There is a lot to like about Temple’s running back Re’Mahn Davis. He had 936 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns, with an average of 4.86 yards per carry. He also added 180 yards receiving and 2 receiving touchdowns. These aren’t numbers that will grab national attention, but it needs to be said that he was also a true freshman last year.
When I posted the preview to the 2019 football season last year, I barely mentioned his name. That wasn’t to slight Davis, but generally at Temple the upperclassmen grab the bulk of the carries. The last time a true freshman had most of the carries at Temple was in 2009 with Bernard Pierce in what was an outstanding freshman season. It isn’t too often that a freshman comes to Temple and takes over. But that’s what Davis did last season.
I decided to look through some ESPN/Youtube highlights to try and figure out just how good Davis is. And boy were the highlights fun to watch. For example, a lot of Temple fans really want to forget about the UNC blowout in the bowl game, but Davis had wonderful touchdown on a well executed screen play. He made several similar plays throughout the season. But it’s not really just about the big explosive plays, its the little things that are most impressive.
simple, yet effective
I will apologize ahead of time for my caveman renditions.
Our first stop will be in the game against ECU.
Temple is wearing white. Isaiah Wright is in motion, Russo in a pistol with heavy set and twin TE. ECU is lined up with almost 9 players in the box.
A lot of young RBs when they see this defensive formation may hesitate and try to find a bigger opening. The RB will dance around trying to find some room. They panic a little and get happy feet.
In this play, the offensive line will essentially zone block to the top part of the image.
As the play unfolds Wright continues down the field and dummy the defense, see if he can get any to hesitate. For the most part on ECU’s defense no one really bites. Davis is going to head up-field after receiving the hand-off on the right side of the line.
As the play continues to unfold the O-line has put a hat on a hat and Davis has two options. Cut back (gold arrow) or continue north-south (blue arrow). If you cut back, the potential is that you can make the big play that ends up on ESPN. But more likely than not you lose yards or go no where. However, moving straight ahead can get that first down if you trust your blocking.
Sure enough, as the bodies crash around him, Davis trusted himself and his offensive line to pick up the first down. In the image above he is bouncing off bodies, but he doesn’t get tackled for a good 7-8 yards after the first down. Tough, physical, hard-nose run play that was executed well.
next up, the ‘ol ball coach
Former Temple head coach Collins visited the Linc but this time with the opposition.
In the image below, GT is in the 4-2 formation. Temple lines up in shotgun formation. They send Isaiah Wright in motion. TE will down block, left guard/left tackle pull around. The right side of the line will again block down in what is essentially a power run play.
After the snap Isaiah Wright continues up, defender follows and is blocked out of the play.
This play is developing quite nicely. Davis (blue arrow) will follow his blocker into the gap and should be able to pick up 7-8 yards pretty easily. This one is no problem, right?
But wait, we have a whiffed block! Now the gap is closing and Davis has to make an adjustment right at the line of scrimmage. He has to cut back inside after a split second decision. The safety is expecting the play to continue to the outside.
So Davis cuts on a dime and now he’s got a little crease to get through to the first down. Really great blocking down the field by the WR and by Adam Klein. But also great cutback and vision by Davis.
In today’s game your RB has to be multi-dimensional. Davis displays nice hands and once he gets into some open space, he has the vision and shiftiness to cause problems in the open field.
Looking at the Cinci game…
Temple starts out with 3 WRs to the left and one to the right. They are in what appears to be pistol formation with Davis lining up behind Russo. It’s 3rd down and forever. Cinci is in their nickel package. The right side of the Temple OL will start to the right.
As the play begins, oops! It’s a screen play. Some defenders are let through as the RT and RG move to the outside.
Now we have some blockers down the field, Davis is going to push outside more and create some space. Its subtle but the movement is important to create room for Russo to safely lob the ball. We see young RB’s that just sort of stay in their bubble and don’t really adjust at all, but Davis will swing out a little and that does make a difference. It just so happens that this play-call was also perfect considering what Cinci was running.
Now Davis has the ball, blockers are in front. The play is looking pretty good. A nice call by OC Uremovich.
He has a quick burst of speed the brings him to the 40 yard line and instead of simply just barreling down, he takes time to let the blockers do their thing and sees the play unfold in-front of him. It takes some maturity and experience to look at the play as its unfolding and allowing yourself a chance to make the most of it. He is moving quick but calculated.
at the end of the day
You have to like the film from the true freshman. He does a lot of little things right and has the speed/quickness to cause problems in the open field. As he continues to evolve his game into a capable blocker and pass-catcher, you’re going to see a special RB at Temple in the next couple of years.