|Will today be the day the Owls finally throw play-action on first down or will it be Groundhog Day again?|
It only seems fitting that the Temple football team flew over Punxsutawney on the way to the University of Pittsburgh for today's game with the Panthers.
Every game day this year I feel like Bill Murray's character in the movie Groundhog Day. Murray was a weather man who is reluctantly sent to cover a story about the day. On the "next" day, he wakes to discover it is Groundhog Day again and again. He comes to the realization that he's doomed to spend the rest of eternity in the same place, seeing the same people do the same thing over and over again.
I'm not at that same point with Steve Addazio's offensive approach, but I've got to admit at least five of the six MORNING AFTER game days I've waken with the idea that I'm going to be stuck in eternity of an antiquated "three Groundhogs and a cloud of dust" offensive approach.
On the other day, Temple went 16 for 20 passing and scored 37 points.
You look at all of these other big-time teams in the SEC and Big 10 and they all integrate a balanced approach of running and passing on first down. At Temple, it's 75.9 percent running on first down and that's never a good thing.
In football, as in life, you need balance.
So today's theme, other than Groundhog Day, is Hope and Change:
Hope: Owls use play-action fakes to Montel Harris on first down to allow quarterback Chris Coyer time to find open receivers running through the secondary.
Change: Temple receivers catch the ball.
Hope: Daz runs Harris when the defense is on its heels, not when there are eight guys in the box.
Change: Move the sticks.
Change: Defensive line finally gets pressure on the opposing quarterback.
Hope: Ball is put up in the air for grabs and Vaughn Carraway and Anthony Robey come up with picks.
Hope: Matty Brown is healthy.
Change: Brown breaks first big return since Villanova.
Maybe today will be a day hope turns into change.
Picks this week: I have not picked in a few weeks because nothing jumps out at me. A few games jump out at me this week and the top one was Boston College being a 1-point favorite against Maryland. I think Maryland wins this game outright, but am staying away from the game due to the injury of QB Perry Hills.
KENT STATE getting 13.5 at Rutgers; NORTH CAROLINA STATE getting 7.5 at North Carolina; PENN STATE getting 1 at home vs. Ohio State; TOLEDO giving 7.5 at Buffalo.
Record for the season straight up: 9-4.
Record for the season ATS: 8-5