Temple-Toledo grades: Rockets QB near-perfect in win
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Rockets’ 32-17 win against the Owls in the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl:
Quarterback Phillip Ely (+5.5) came into Tuesday’s bowl game with four consecutive games where he graded out below +1.0. However, he found top form at just the right time as his near perfect performance was the main reason behind the Rockets’ win against Temple. Ely was not afraid to air it out and completed six of his 10 pass attempts 10 or more yards downfield. Accounting for spikes and dropped passes, Ely was accurate on 74.1% of his pass attempts and averaged 11.3 yards per attempt when he was not under pressure.
Safety DeJuan Rogers (+4.0) was one of the players we highlighted prior to this game and Rogers certainly lived up to the expectations. He was solid against the run, which is shown by the fact that he did not miss a single tackle despite being one of two Toledo defenders who did not come off the field for a single snap. While he allowed a reception on both passes that went his way, the completion percentage can be deceiving in this case. Rogers allowed a total of five yards and none of them came after the catch. In addition, he nearly baited Temple quarterback P.J. Walker into an interception in the end zone in the fourth quarter, but ended up mishandling the throw.
Another safety, Rolan Milligan (+1.0) did not finish the game with as high of a grade as Rogers, but was just as thrilling to watch as his partner in crime in the Toledo secondary. Milligan was all over the field leading the team in tackles (10) and even had six pass rushing snaps, recording three, albeit unblocked, pressures on his six hurries. He also batted down a pass. Similarly to Rogers, Milligan also allowed a perfect completion percentage. However, Milligan only allowed 30 yards on six receptions and less than one yard after catch per reception.
QB Phillip Ely (+5.5)
LB Ja’Wuan Woodley (+4.4)
FS DeJuan Rogers (+4.0)
DT Treyvon Hester (+3.7)
DE Allen Covington (+2.4)
One big reason behind the Owls’ loss was their inability to get the running game going. Although they lost running back Jahad Thomas (-2.2) to an injury, things were not going well with him in the lineup either. Excluding trick plays and quarterback scrambles, the Owls averaged only 3.0 yards per carry. While the running backs could not provide a spark, they did not receive a lot of help from the offensive line, either. Temple running backs averaged only 0.8 yards before contact, meaning that even a 3-yard gain required something extra from the running backs to make up for the offensive line’s ineptitude. Consequently, it is no surprise that four different Temple offensive linemen finished the game with a run block grade lower than -1.
Although Tyler Matakevich (+0.2) won the Bronko Nagurski award, which is handed out every year to the nation’s top defensive player, he has been inconsistent this season and it showed again on Tuesday. The linebacker played well against the pass and was not targeted once despite spending 26 snaps in coverage. Matakevich was all over the field and led his team with six solo tackles, five assisted tackles and five defensive stops. But his work against the run was a mixed bag. He failed to finish some plays and missed the most tackles on his team with three, including one on Toledo’s final touchdown.
Despite having played a solid season, Toledo identified cornerback Sean Chandler (-5.0) as Temple’s weak link on defense and it led to a long evening for Chandler. While no other Temple defender was targeted more than five times, Chandler was targeted on 11 occasions and allowed 179 yards, including 80 on a long touchdown. Altogether, Chandler was beat for a reception by five different Toledo wide receivers. As a result, Ely had an (NFL) passer rating of 149.1 when targeting Chandler.
WR Ventell Bryant (+2.7)
WR Robby Anderson (+2.3)
C Kyle Friend (+1.3)
RB Ryquell Armstead (+1.3)
DT Averee Robinson (+1.3)