Hopefully, the Owls can get Frank some mop-up duty in a 49-14 win at Penn State.
On the list of things a head coach has to worry about between the time that spring football ends and summer camp begins is backup quarterback but when the subject is Temple football and the head coach is Matt Rhule that item has to be thumbtacked at the top of the list.
It appears as though Frank Nutile, a former star at Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey, has won the job but that should not stop Rhule from biting his fingernails until August. Nutile clearly looked better than the other backup hopeful, Logan Marchi, but facts are facts and the facts are that neither quarterback has any experience to speak of playing in a real game.
The stats show Nutile (pronounced NEW TILE) completed one pass for four yards in a 49-14 win over visiting Tulane. Since it was a rollout designed to get him away from pressure, there was not much to tell from that appearance. More telling was the fact that the coaching staff kept starter P.J. Walker in for 99.9 percent of the other plays in a 14-game season, an indication that the staff was addicted to the comfort level a four-year starter like Walker provides. Remember, Walker played four games with a separated left shoulder and that would not have been possible had the cheap shot hit in the PSU game come on his right shoulder.
Walker has been someone the Owls could count on the last four years but that, like everything in college football, is subject to change.
The Owls are going to have to wean themselves off that formula this year and one way is for the staff to work more playing time in for Nutile in the opener against Army and the second game against Stony Brook. If things go as expected, the Owls should have a comfortable lead in the first game and a larger one than that in the second game, and having a guy like Nutile shake off the rust in those games can only increase the comfort level in later ones.
The closest the Owls could get to real football was the spring game when redshirt sophomore Nutile threw a touchdown pass. It should have been enough to get him some more time in the fall. If not, the Owls will be forced to burn the redshirt of three-star recruit Anthony Russo and they do not want to do that.
If they have to, though, they should and they will.
Friday: Stadium Stompers and Dust Devils
Sunday: What The NFL Draft Means for Temple