Jahad, Bernard and Paul

This ridiculously great spin move (0:19) says it all about Jahad Thomas.

They call Penn State linebacker U and Brigham Young has an earned reputation for producing quarterbacks, along with Miami of Ohio for coaches but, after a couple of years of a drought, Temple is back to being Tailback U.

The Owls have Jahad Thomas to thank for that. I had to smile when I saw a post on Facebook that said Jahad is better than Bernard Pierce and laugh out loud when the same person posted that he was better than Paul Palmer.

Let’s pump the brakes a little on that one.


My guess is that the person who wrote that probably was not old enough to see Paul Palmer play. I’ve seen both, and while Jahad is good, Paul Palmer was in a different stratosphere.

There’s no shame in not being as good as Paul Palmer. Heck, no running back in college football in the year of 1986 was as good as Paul Palmer. I’m pretty sure even Jahad would admit there are plenty of running backs as good as he is in college football this year.

Temple is Tailback U. thanks to guys like Palmer, Zach Dixon, Anthony Anderson, Kevin Duckett, Tanardo Sharps, Stacy Mack, Sid Morse, Elmarko Jackson, Pierce, Montel Harris and, now, Thomas.  I’m sure I missed a back or two.

That’s a pretty good lineage.


Jahad Thomas celebrates with Dion Dawkins.

Right now, I’d rate Jahad behind only Paul and Bernard and that’s high praise indeed. Bernard was capable of a high-end game (268, 2 TDs in a 2008 win at Navy) and I haven’t seen that nearly 300-yard type game from Jahad yet.

He’s got another year, so I’m confident he has it in him.

As early as last year on this site, we were calling for Thomas to be the featured back behind a fullback named Kenny Harper. Unfortunately, Temple’s offense was so ass backwards last year it used a fullback as a tailback and the tailback who gained 152 yards against Tulsa was in Witness Protection the rest of the season. Better late than never because the role of fullback this year is being played by Nick Sharga, the witness protection guy, Thomas, is in plain view and Temple is back to being Temple.


From our season wrapup story, Dec. 14, 2014.

If the Owls are going to beat Houston for the AAC championship on Saturday in a noon showdown (ABC and we’d love to see the ratings for that one), they are going to have to do it by feeding the rock to Thomas on a steady basis. Right now, head coach Matt Rhule has to be working on a game plan that involves as many carries for Thomas as passes for P.J. Walker. We’re talking 20-30 touches for Jahad and 20-30 passes for Walker. Temple is a great offensive team when Jahad gets 20-25 carries, P.J. throws 20-25 balls and Robby Anderson and Romond Deloatch catch touchdown passes. Temple gets in trouble when it has to throw the ball nearly 50 times, like UMass.

Put the ball in the hands of those playmakers, and I like Temple’s chances. Of course, that’s assuming that there is time to put together a detailed game plan.

If Temple wins a championship with a heavy dose of Jahad Thomas, it will be a fitting tribute to a great lineage of tailbacks who led up to this moment.


33 thoughts on “Jahad, Bernard and Paul

  1. Paul Palmer was the best runner in TU football history. No one had his ability to read blocks, make the first guy miss, or run away or over opponents like he did. Teams put nine in the box to stop him and couldn’t. His game at PSU was amazing as was the game against East Carolina at the Vet. It is not a dis to say that Thomas is not as good as he was especially since Thomas is special in his own way.

    • Agreed on Palmer being the best back in temple history hands down. The line that was anchored by Rienstra did a great job opening holes for him to hit. It still bothers me that we lost to PSU in one of his greatest games and one in which the Owls completely outclassed the Lions.

  2. Paul Palmer was the best, and I think Anthony Anderson was underrated, he was a beast to watch in person.., two takeaways from watching Thomas last Saturday night, he showed speed i had not previously seen when he outran the Uconn DBs, perhaps he is healthier? and there was a play on the far sideline when a Uconn player literally threw Thomas five yards out of the field of play, my first thought was ‘wow’ what would NFL linebackers do to him? I think he has a future on Sundays if he can maintain the same quickness with 10 more pounds.., it is hard to make a consistent living in the NFL at less than 200lbs.., you can count the number of <200lb players on each team on one hand…, RAnderson gets thrown around by college players like a rag doll, he needs about 15 more lbs for a Sunday career..,

    Houston stopped the run on Navy, and our run game is less complex and more predictable, Houston will stop the Temple run. we need to be ready to execute plan B early in the game before it gets out of hand

  3. Not to mention that Palmer was runner up for the Heisman behind Testeverde. No other Temple back was a finalist.

  4. The great Paul Palmer. Yes, the offense will need to produce but Sat is all about the defense. Will they be able to contain Ward and the high powered Houston offense, looking forward to a few sacks, pics, and fumble recoveries. This is fun!

    • this is going to be more like SMU than Memphis, Ward is much more dynamic with supreme play-making ability, Houston will score in bunches.., the question will be can our offense keep us in the game

  5. This offense performs best when it complements the defense. Protect the ball, take time off the clock, pick spots with the play-action passing game, keep the defense rested, score points. Can’t afford another USF game where the crucial Pick 6 turnover happens.Thought it was masterful game planning against PSU, ND. Terrible job against UMass, USF. If we have to score 60 to win against a team that shut out Vandy, we’ll be in trouble.

  6. Honestly don’t know if this team can contain Ward who plays like a bigger and quicker Doug Flutie. Last week he made almost every play he had to often in spectacular fashion. Hopefully, they’re starting half back is still out. In the Navy game they used a converted D-Back who had a really good game. Don’t know if that kid can do it twice in a row. Th starter gouged TU last year. As was the case with USF the Owls do not have a player who can take care of his assignment and also shadow the qb. One more thing, if Snow rushes three, the QB will have a hell of a game both running and passing.

  7. Sharif Finch as spy? Why not use him standing up behind line of scrimmage as a conventional LB during passing situations?

    With Reddick and Nate D getting majority of snaps on the edge (rightly so), it would be a good place to use Finch. He is a playmaker.

  8. Reddick is very, very fast, a former DB. He could cause Ward problems in the passing game. If there is an exposed foot to be stepped on, I would do it.

  9. Having played against them last year as well, I would think that would give Snow a little more information to work with as far as a defensive game plan. That game was close at half time and Houston scored 2 TDs off of Walker interceptions, plus we only rushed 20 times in that game. So with a more balanced, stronger ground game this year and Walker doing a much better job managing the offense over 2014 I think as long as the defense of the past 2 games shows up Saturday then it’s going to be a game. Don’t know if Ward can be completely contained but if the defense can take away their other offensive weapons maybe it will be enough to limit the damage Ward can do.

    • Didn’t you see the twitter post on the Owlscoop board, no longer a candidate for the Missouri job. Of course no mention that he is staying a Temple, but weren’t people saying he was the ONE guy who would stick around, so things are great. Love the “battle” going on in the Scout forum, feathers are really getting rankled when all the “Rhule is the ONLY guy for the job” are getting all of their selling points tossed back at them. Of course, its negative posts causing any distractions, the university for not being proactive, blah, blah, blah

  10. I believe that BC had one of the defenses in the country. Offense however was atrocious due to the lack of a competent QB. Nevertheless, even with a qb last season his offense sucked. Think running Coyer on ten wildcats in a row like he did against Rutgers. Heard from someone that Owlscoop is reporting that Rhule turned down Missou.

    • John, the actual wording of the post I saw was “per a source, temple coach Matt Rhule is no longer a candidate for the Missouri head coaching job, Owlscoop.com has learned”. I don’t know if anything more definitive than that has been posted. To me not the same as Rhule coming out and saying he turned the job down to stay at Temple.

  11. Looks like there is a more detailed report that just hit Philly.com

  12. I’m starting to believe that Rhule likely isn’t leaving although I wish he would say it. I think he’s playing a game of chicken with TU to get maximum bucks from them. I still think he loves TU and Philly and realizes that he can be here for as long as wants just by being bowl eligible and averaging around 30 though a game. I say this because it was clear from Golden’s and Daz’s body language that they were leaving on the first bus. Not so sure with this guy.

  13. On the other hand he could be gone 10 minutes after the game finishes. LOL.

    • not so sure both he and the schools handled this as best they could during championship week, they probably both would welcome a mulligan…, think Saturday may be a bridge too far with all the distractions plus Houston is more athletic than ND, stronger than USF, and faster than SMU.., Temple must get the university beuracratic processes aligned with today’s realities going forward, it should not take a month to obtain approval for a new contract …, think UVA will make a strong run at him, but would that be a “dream job”?

      the coaching carousel went crazy this year and will probably spin even faster next year…. again Houston services as the blueprint for Temple.., give your guy money for a another and watch his value rise while your team gains in statue with more wins and media attention it.., the seats stay filled and the TV money continues to flow as your Houston ranked team is on national tv every other weekend…,

      did anyone ever find out the nature behind Rhules jet pack tweet earlier this year?

    • After Golden and Daz, nothing will surprise me. Steve Conjar said it best on his radio interview that he was “a little taken aback” with Rhule giving a no comment on jobs when he should have said I’m a Temple guy for life. Temple stuck its neck out for him. He at least owed Temple a public proclamation that he was honoring the contract.

      • big indication for me is all the MRAs have gone silent on this blog, one of them knows something…, thanks for all your thought provoking pieces, you have knack for keeping the sauce flowing

      • A real eye-opener. Same people who swore “Matt” would never leave and he was not the guy to even listen to offers now claim they never said he wouldn’t leave or listen to offers. Amnesia can be a terrible thing. The VERY reason Temple allowed this guy to jump over at least 2 more qualified guys to hire him was to avoid all the crap of the first three days this week. He fumbled the ball with the clumsy “I’m not talking about jobs” mantra. He should have said: “That’s ridiculous. They showed loyalty by hiring me and now I’m showing loyalty to them by not listening to anyone else.” That would have ended it right there. Temple had to be as surprised by his clumsy handling of this as were a great many fans.

      • mike he must have been reading your blog after his comments made on 94.1 today.

      • yes, no need after year 3 (and year 1 of the new contract) to say “I”m not talking about other jobs” … the need at that point is to reaffirm the commitment you made on June 23d.

  14. Just because Rhule is not going to Mizzou doesn’t mean he’s not staying open for other possibilities. At the moment, I’d just like to see him stay and coach through this year’s bowl game. Then whatever happens, happens. Next year won’t be like this year anyway, but it still could be good, no matter who is coaching. Another thing, as usual, other schools are on the hunt for new coaches but at Temple time is wasting away if Temple does need to look for a new coach, impacting recruiting and organizational needs. Hopefully all this means that Rhule intends to stay (at least for a while) and is just trying to get the best deal possible here.

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