Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Time for Owls to blow that scoreboard up

Vaughn Charlton has more weapons than an F-15 fighter pilot.
Troubling stats
Last 3 quarters against EMU: 0 for 9 on third downs, 2 for 6 passing, 3 yards
By Mike Gibson
It's got be good to be Temple quarterback Vaughn Charlton now.

He's got more weapons than an F-15 fighter pilot and the plane hasn't even gotten out of the hanger yet.

That's what they've been working on all week in the command center of Temple football, otherwise known as the Edberg-Olson Practice Complex, shining that Stealth jet and moving it out of the hanger for the final eight games of the season.

At least that's the drift I got when I checked Al Golden's Twitter page earlier this week.
Matt Shepard on EMU radio/TV:

Shepard: "It's going to be a pleasure watching this young man, Bernard Pierce, develop the next four years."
Color guy Rob Rubick: "More like a pain."
Rubick in the final moments of a 21-3 first quarter:
"You know, Eastern did score 17 against Michigan, so they can put points on the board."
Shepard: "Then again, right now, it looks as if Temple can beat Michigan."
"Today was a learning day for the team," Golden tweeted. "We must get better at what we do."
We've got too many guys who have the talent to put the ball in the end zone to be sputtering along like we are.
Our passing efficiency is not close to where it needs to be and Charlton would be the first to say that. The truth here is that Vaughn Charlton has had four games to show his stuff and, while he has shown flashes of greatness, flashes are not enough. Particularly troubling stats were these in the final three quarters: 0 for 9 on third downs, 2 for 3 passing, 3 yards. That comes off a game where he went 6 for 17 for 95 yards. You can't keep throwing the same guy out there after nine straight failed third-down conversions and expect a different result.
Charlton has got a lot of rope so far. There are two lefty all-state quarterbacks, Mike Gerardi (New Jersey) and Chris Coyer (Virginia) waiting in the wings and chomping at the bit to to fly this jet. These guys were high-achievers in high school, guys who have moved the ball and put touchdowns, not field goals, on the scoreboard all of their lives.
Saturday would be a perfect opportunity for Charlton to break out, for both his sake and the Owls.
So far this season, the inescapable thought was that Temple has too much talent on offense to be sputtering like this. Let's face it. Eastern Michigan is not Penn State, so zero for nine in third downs is unacceptable to me.
It should be unacceptable to Al Golden and Matt Rhule, too.
Temple has really too much talent to be shut down by Eastern Michigan after taking a 21-3 lead essentially after one quarter.
Temple has too much talent to go 6 for 17 for only 95 yards in the passing game against Buffalo.
The offensive scheme, to me, is all out of whack.
Long-term, I'd like to see a real fullback in there to not only get the fourth-and-ones but to help in pass protection and blitz pickup and someone for Bernard Pierce and others to follow through the hole

Long-term, I'd like to see a real fullback (think a bulked-up Blaze Copanegro) in there to not only get the fourth-and-ones but to help in pass protection and blitz pickup and someone for Bernard Pierce and others to follow through the hole. Think what Shelley Poole did for Paul Palmer, for instance.
Short-term, I'd like to see them axe the tight end in the backfield and put the tight end where he needs to be _ on the line of scrimmage. Two tight ends with Steve Manieri and Evan Rodriguez out there on running plays and two guys the defense needs to cover.
Here's what can be done now to turn this offense from a 20-point-a-game producer to a 30-plus ppg machine:
BERNARD PIERCE _ Keep feeding the franchise the ball, but not on obvious running downs. Mix it up a little bit. Run him on second-and-longs sometimes, pass on first down other times.
JAMES NIXON _ The guy regularly gets behind defenses. Don't throw him the play-action bomb once a game. Throw him the bomb AT LEAST five times a game. Nothing will loosen up the middle for Bernard Pierce runs more than the threat of throwing the play-action bomb to James Nixon.
EVAN RODRIGUEZ _ Why, in God's name, doesn't this guy get the ball 5-10 times a game 10-15 yards down the field where he can use his athletic ability for some impressive RAC (run after catch) yardage? How many tight ends in Division I ball today were terrific punt returners for his high school team? I know only of Evan Rodriguez. I love to see him with the ball in the open field and not these 5-yard out patterns they throw him.
JASON HARPER _ What a Warrior (with a capital W) this kid has been for our program. ... use him. He was a running back good enough to get over 100 yards against bowl bound UConn two years ago and he would cause defenses major headaches in the short passing game, bubble screens and the like. Try those plays with him. Give him a head of steam. He's still one of the fastest guys on the team. Harper can also go deep as he proved last year against Kent State and Eastern Michigan.
I'm sure Golden meant get better in all phases and so do I.
I'm sure Golden didn't like one guy calling for a fair catch when the other guy had a lane to run last week on a punt return.
I'm sure Golden didn't like one guy stepping in front of James Nixon on a kickoff return, one return after Nixon took one 93 to the house.
I'm sure Golden is not entralled with our pass rush or pass coverage, either.
We must get better in all those phases.
Offense, though, is one area where they know they have the athletes who should be turning scoreboards into adding machines soon.
Heck, they've got enough weapons to blow that scoreboard up if they use them the right way.
It's not too late.