Temple Owls Game Week
After much anticipation, game week is finally here. The Owls will fly out to South Bend, Ind. to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. In Geoff Collins’ first game as the Temple head coach, the Owls look to pick up the program’s first-ever win over Notre Dame. Temple will not only see a career and program debut of their first-year head coach, but will also see a quarterback make their first career start. The Owls have had a four-way quarterback battle this summer – freshman Todd Centeio, redshirt freshman Logan Marchi, redshirt junior Frank Nutile and redshirt freshman Anthony Russo – all could see action on Saturday. Regardless of who plays, the quarterback will have a plethora of weapons at his disposal. The Owls return what could be one of the best receiving corps in the nation with redshirt senior Keith Kirkwood, senior Adonis Jennings and redshirt junior Ventell Bryant – not to mention a Doak Walker Award Watch List member in junior running back Ryquell Armstead.
Defensively, the Owls will return four starters – including three from the secondary. Seniors Sean Chandler and Artrel Foster are joined by junior Delvon Randall as those three starters. Temple has also added transfer cornerback Mike Jones to the mix who will likely provide solid minutes on defense and as a returner. The fourth Temple returning starter is junior Michael Dogbe. Dogbe looks to wreak havoc with the rest of the ‘Wild Boyz.’ Fellow defensive linemen Sharif Finch and Jacob Martin are returning to the mix this season and look to continue Temple’s success on defense.
SHARIF GOES 3-3?
Since the start of the three game series vs. Notre Dame in 2013, redshirt-senior DE Sharif Finch is the only player to have the opportunity to play in the entire three-game series. Finch saw snaps in both of the previous two games (8/31/13 & 10/31/15).
September 2, 2017 will mark just the second time in his life that head coach Geoff Collins will be at Notre Dame Stadium. The only other time Collins has stepped foot in the stadium was during the 2003 Sunburt Hall of Fame to Notre Dame Marathon. The marathon started at the College Football Hall of Fame and ended at the 50 yardline of Notre Dame Stadium. The first-year head coach repped bib number 398 and completed the race with a time of 3:39:23.
The 2017 season opener will be the first game that the Temple Owls will play since the passing of Hall of Fame coach Wayne Hardin. The winningest football coach in Temple history, Hardin had an 80-52-3 record for 13 seasons (1970-82). He led the 1979 team to the Garden State Bowl where the Owls defeated California for their first bowl win. That 1979 squad finished 10-2 for the University’s most wins ever in a season. That team also was ranked No. 17 in both the AP and UPI polls, the first time the Owls were in the national wire service polls.
NEXT MAN UP
Temple football has played 51 games since its 2013 season opener at Notre Dame. Former quarterback, Phillip Walker, started 47 of those 51 games. The other four starts came from Connor Reilly (3 starts) and Clinton ‘Juice’ Granger (1 start).
September 2 will mark a new start for the Temple football program in more ways than one. Not only is it the start of the 2017 season, but both head coach Geoff Collins and the Owls’ quarterback will be making their career starting debuts at their respective positions. All things common to 2013, the last time Temple experienced a coaching change.
Kickoff is set for Saturday, Sept. 2 at 3:30 p.m. EST and will air on NBC, 97.5 The Fanatic and WHIP Radio.