Friday, August 31, 2012

Brown ... or Vanilla?

Matty Brown turns the corner on the way to an electrifying touchdown run.

You can color Temple's 41-10 win over Villanova two ways on Friday night.
Vanilla or Brown?
I choose Brown, as in Matty Brown.
Those of us who have watched this young man play for the past three years at Temple University knew he would not relinquish his No. 1 spot on the Temple running back totem pole without a fight and, boy, did he put up a knock-down, drag out fight on Friday night.
Brown finished with 19 carries for 145 yards, upstaging the No. 1 returning ball carrier in BCS football, Montel Harris.
Or did he?
It was quite obvious Temple was running a vanilla offense against Villanova.
Chris Coyer, the quarterback who showed he could throw the ball effectively over the last four games of the 2011 season, was reined in all night.
On one of his first-half throws, Coyer hit C.J. Hammond between the 8 and the 0 and Hammond could not pull in the ball before a Villanova defender made contact.
After that, it seemed that Steve Addazio and new offensive coordinator Ryan Day essentially shelved the passing game, knowing that they could still beat Villanova with the running attack.
Behind Brown and third-string tailback Kenny Harper, the Owls proved Day and Daz right.
Harris, I'm told, has been battling a hammy but should be 100 percent by Saturday afternoon.
If so, then maybe Harris, not Brown, will be the featured back against Maryland.
Either way, the Owls are in a good place.
Brown was great and Harper was very, very good.
Why mess with anything fancy when you know you can win this way?
I think the Owls will eventually need Coyer's play-action game, but it was not needed Friday night.
Coyer was an effective game manager who threw a dynamite crackback block on Brown's touchdown run.
Chuck Heater's defense was OK, considering the number of starters that had to be replaced. I would have liked to seen more tackles for losses, but 41-10 is 41-10.
Maryland should be tougher than Villanova, but nothing the Owls can't handle.
Either Vanilla or Brown, this offense has some serious weapons and they should all be on display before long.
I predicted 49-7. I can't be unhappy with 41-10.
In another development, the Owls received an inquiry from Oregon State to play a game on Sept. 15.
Owls said come here, take it or leave it.
Oregon State leaved it.
Beating Penn State would be one of the biggest wins in Temple football history and I don't want a cross-country trip interfering in that kind of event.
For now, though, beat Maryland. One game at a time.