We now have an idea of what Temple will look like this season. After an offseason of questions, Temple unveiled its 2017 team, and we finally received an answer to who would be the starter at quarterback.
Logan Marchi was given the start and, while he didn’t dominate, he proved that he can be reliable. Marchi went 19-for-35 for 235 yards and two touchdowns and never turned the ball over. With starting receiver Ventell Bryant sidelined with a hamstring injury, Marchi spread the ball around to nine different receivers.
Running back Ryquell Armstead was kept in check, finishing with just 67 yards rushing on 19 carries and that had a lot to do with a lack of push up front. Notre Dame’s defensive front dominated the Temple offensive line, and Armstead rarely found room to run.
Temple had multiple opportunities to make this game closer. It seemed like a blowout with Notre Dame jumping out to a 28-3 lead, but the Owls closed that gap to make it 28-10. Mike Jones intercepted a Brandon Winbush pass and returned to the Notre Dame 14 with 8:30 left in the third quarter, but the offense couldn’t score. Austin Jones then proceeded to miss a 36 yard field goal.
Defensively, the front seven is going to need some work. Notre Dame running back Josh Adams ran for 161 yards and two scores, and the Owls secondary saw too much of him. Safeties Delvon Randall and Sean Chandler constantly found themselves making the tackles after a Notre Dame ball carrier broke through.
While the secondary held the Irish to only 184 passing yards, Equanimeous St. Brown was tough to stop, finishing with four catches for 80 yards and a score. St. Brown’s size and speed were a problem but, fortunately for the Owls, he was the best receiver they will see all season.
Temple will be better than anticipated, and should still compete in the AAC with all of the question marks around the league. The result was not a close matchup but head coach Geoff Collins should feel good about the potential of his team.