Temple’s Wacky, Wonderful Throwbacks

 

Did anyone notice that 1 of the 17 guys stopping Lynch on the sneak was Freddy Booth-Lloyd? The Owls’ future is bright along the DL.

One of the nation’s top quarterbacks was on display at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday afternoon.

Paxton Lynch was also there.

If a random fan not following college football was told one of the two quarterbacks had six NFL scouts watching him, they could have only assumed one thing after three hours of play:  It had to be the Temple guy, P.J. Walker.

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In reality, Lynch, of Memphis, was the guy all of the NFL scouts came to see, but he was clearly outplayed by Walker, who just might have punched Temple’s ticket to a New Year’s Six game. Walker completed 14 of 26 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns. Lynch was 25 of 34 for 156 yards, but no touchdowns. Credit that to a spectacular performance by the defense, led by Tyler Matakevich, who, with 11 tackles, recorded his fourth-straight 100-tackle season. Lynch will probably be either the first or second QB drafted in the first round, but he was the No. 2 quarterback on the field on Saturday or, from Temple’s standpoint, that’s all that mattered.

While Lynch will be headed to the pros next year, in all probably Walker will return to Temple and that will suit the Owls just fine.  They need only to beat UConn on Saturday night at home to clinch the AAC East title. While the Huskies have played better of late, Temple beat UConn last year, 36-10, and the Owls are a much better team this season.

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One of the great photos of the season, P.J. Walker with Tyler Matakevich. Photo by Morgyn Siegfried.

Stylistically, Walker’s game is very reminiscent of current Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. He can make all of the throws Bridgewater makes, and might be a little more elusive in the open field.

The Owls dominated a team that had been dominated only once before—in a 45-20 home loss to Navy—because Walker was better than the more hyped quarterback on this day. The Owls streamlined their offense down from the trendy multiple wide receiver formations most of the Power 5 conference teams use and the style seems to suit Walker well. They establish the run, pass off play action, and use the speedy Walker to get to the edge on read-option plays. It’s a style that helps them run the clock, keep opposing offenses off the field and their defense fresh. It suits the Temple TUFF brand.

It is a no-nonsense style of throwback offense derided by some, but if it helps the Owls hoist that AAC trophy on Dec. 5, it will be both wacky and wonderful. Just the kind of team that Harry Kalas would have loved.  We all should.

 

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20 thoughts on “Temple’s Wacky, Wonderful Throwbacks

  1. Temple is getting very comfortable in the AAC, a 35k stadium is being built for this league which is a good thing. Hope all the hot league coaches stay and the league continues to grow.., would rather Temple play for conference championships than be a middle of the road P5 team.. Deloatch is a beast in the red zone…, UCONN is a hot team, and USF may be one of the hottest teams in the country..,, Houston will bounce back against Navy at home and play well but will still lose.., the Navy defense is underrated…, Anderson has deceptive speed, PJ under threw him twice, one on a missed td on the near sideline, and the other on short crossing pattern…, does anyone know if Tavon Young’s injury is serious?

  2. Just a quick recap for humility: 2-10, 6-6, 9-2 (Likely 10-2 after Uconn).

    That’s progress, determination, willingness to change, and strength in recruiting. We beat Penn State, became ranked, and led in the last 5 minutes against Notre Dame with high attendance across the season. We play in the top conference (imo) of the G5. Look how far we’ve come.

    Yesterday was a great game. PJ looked cool under center and had Cam Newton radar for finding pockets to run in. Memphis couldn’t score a single touchdown? Applause for the defense. Houston LOST! 31k in attendance for a late season, dorm closing, mid Saturday game.

    Best of all we have a Temple president who cares about the program and wants to see it grow. Many interpretations to his comment on Rhule being here to stay. I for one took it as a territory claim and a promise to interested teams that he’s not for sale.

    Future looks bright. Kids need to leave nothing behind next Saturday. Play solid Temple football and take the East. Houston looked beatable. Forget a bowl game. Let’s bring home a championship.

  3. What a coaching job both in the schemes employed and in getting the kids emotionally ready to play. If a team was ready for a fall the Owls were it given the last two weeks. Hard to understand why Memphis took no long shots down the field. By not doing so, they played right into TU’s hands. Great win. Beat UConn and with a a win by Navy next week, we play in Annapolis in two weeks. Can’t wait because this team having played Navy last year will be ready. Matekevich might have 20 tackles.

    • Temple played cover two all day long. Memphis tried to adjust by running the ball but the front seven played fantastic and the safeties did not need to play run support and cheat by coming up. That left Memphis with the short passing game. Satterfield and Snow had great game plans. Rhule made two of the worst calls of the day by trying to convert two 4th downs inside his own territory. Risk far outweighed reward. This was a high scoring machine (Memphis) that got dominated by our d. Hats off to Phil Snow and the d.

    • I got the distinct impression they didn’t take any long shots because after an early sack, one of the Owls’ linemen fell on top of Lynch’s leg and he came up noticeably gimpy after that. They probably didn’t want to risk a deep drop that might have finished him off.

      • Fuentes said in his after press conference Temple took away the deep patterns by playing the two safeties over the top…, having the AAC championship game at Navy vice Houston will mean more Temple fans and the Temple band at the game…, if you ask the Navy players which game would they rather win it would be Army.., the AAC Championship takes a back seat to the Army Navy game

  4. I really need to listen more to you guys when you prognosticate how Temple will do in a game. You said we could beat Memphis, I was chalking it up as a loss and look what happened. Another PSU performance except we beat a top 25, high powered O team this time. That crunch tackle in the first half on Lynch seemed to hamper him, but that’s football. Maybe that’s why he didn’t try any long passes cause he couldn’t get the push in his legs. The D was excellent – even when they set up for 3 to rush, they had 1-3 other guys come in too. Great idea. And PJ is back to rushing and looks super. UConn won’t be easy guys after watching them keep Houston to 2 TDs. They’re D is solid. All I can say is wow though. Temple/Navy in the championship game? Ought to be a good one. Maybe back into the top 25? Go Owls.

    • UConn’s defense will probably keep them in the game and I think this will be a physical game but there offense is the style our defense does well against. Average mobility QB who is more of drop back passer. Plus most of the skill players are young and they tend to be 1 deep there right now. That being said still need to bring our A game and treat this like another playoff game.

      • Despite losing the seniors, next year’s team could be better. 1) schedule not as tough; 2) We have FBL on the dline, along with Webb (hopefully), Jacob Martin, Dogbe, etc. moving up on the dline; 3) Sharga might not be as good as Tyler, but he’s definitely not a huge dropoff; 4) still have Champ, Nate L., Randall in the secondary. 5) most impact offensive players return, sans robby.
        … but that’s next year

        all I’m concerned about is #what’sNext and that’s next week.

      • Mike, I don’t see easier strength of schedule translating to a better team, although it might help with the win, loss record. I see next year’s team definitely taking a half-step back possibly more.

        Losing Tyler, ionidis and Young will definitely be felt on the defensive side of the ball. Their loss will impact Snows ability to aggressively go after and sack the opposing QB, although I agree we’ve got some good young talent.

        The offense should be improved as most of the skill players return, sans Anderson, and most of the OL is back. The maturity of PJW should really be felt next year as should the depth at running back and receiver. The most concerning loss on offense is Friend in my mind.

        Fortunately Austin Jones is back and I hope we can say the same for our coaching staff. Also, I’m waiting to see this special season pay recruiting but that hasn’t happened yet. I just keep reading about PSU adding studs to their class.

  5. USF will beat UCF, so they must work on UConn. We’ll focus on Houston or Navy later on.

  6. has Anthony Davis played this season? i know he was recovering from an ACL.

  7. who do we play next year?

  8. Friend is great but his replacement (sorry, can’t remember his name) has been doing a fine job and will be back. There’s no way Matakevich won’t be missed if only because of his frenetic play and attitude/leadership. Even the announcer Sat. mentioned how he rarely misses tackles once he gets a hand on a ball carrier and then wraps them up. I’ve been noticing too many missed tackles by others lately that would have helped – loss of yardage stuff. OK, UConn is all to think about now. Go Owls.

  9. Any update on Kyle’s injury, is there any chance he plays again this year?

    • He tore a meniscus according to Philly.com. I’m surprised he wasn’t operated on right away. That would have healed in two weeks. It likely is something more unless they want him to get well enough to play in a bowl.

  10. Brendan McGowan. No worries about him. Need to develop a dependable backup center. Hopefully, Kyle is back by Dec. 5. Seeing him dragging around that leg while kicking some ND butt on Halloween was one of the truly Temple TUFF inspirational moments of the season.

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