OWLS 29, Massachusetts 21 | Philadelphia, Pa.
Yeah, sure, the score is a bit bothersome. Temple, if it’s not going to fade back to pre-Rhule oblivion, needs to handle lesser lights, be they FBS level like UMass or FCS level like Villanova last week, with ease. None of this gnawing your teeth and winning by the hair of your chinny chin chin stuff. Put it this way, losing at Notre Dame in the opener is understandable. Even getting blown out on the scoreboard there is to some degree. But to be outgained, and essentially pushed around, each of the next weeks at home, first by your “little brother” and then by a first-year FBS program, that’s not a good sign. Sure, the run defense was tougher the past two weeks, but the pass defense got shredded for 759 yards combined. Yikes.
2. Still not sold on QB
Head coach Geoff Collins stated post-game that Logan Marchi is a “ridiculous athlete,” and, frankly, you can see that in the way the kid can move when pushed to do so and, obviously, in the way he can throw. But something is just off with the kid as a QB. He lacks a sense of when to do and not to do things, his accuracy disappears out of the blue and then re-emerges much the same. The offense just constantly seems to be sluggish, or haphazard under his direction. Like, if it isn’t stalling, give it a minute and it will.
3. Still sold on the Sultan of Swag
He may be too wrapped up in the pomp, pageantry and other superficial stuff for many, but Collins does seem to grasp the possibilities at his fingertips here, not to mention the weapons at his disposal. Even at this early stage, though, he needs to do a better job of utilizing the latter to attain the former. He’s a passionate, energetic, enthusiastic guy whose team feeds off that. From this point forward, he needs to be aware of that at all times, and he has stated his awareness of that.
4. Positives were obvious
Despite former Pennsylvania schoolboy star Andrew Ford lighting up the Owls’ secondary all night long and the Minutemen hanging around until the final whistle, Temple had some highlights. Chief among them a 9-sack effort headlined by freshman DL Quincy Roche, an improved rushing attack spearheaded by Ryquell Armstead (17 carries, 91 yards) and Marchi’s recognition/usage of his top receiving targets Isaiah Wright (4 catches, 69 yards, TD), Keith Kirkwood (4, 64, TD) and Adonis Jennings (3, 41, TD).
5. Hard to see
Owls may be the sharpest dressed team each week in college football, but on nights like Friday when they go just about all black, with that nifty black cherry lid … well, ya probably need to be right on the field, lining up with them or against them to get a true appreciation. TV can’t deliver it, and, really, neither can being in the stands. Just too dark. Maybe mix in a little more white into the mix, like, say, on the helmet “T” and assorted trim. So far, No. 3 out of their first three getups this season.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org