Fifteen Perfect Plays=73 Points

Matt Rhule has a test coming up on Friday and Rick Stockstill has all the questions and answers right on that sheet.

Matt Rhule has a test coming up on Friday and Rick Stockstill has all the questions and answers right on that sheet.

Sometimes you get the process, sometimes the process gets you.

Or, as in the case of Temple head coach Matt Rhule, looking over the shoulder of Middle Tennessee State coach Rick Stockstill while studying for his next test should reveal a more perfect process.


Hopefully, when breaking down Charlotte for next Friday’s road game, Rhule and his staff will take note of what Stockstill did in the first quarter of a 73-14 win over the 49ers. It was a gift-wrapped process that the Owls would do well to borrow for the nationally televised game (Friday, Oct. 2, 7:30, CBS Sports Network).

The Owls have shown stubbornness for sticking with their own process instead of using one that worked against their opponents previously. It was shown in the UMass when Colorado, despite facing eight in the box, ran at will on the Minutemen by taking the inside runs outside and it accounted for 390 yards of rushing and a comfortable 48-14 win.

After watching a replay of the game, we counted only 15 plays used by MTSU the entire game. Most of the 73 points the Blue Raiders scored were set up by 15 perfect plays, but we will concentrate on the first two scores in a 42-7 first quarter. Both were seam routes to the tight end, right over the middle, the same kind of play Chris Coyer scored on at Memphis in 2013. Those two TE plays basically broke the game open and had the 49ers’ heads spinning, allowing the other 13 to work on a semi-regular basis. The other 13 were mostly variations of crossing passes over the middle, deep wheel routes, tight end screens, and pitches to the tailback on the edge.

Jordan Parker, a tailback, attacked the soft middle of the Charlotte defense for 140 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries. Parker also was effective on wheel routes out of the backfield—a play where the quarterback rolls to one side and hits the running back down the other.


The Owls have that wheel route in their playbook, as fans will remember P.J. Walker hit Jamie Gilmore in the hands with a perfect pass that would have been six against Memphis a year ago. They should dust it off for this game.

While UMass was susceptible to the run, Charlotte is the opposite—susceptible to the big play.

The beauty of those plays is the Owls have the athletes and the offense to execute them rather flawlessly.  Kip Patton is a guy who has the body of a tight end and the speed of a wide receiver and, if the 49ers had a problem covering tight end Terry Pettis, they are going to have more than their hands full with Patton. Establish the run on the first couple of plays, put the ball in the belly of the tailback, pull it out and then find Patton free over the seam. The 49ers have trouble covering the middle of the field and that’s an area the Owls should exploit. Pettis scored on touchdown receptions of 75 and 76 yards. Pettis’ 75-yard touchdown catch was the first of three one-play drives, also proving that the 49ers are susceptible to big plays. The Owls have plenty of those in their arsenal, too, and crossing patterns over the middle to Robby Anderson and Adonis Jennings should be open all night. MTSU wide receiver Ed’Marques Batties, a player with a similar skill set to Anderson, finished five receptions for 120 yards and three touchdowns and most of those were the result of deep crossing patterns over the middle.

Whatever Stockstill did, Temple should do. You cannot argue with 73 points.  When it is over, “Matt” can send Rick a thank-you card.

Tomorrow: AAC Football Night on ESPN

Saturday: College Football TV Guide

Sunday: Game Week Begins

Monday: Unpublished Temple Photos of Interest



14 thoughts on “Fifteen Perfect Plays=73 Points

  1. Temple and Temple affiliated head coaches are undefeated, this may be the last week it will ever happen again

  2. Memphis’s defense isn’t that good. Offense is tough.

    • I like Memphis as a team; I think our weapons win that game. Hopefully, we get to play Navy in the title game a week before they play Army in the same stadium. Oops. One game at a time. I forgot me thinking ahead is going to have a direct impact on the field of play. 🙂

      • Temple is one of the few teams to hold Memphis under 20 points since last season. That coupled with a better offense this year will make this a very competitive game

    • OC is the one spot on this staff that I am still not impressed with. While I feel that the offense is better this year than last, if you look at the stats over the past 2 seasons and so far this year offensive production is basically stagnant.

      • while snow had quite an extensive background, never thought sat was qualified enough to be be brought here for anything but what he originally was brought to be–a qb coach.
        against umass, he called way too many passes that had the first or second read being an underneath pattern. Not recognizing the box being there or not caring is a poor sign going forward with him and it’s not the first.

  3. Satterfield is stealing money. Any coordinator who can’t change his scheme to match what the D is doing is not fit for the job. After watching Memphis carve up Cincy’s D Satterfield clearly did a poor job during that game. I expect to hear from the coaching apologists because TU won the game, just as I did after Vandy last year. Nevertheless, leaving points on the field is never good when they’re there for the taking as the UMass game showed this past week-end.

    • I understand the general philosophy of hiring friends to be assistant coaches, but not a staff of “all” friends, which I think why Matt had to be applauded for hiring coach Thomas in the offseason. Still, I don’t understand why, if a guy like John Reagan was available in the offseason (and it’s clear he was), Matt could not have hired him back. All I can say after last night, it’s a good thing Uconn played Villanova instead of Penn and a big reason for that is coach Reagan. (John Robertson was out for Nova, but he did not have a particularly impressive game at Uconn. The backup kid who Penn beat was in for most of the win against Delaware.)

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