2. It’s nice to see Rhule and Co. trying to get QB P.J. Walker untracked, but even that’s been a hit-or-miss proposition. Yeah, the junior has looked great at times, throwing for 252 yards and a score, the former of those two numbers surpassing his season total for the first two weeks. That has needed to happen. But, Walker has been, well, pretty lazy with his “reads” and throws a few times, and that resulted in a couple picks by the Minutemen, the second of which occurred with the Owls ahead 17-10 with two minutes to go before halftime and driving. UMass merely took possession and marched for the tying score, converting a key fourth down in the process.
3. RB Jahad Thomas and LB Tyler Matakevich can put down their press clippings, and refocus on the playing field now. Both have been dreadful in the initial 30 minutes of this one, with Thomas repeatedly running away from daylight and into traffic, and T-Mat doing a disappearing act, including on coverage of the Minutemen’s aerial TD right before halftime. The two were, arguably, the best offensive and defensive players in the entire nation through the first two weeks, playing the lead rolls against both Penn State and Cincinnati. Right now, they’re sleepwalking like the rest of the Owls.
4. Obviously, the Owls have superior talent. Even with the aforementioned combined with a bunch of boo-boos, including five penalties for 55 yards, they had racked up their season’s per-full game average for yardage by halftime with 307 yards. They posted more first downs than the hosts and held the ball longer as well. But they turned it over twice, courtesy of Walker, while UMass did that just once. All in all, everything just spells sloppy and, really, lack of respect for an opponent – which, not for nothing, but Temple is not good enough to ever do. Either. Not that any good team really ever would do either.
5. Love the big-play ability of WR Robby Anderson, which was on full display with a 53-yard hookup with Walker. However, the team’s receiving security blanket really is senior John Christopher, whose five catches for 53 yards kept the Owls alive and moving for much of the first half. He’s also the same guy who tossed a 25-yard pass to Walker against Penn State on a trick play to loosen things up in the opener.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org