King Solomon’s Kicking Solution

jones

Austin Jones kicks arguably the most clutch FG of the last 10  years of TUFB.

Other than the quarterback dilemma, probably the toughest decision facing Geoff Collins in these weeks before the Notre Dame game is the kicking position.

Both Aaron Boumerhi and Austin Jones are, by all accounts, even this season.

One is a senior and one is a sophomore.

For the solution, Collins only needs to open the Bible and look for the story of King Solomon.  Two women claimed to be the mother of the same child and the King ordered the child be split in two so that the women could share him. One of the women objected, saying she’d rather see the child live with the other mother than be killed. Solomon saw that and declared her the real mother and awarded the child to her.

Collins should, in reality, split this baby this way: The senior, Jones, should get to kick this season and he should redshirt Boumerhi so he has him two years after that.

That’s the logical way to do it. All things being equal, the guy who put the blood sweat and tears into the program longer should be given the benefit of the doubt and Jones seems to be that guy. It was not Jones’ fault that he was the victim of a cheap shot at Memphis and probably should not lose his job because of it. Boumerhi is good, but I don’t see this as a Wally Pipp/Lou Gehrig-type situation where Pipp lost his job because of injury. Jones is not as bad as Pipp nor is Bourmerhi the Lou Gehrig of kickers.

Of course, if the reports are wrong out of camp and one is, err, kicking the crap out of the other than that guy should get the job and the other guy should be redshirted but, according to special teams’ coach Ed Foley, that’s not the case. Foley said that both are outstanding and both are doing well.

On the surface this is a tough decision.

King Solomon, though, would beg to differ.

Friday: The QB Dilemma

Owl City Walkers

tryouts

Sometimes the memory can be a funny thing, brain teasers allowing recall in great detail of things that happen 40 years ago, but the same brain failing to tell you why you walked into a room five seconds ago.

It is with that in mind that we caution you to not take this list as the top walk-ons in Temple football history, just the top ones that we can recall at this moment.

Obviously, some are going to slip through the cracks but readers are welcome to include their own memories of Temple walk-ons below.

The subject of walk-ons comes up today simply because yesterday was the walk-on tryout date for Geoff Collins’ first team at Temple.

Here’s my list, with a heavy emphasis on the more recent ones. In a school of 39,000 students—presumably 20,000 young men—maybe at least one will turn out to be as good as these five.

matt-brown

5–Matt Brown

Because of his size (5-5, 155 pounds), no Division I school showed an interest in Brown.  He walked on at Temple, where they tried to play him at a slot receiver, but Al Golden—perhaps intrigued by Brown’s open-field moves in the return game—moved him to tailback and the rest was history. He was the bug part of the “Bernie and the Bug” pair and had to fill as a starter on the numerous occasions where Bernard Pierce was injured.  Brown’s best game was his sophomore year against Army, where he gained 228 yards scored four touchdowns.

journey

4—Aaron Boumerhi

The kicker with the appropriate nickname of “Boom-Boom” walked on at Temple after making only four field goals his senior year at Phillipsburg-Osceola. He perhaps saved the season after starting kicker Austin Jones went down as a result of a cheap shot by a Memphis player on a kickoff.  At the time, Jones had made an NCAA-best 17-straight field goals.  Arguably, Boumerhi was just as good afterward.

hayes

3—Will Hayes

Hayes returned a blocked extra point for two the other way and that was the key play in a 25-23 Temple win at Massachusetts.  The 5-9 defensive back drew interest only from Division III schools, but always dreamed of playing Division I. He took the advice of a former Howell (N.J.) teammate and played a year at Milford (N.Y.) Prep to bulk up for a possible chance.  He was a regular starting free safety on a 10-win Temple team.

screwed

2—Bruce Francis

Francis joined the program as a true freshman in the fall of 2005 as a walk-on. He later earned a scholarship. Named the recipient of the team’s inaugural Gavin White, Jr., Walk-On Award in the spring of 2006, Francis earned All-MAC honors last fall by Phil Steele Publications after averaging a team-best 73.1 receiving yards per game and finished his senior year with 13 touchdown receptions.  He was the center of one of the most controversial plays in Temple history, with replays clearly showing him catching touchdown pass to beat UConn but the Big East replay official refusing to overturn the call. At the time, Temple was in the MAC and UConn was in the Big East. Francis is the Owls’ career leader in touchdown receptions (23) and tied with Gerald “Sweet Feet” Lucear in touchdown catches for a single season (13).

1—Haason Reddick

All indications point to Reddick being a late first-round NFL draft choice and it is pretty hard for any walk-on in Temple history to top that.  Reddick started as a linebacker in Temple’s 41-21 win at Memphis to close out the 2013 season, but later earned first-team All-AAC honors as a down defensive end.

 

Owls Turn To Boomer Sooner Than Expected

Aaron Boumerhi now unexpectedly gets forced into the spotlight.

At opposite ends of the Commonwealth (yes, it’s a Commonwealth and not a state) of Pennsylvania reside the worst and best names for a starting kicker in the long and storied history of college football.

Pitt has a guy named Chris Blewitt (pronounced BLEW IT) as its placekicker.

Temple now has a guy named Aaron Boumerhi and it is the very best kicking name in the country because it is pronounced BOOMER-EYE.

boumerhi

                               Aaron Boumerhi’s community duty included helping his fellow students move into the dorms.

After starting kicker Austin Jones was the victim of a cheap shot in the middle of the field at Memphis (not called), he is out for the season and Boomer is your new kicker. All we know about Aaron is that he stroked one right down the middle for an extra point. While at Philipsburg-Osceola High, he did not have many chances for field goals but he later became a camp warrior, going to numerous kicking camps and scoring high enough to earn a shot at Temple.

Owls’ coach Matt Rhule speaks highly of him, saying at one time that he considered using Boomer as his kickoff guy this season because he has a “Brandon McManus” leg on kickoffs. We all know McManus, err, boomed many of this kickoffs not only through the end zone but once or twice into the seats in his four years at Temple and now is a NFL star.  Rhule “ruled” against it because he wanted to preserve Boumerhi’s redshirt so he could kick through the 2020 season.

The best-laid plans often go astray due to things coaches cannot control like cheap shots.

The bottom line on Boomer is that he’s got a good leg, but is he as accurate as Jones was? Probably not since Jones hit a NCAA-best 17 in a row before missing two at Memphis and, in reality, we don’t know if he’ll perform at a high level. His extra point was fine and, if the Owls can rely on him in that area and the short field goals that Jones made routinely, that is really all they can expect.

If however, he turns out to be another Brandon McManus, that will be a bonus no one expected. We should find out for sure before long.

Saturday: Game Day Preview

Sunday: Game Analysis