Temple host UConn in 2017 Homecoming Game
Following a dominant road victory last week against ECU, Temple aims to keep the momentum rolling into its annual homecoming matchup. The Owls will play host to division rival UConn at Lincoln Financial Field, with the game set to kickoff at 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday and air nationally on ESPNews.
This past weekend, Temple (3-3, 1-2 American) shattered division opponent ECU in a statement road victory, sealing the game at 34-10 behind a much-improved offensive showing. A pair of career performances from redshirt sophomore QB Logan Marchi, who finished 19-of-31 for 321 yards and two touchdowns, and redshirt junior RB David Hood, who racked up 106 yards on the ground with a score of his own, led the way for the Owls. Meanwhile, the win proved significant for first-year head coach Geoff Collins as well, who picked up both his first conference and road victory, his third try in both categories.
Defensively, the unit smothered the Pirates throughout, with sophomore LB Shaun Bradley earning a team-best nine tackles, two for loss. Junior S Delvon Randall continued to impress, picking up five tackles and an interception, while senior DE Jacob Martin harassed the backfield with a pair of sacks.
Looking ahead to UConn (1-4, 0-3 American), the Owls turn to their new-found offensive capabilities with a sense of pride, showing real signs of threatening opposing defenses on both the ground and in the air. This season alone, the Temple passing game has featured a catch by an average of 8.5 wide receivers per game, including a season-best 11 against UMass.
Meanwhile, the Huskies have struggled under returning head coach Randy Edsall, giving up an average of 43.6 points per game this season. In last Friday’s loss to Memphis, UConn played the first half close before watching the Tigers pull away due to untimely turnovers and a brilliant performance from opposing QB Riley Ferguson, who finished with 431 passing yards and seven touchdowns.
LAST TIME vs. UCONN
Temple last faced off against UConn in early November of last season, when the Owls blanked the Huskies 21-0. Senior QB Phillip Walker led the way for Temple, as he threw for three first quarter touchdowns and helped the Owls to 206 total yards in the opening period. Meanwhile, the staunch Temple defense held its ground throughout the matchup, forcing six sacks while only allowing a meager 160 yards to the UConn offense.
In the game, multiple current Owls notched stand-out performances, including a notable blocked 35-yard field goal by DL Michael Dogbe. Meanwhile, a pair of sophomores were impressive for the Temple offense, as RB Ryquell Armstead added 133 yards on 20 carries and WR Ventell Bryant grabbed four catches for 82 yards receiving.
Senior DE Jacob Martin has been harassing quarterbacks since he stepped on the field three seasons ago. Over the past five games, however, Martin has gone beyond his usual standard, accumulating a career-high five sacks, including two back-breaking ones against ECU. Overall, three of Martin’s sacks shifted the course of the games, as his first against the Pirates forced a turnover-on-downs, his one against USF served as the Owls’ lone score and his one against Villanova was for a 17-yard loss.
A LONG MARCHI FROM HOME
Starting Temple QB Logan Marchi, a redshirt sophomore from Bristol, Conn., originally had no plans to play football for the Owls. Instead, he was set up to attend UConn; however, just three days prior to National Signing Day, former Huskies head coach Bob Diaco pulled his offer. Marchi turned to Temple, who had shown interest early in the process, and committed on the spot when the Owls re-offered the Connecticut native. Further, two Temple players – WR Isaiah Wright & OL Jaelin Robinson – hail from Connecticut while one of UConn’s recent enrollees – Robert King III – attended Philadelphia’s Father Judge High School and was originally committed to the Owls.
COLLIDING ON THE RECRUITING TRAIL
Due to the two school’s close proximity (211 miles), both Temple and UConn bump into each other when out recruiting quite often. In multiple cases, a high school will see alumnus on both program’s rosters, including: Owl DB Aaron Adu & Husky LB Rhakim Williams (Doherty Memorial; Worchester, Mass.), Owl TE Kenny Yeboah & Husky DL Noel Brouse (Parkland; Allentown, Pa.), Owl OL Brian Carter & Husky LB Chris Britton (Harrisburg; Harrisburg, Pa.), and Owl DL Ifeanyi Maijeh & Husky LB Cam Stapleton (Poly Prep; Brooklyn, N.Y.).
…AND IN THE COACH’S BOX
Players aren’t the only ones with roots running through the Northeastern corridor. A number of coaches from both sidelines have met prior to Saturday’s clash at Lincoln Financial Field. Temple HC Geoff Collins has seen the work of UConn OL coach JB Grimes, who faced Collins’ Mississippi State defense twice while with Auburn’s offensive staff. Meanwhile, Owls’ OC Dave Patenaude, a Connecticut native, coached alongside UConn DB coach Curome Cox at Coastal Carolina. Finally, the Huskies’ DC Billy Crocker has seen Temple multiple times while at the same position with Villanova (2012-2016), allowing the Owls a combined 83 points in two matchups.
The Temple air attack revved its engine against ECU, compiling 344 yards and two touchdowns as QB Logan Marchi shredded the Pirates. The redshirt sophomore, along with back-up signal-caller Frank Nutile, never focused in on a single wideout, as 10 different wide receivers pulled in a catch throughout the game. On the season, the passing game has averaged 8.5 wideouts per game with a reception (only Washington State at 10.0 averages more for schools having played six games).
EVEN AGAINST EDSALL
UConn HC Randy Edsall stood as a mainstay as head of the Huskies’ football program for over a decade from 1999-2010, posting a 74-70 record along the way. Against Temple during that stretch, Edsall went 2-4. During his four-year stint with Maryland, however, he led the Terrapins to a 2-0 record versus the Owls, leaving him an even 4-4 all-time against Temple.
The Owls turn their attention to the team’s final non-conference matchup of the season: a road test against Army. Temple travels to West Point, N.Y., to face the Black Knights on Saturday, October 21.