The Geoff Collins era at Temple was short lived. A 15-11 record in two years might not sound too impressive, but it led to Collins being hired away by Georgia Tech. Temple then hired Manny Diaz, who was subsequently hired away by Miami just days later. Their new guy is former Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey who helped oversee the Huskies as the most consistent team in the bottom three conferences the past few years, we’ll see if he can oversee Temple and keep them on the path they’ve been on in recent years.
The Huskies had two of the best defensive years in recent memory for a MAC team, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can do the same thing here.
Carey brings his OC over from Northern Illinois in Mike Uremovich. NIU was inconsistent last year under QB Marcus Childers so I was a little surprised he was brought over to Temple.
Uremovich will have plenty of talent to work with, but top back Ryquell Armstead is gone. FB Rob Ritrovato is the top returning rusher, the top returning RB is Jager Gardner who was hardly impressive (3.9 yards per carry). Redshirt Freshman Kyle Dobbins will compete for the starting role.
The line looks solid with four starters back including senior guard Jovahn Fair.
Three of the top four pass-catchers from last year return between Branden Mack, Isiah Wright, and Randle Jones. Jones was a deep threat while Mack and Wright were more standard receivers.
That leaves the QB spot, where three guys played some significant time, but the clear #1 will be Anthony Russo. Russo wasn’t great last year but improved down the stretch and should get better with the added experience.
Carey also brought his DC over from Northern Illinois, up and comer Jeff Knowles, who got a lot of praise in the coaching community for his scheme in his two years at NIU with Sutton Smith and company.
While he’s no Smith, end Quincy Roche (six sacks, three TFL) is a fun piece for Knowes to play around with. Karamo Dioubate, Dan Archibong, Zack Mesday, and Dana Levine all return on the line after combining for eight sacks and eight TFL as a group (half of which was Mesday).
The line looks solid and the linebacking corps even more so with seniors Shaun Bradley and Chapelle Russell returning. The secondary is a bit of an issue though. NB Sam Franklin and CB Linwood Crump are back after solid years, SS Benny Walls was great, but the other two spots are really undecided. Baylor transfer Harrison Hand looks to be the favorite to start opposite Crump at corner, and either sophomore Daesean Winston or true freshman MJ Griffin will start at free.
This should be a good defense with a great coordinator, and despite a couple of holes in the secondary, I think they improve on last year’s numbers.
Temple has been one of the biggest success stories of the past decade, now we’ve got to see if they can sustain it. The Owls won’t be projected underdogs till October 12th though, so they’ll have some time to figure things out.
With UCF and Memphis at home, another year where they flirt with the AAC title isn’t out of the question.
|Date||Opponent||opp. rank||Proj. Margin|
|3-Oct||at East Carolina||107||3.9|
Average Projected Record: 6.9 wins, 5.1 losses (4.1 wins, 3.9 losses)