Matt Rhule hits on some key points postgame.
The hard numbers coming out of Saturday’s Cherry and White Game were three touchdown passes by P.J. Walker in the White’s 35-25win over the Cherry.
That’s important, because Walker is going to have a big year and the Owls are going to crush Army and Stony Brook in their first two games. With a four-year starter like Walker at quarterback, I also like their chances against anybody Penn State uses at quarterback in the third, which leads us to the rest of the story (as Paul Harvey likes to say).
Putting pressure on that PSU quarterback is going be more important and a guy like Romond Deloatch could hold that key.
Three years ago, Matt Rhule dipped into Charlie Strong’s playbook when he decided to discipline wide receiver Romond Deloatch for missing a team meeting. As a punishment, Rhule put Deloatch on defense.
The only punishing done that day, though, was by Deloatch, who had what is believed to be a team-high seven sacks in a scrimmage. The move was reminiscent of Strong, then the Louisville head coach, who punished a quarterback named Marcus Smith by putting him at defensive end in a practice four years ago.
The difference, though, was Strong kept Smith at end and he became a first-round draft choice of the Philadelphia Eagles. Rhule, having made his point, put Deloatch back at starting wide receiver for Temple. Rhule and the defensive coaches filed away that sophomore performance and now Deloatch is back at defensive end in Saturday’s annual spring game. Quarterback P.J. Walker’s White team beat Deloatch’s Cherry team, 35-25, but the score in these games are never has important as the personnel moves and Deloatch’s is certainly one of the most unusual in Temple history.
At times, Deloatch appeared unblockable, but because the quarterback was not “live” there were no stats kept on sacks. Like Smith, though, Deloatch’s long arms, leaping ability, first step to the quarterback and lean frame (6-foot-4, 220 pounds), make him an intriguing weapon at defensive end. At the very least, the experiment will continue into the fall and Deloatch could be a specialty pass rusher in third-and-long situations. Either way, if Deloatch is able to disrupt things there are a whole lot of talented guys on that DL that can contribute to collapsing the pocket, too.
If he gets seven sacks in the opener against Army, and seven more against Stony Brook, the PSU quarterback—whoever he is—might be wise to take out an insurance policy.
Tuesday: 5 Things We’ve Learned This Spring
Thursday: The Real Key to the Season
Saturday: Opponents Spring Games