SOUTH BEND, Ind. — This was not the type of beginning to the Geoff Collins era that Temple fans had hoped for. After one of the best seasons in school history last year expectations were higher going into kickoff yesterday than they are most years for Temple. The Owls however were overmatched and Notre Dame was out to prove that they are still an elite program in NCAA.
Two offensive plays in and Notre Dame was already in the end zone and to make matters worse the tailback that scored was a local product, Josh Adams (Bucks County, PA). Adams would go on to rush for 161 yards. The final score was Notre Dame 49, Temple 16, which is a huge difference to how close Temple came to beating the Irish two years ago at Lincoln Financial Field.
Not everything was bad for the Owls on Saturday but it sure seemed like it. The fast start for Notre Dame built a big hole for Temple to climb out of but they continued to fight. The Owls managed to get the score to 28-10 when Mike Jones intercepted a pass and returned it to the Notre Dame 14 yard line. The Owls had to settle for a field goal attempt which kicker, Austin Jones missed wide right. This basically ended any chance that Temple had to get back into the game.
The big surprise for the Owls was the use of Quarterback, Logan Marchi for the entire game. During the offseason, most of the discussion regarding Temple centered on a fourway quarterback battle that most people expected to result in a QB by committee. Marchi ended the day 19-35 for 245 yards, two TDs and no INTS. His decent numbers might allow him to continue to get all of the snaps for the time being.
If there was one clear reason for the loss it had to be the defense of Temple. The unit gave up 606 total yards from scrimmage and allowed the Irish to rush for 422 yards. Notre Dame had three players rush for over 100 yards. The Owls allowed six rushing plays and three passing plays for more than 20 yards. It was clear from the start that inexperience was going to be a huge issue in this game. “We had a bunch of rookies playing, especially on defense,’’ Collins said.
Notre Dame returned four starters on their offensive line and Temple had lost most of their starting defense from a year ago. Also, the Irish were out to prove that last season’s 4-8 record and a no bowl invite was a fluke. The result was inevitable.
Over the last two season’s Temple has built a program that the city of Philadelphia can be proud of. They make it a point to find players who are “Temple Tuff”. They pride themselves on finding the blue collar/ hard hitting player that can not only make a hit but take one and get back up. I guess we will find out if the second part is true next week. Temple host Villanova at Lincoln Financial Field next Saturday in the first renewal of the Mayor’s Cup in five years.