Spread This

spreadthis

This should be the only spread at the E-O until Sharga graduates.

If you’ve listened to several of the interviews Dave Patenaude gave over the offseason, included in his comments are several references to wanting to keep the Temple offensive identity, which is to run the football behind the fullback and keep defenses honest with play-fakes to the halfback resulting in explosive downfield plays in the passing game.

So far, so good.

Then the new offensive coordinator throws in a curse word: Spread Offense.

emptyset

Under this kind of empty set, AAC defenses routinely audibled into a blitz  and often sacked P.J. Walker.

Actually, that’s two curse words but who’s counting?

If there is one thing Matt Rhule learned after his first two seasons (8-16), he said it was that the spread was something that rubbed against every fiber in his football body but indicated he was intoxicated by watching the big-time teams play that way.

“That’s just not the way Temple plays football,” he said before the 2015 season. “The sooner I came to realize that, the better off we were at the end of last season. Under Al (Golden), we were a run-first, utilizing the fullback  type of team and we forced the linebackers and safeties up so we could make big plays in the passing game. That’s who I am. That’s the way I coach and I got talked out of that.”

Rhule would not say who did the talking, but the speculation squarely centered on offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield. Once Rhule put his foot down, the Owls had back-to-back 10-win seasons.


With the run established,
linebackers and safeties
freeze for a split second
with that kind of fake and
Owl receivers would be so
open Russo won’t know which
one to pick out. With a
fullback like Sharga and
tailbacks like Ryquell Armstead
and Jager Gardner,
that’s the only way to play

Temple’s identity as a team which sets up explosive plays in the passing game off the fear of the run is as much the school’s own as Navy’s triple-option is today. To mess with that is to play with fire.

Plus, the Owls have the best fullback in college football, Nick Sharga, for one more year. While they have him, they should use him as another offensive lineman to open up the running game and occasionally running over linebackers with the ball in his hands. Under that scenario, the linebackers and the safeties inch up to the line of scrimmage to protect against the run and are susceptible to the kind of deft play-fakes a quarterback like Anthony Russo makes easily. With the run established, linebackers and safeties freeze for a split second with that kind of fake and Owl receivers would be so open Russo won’t know which one to pick out. With a fullback like Sharga and tailbacks like Ryquell Armstead and Jager Gardner, that’s the only way to play.

If they are really thinking about uttering curse words like “spread offense” 2018 might be a good time to tinker with that concept.

Not before.

Monday: 5 Reasons Why Owls Will Win AAC Title

Wednesday: Power 5 Misconceptions

Friday: The Big Cheese

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6 thoughts on “Spread This

  1. our new OC appears to be talking from both sides of the mouth.., “we’ll do a little bit of this and a little bit of that” …, may stem from the cards he has to play – our OL is not a smash mouth power unit, at least not yet,….,
    offense is about putting points on the board, Patenaude is a genius if he can break the code.., heck, I don’t care if he runs the wishbone if we average 30 ppg…,

  2. I know you are being facetious with the wishbone but I’d love to see that rolled out for a play or two with Marchi at QB, Sharga at FB, and Armstead and Gardner at tailback. Since all have significant running ability, that would be the ultimate assignment nightmare for any defense with Marchi carrying the ball with the option of pitching to either of the halfbacks or handing off on a dive to the fullback.

  3. My Opinion, you just gotta keep a defense guessing in order to win, unless you can man handle them.
    I think a good QB run 2 or 3 plays a game is worth the effort, just to keep ’em guessing. Love the idea of 4 players in on the option either blocking or pitching or running

  4. Was Walker the right QB for the spread offense? Phillip had his proclivities, which is why turned it over and was sack. A good spread QB makes faster reads and takes what’s given. Wonder how Walker will do at Indy?

  5. The ACC and Big 12 will both have two former AAC head coaches on the sidelines this Fall. Coincidently, those are the only two leagues who would consider Temple….,

    We’ll just have to be patient until Collins and Patenaude figure out what they want to be on offense…, until then our best hope is that they quickly, and deftly play the cards they have in hand now..,

  6. The thing is that they now have the receiving corps to run the spread-wide receivers that can make the first defender miss. That was not the case under Satterfield when the team had only possession receivers. Nevertheless, I’m a believer that you don’t mess with what works until it doesn’t anymore.

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