This would be a great first play on 9/17, P.J. to Cortrelle Simpson.
When Temple head coach Matt Rhule scraped the multiple receiver formations used in the 2014 season, that was a major step forward that resulted in 400 points in 14 games, the most points scored by an Owl team since the 1979 team scored 399 in two fewer games. Now, with some minor tweaking, the 2016 team appears to be talented enough to score more. These are five tweaks.
- Seam Pass to Tight Ends
That is the same pass former Florida recruit Colin Thompson went for 53 yards down the middle in the Memphis, the 12th game. It also went for 37 yards to Kip Patton in the Penn State game, the first game. In between, it was not called much, if at all. Thompson is a four-star recruit, while Patton might be the fastest tight end in Temple history. The AAC doesn’t have a rule limiting tight ends to one catch per game. You could not tell that by the way Temple underutilized those weapons in 2015.
- Roll Out Deep Throw by P.J. Walker
Walker completed two pinpoint throws of well over 50 yards, but both were in the 2014 season–one at Connecticut and one at Penn State. He was able to do it by rolling away from the pressure where he was better able to see the field. This season, he was strictly a pocket passer. Next season, the Owls should roll him out of the pressure and he won’t have to look over 6-foot-5 pass rushers and he can have a run-pass option.
- More Options for Tight Ends
When you have athletes like Thompson and Patton, a seam pass isn’t the only way to get them the ball. Short roll outs by Walker and quick 5-yard passes will get them in space where they can use their running ability much like the Owls did with former tight end Evan Rodriguez (see Maryland game film, 2011). Also a jump pass where Walker takes the snap and feigns a run, jumping just before reaching the line of scrimmage and releasing the ball into the back of the end zone worked for the combination of Chester Stewart and Steve Manieri at Miami (Ohio).
- Put Jahad Thomas in Slot
Despite scoring 17 touchdowns and rushing for 1,287 yards, tailback Jahad Thomas was nicked up in the final few games of the season. Keeping him fresh should be a priority and one way to do that would be to put him in the slot, where he can get the ball in space and occasionally run a reverse or two. That will enable talented sophomores Jager Gardner and Ryquell Armstead to emerge as featured backs.
- Quarterback Draw
If Walker were not a quarterback, he would make a terrific tailback because of his moves in the open field. Using him as a strictly a pocket passer plays into the hands of the defense. A few designed quarterback draws, in addition to the aforementioned rollouts, would drive opposing defenses crazy and that’s the very definition of a well-designed offense.