Temple 56, Akron 17: Owls unleash nuclear-type weapons

21:20 Cholis Back 0 Comments

By Mike Gibson
The 2008 edition of the Princeton Review ranked Temple as the most diverse undergraduate student population in the nation.
There is much to like about that.
Last night, in a 56-17 win at Akron the Owls proved that there is even more to like about diversity in an offense.
In what was Matt Rhule's finest hour as an offensive coordinator, the Owls found every conceivable way to diversify their offense.
They scored on a reverse (twice, one was called back on a penalty), they scored on a long bomb, they scored on an intermediate pass, they scored on running plays.
They established their quarterback, Chester Stewart, as a dual threat.
They even scored on special teams, a terrific punt return by the steady (and now spectacular) Delano Green.
For almost all of the seven wins prior to this one, Bernard Pierce has been carrying the Owls on his broad shoulders.
While it had been fun to watch, you kind of knew that his back would break somewhere along the way if things didn't change.
That would have been an OK plan if the Owls had no other weapons but you and I and Al Golden and Rhule all know that Edberg-Olson Hall if filled with extremely talented players who can do great things with the ball.
''Personally, I really think Temple has the best D-line I have played against since I have been at Akron and I have played against Wisconsin, Ohio State and Penn State.''
_ Senior guard Zack Anderson
Pierce is a good one, the best, but he's not the only one.
I've been saying all year that Temple's No. 1 priority on offense should be feature the talents of Pierce, sure, but to also play off the fear of him by throwing the ball to their edge weapons downfield.
They did that on a long touchdown pass from Stewart to Michael Campbell. They did it on long reverse by Jason Harper and 4.3-40 sprinter James Nixon.
Now the Owls have planted a needed seed in the minds of their future foes: Load up and try to take away Pierce at your own peril.
It was a great night for Temple and proof that this team is getting better as crunch time approaches. The defense was great (49-0 over the last three quarters), but it's been that way all season.
The No. 1 concern was a lack of diversity on offense and it appears that the Owls have now found a pretty good formula going forward.
Last night, they showed that diversity can be a beautiful thing.