJ. When PJ scrambled his freshman year, Anderson was able to get open something that no receiver last season was able to do. In addition, Anderson was able to run under what were overthrows last season. With three four star receivers on the field at the same time andn the apparent stable of talented running backs, this offense will be a great success because it will give PJ the time to throw. (I’m aware that coming out of high school Anderson was not four stars. Nevertheless, the way he played his first year was indicative of a four star player). Can’t wait for the season to begin.

    • me, too, don’t care about the number of stars a guy has if he plays like a four-star right away. we receivers who could not impact a game all last season. we at least know Robby Anderson can impact a game and that’s an exciting thought.

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