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.
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.
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.