Chandler Could Break Special Record

Phillip Walker will be happy when he doesn’t have to throw over Sean Chandler.

Thirty-five years ago, a kid came out of nowhere to set a Temple record and, in the process, lead the nation in interceptions.

Sam Shaffer, a safety who could play the middle of the field like a baseball centerfielder, had nine interceptions for the 1981 Owls.

Since then, we haven’t seen a guy with Shaffer’s vision in the middle of the field and his break on the ball skills until now. Appropriately enough, his nickname is Champ. For now, Shaffer is the champion of Temple interceptors and Champ is the, err, challenger. In a few months, those roles could be flip-flopped.


Shaffer was 1981, not 1971, when he joined the list of these TU national stat leaders.

We cannot say for sure that Sean Chandler will lead the nation in interceptions, like Sam Shaffer did, but by putting Chandler at safety, he will definitely challenge Shaffer’s all-time single season mark with the Owls. Since it is August 17, we will go on record as saying Chandler will tie the regular-season mark with nine and add at least one in the postseason.

Temple head coach Matt Rhule kicked the offense off the field in practice on Tuesday and there are a couple of conclusions that could be made. The offense could be that bad or the defense could be that good and, for the sake of our own sanity, we will go with the latter. Chandler is just one piece of what has been a dominating defense in the summer and he should benefit from an improved pass rush and the overall speed of the defense.

Shaffer, though, should be remembered.

He twice victimized Todd Blackledge in a 30-0 loss to second-ranked Penn State on Oct. 3, increasing his total to five and took over the national lead in interceptions. Number six cam in a 24-13 win over Cincinnati and equaled the Temple record of seven — set in 1952 by Larry Cardonick — with a pick against Oliver Luck in the Owls’ 24-19 loss to West Virginia.

In the season finale against top-ranked Pitt,  Shaffer intercepted two Marino passes to eclipse Cardonick’s long-standing mark. His eighth and ninth interceptions came against a pretty good quarterback named Dan Marino.

We haven’t seen a Sam Shaffer play for Temple until now and, while he’s a challenger for a special record, he should be a Champ before long.

Friday: 5 Stats for Winners


6 thoughts on “Chandler Could Break Special Record

  1. Mike,

    As a follow-up to my comment on BP the other day. He’s been officially placed on injured reserve. I am unsure of nfl rules, but assume that this means he might be out for the year. Does anyone know better?

    Also, the Post today was complimentary of Robby Anderson. There was a side note of how impressive he’s been. Maybe Robby has a shot of making the team?

    • He’s probably got to perform in these preseason games. He caught a pass from Bryce Petty that the Post said “would have been a touchdown” in the back of the end zone against the Jaguars but was “forced out of bounds.” I assume that’s a pass interference penalty. The thing that burns me up and bums me out is that he would be the best receiver in the Eagles’ camp, but he’s facing a lot of tougher competition at Florham Park.

  2. nice piece Mike on Sam Shaffer

    think we’ll be playing more nickel and zone this year than last.., we have depth at DB even though we don’t have a shut down corner.., this is the first year in recent memory the defense is truly two deep at every position.., it should give Snow plenty of options…,

    i’m worried about the OL.., we have the skill and speed.., if the OL shows up and develops into a consistent cohesive unit this offense is capable of breaking school records

    • Thanks, KJ. I think the problem with the OL is two-fold: 1) Our defense is out-quicking them and they are getting frustrated; 2) While Dawkins and McGowan are proven, the only person close to being proven is Brian Carter. Remember, Carter was a STARTING defensive tackle in 2014 (UCF game). He was flopped over as an emergency measure and I think he had a lot more fun hitting people as a defender than he does looking for someone to block. Other than Dawkins and McGowan, they have to get a lot nastier on the OL. Phil Walker said as much in the spring. There’s got to be someone that wants the job.

      • target hit on the assessment…, w/AG we had the OL play but not A+ speed and talent at the skill positions. now we have just the opposite..,

        guess we just have to trust the process and hope this new OL coach will eventually make a difference.., so far the kids have not responded well to his coaching style..

  3. Nice piece Mike.

    My fullback in highschool was Mike Gibsoñ.
    All these years I have been reading your work…and I got you confused with my highschool fullback.
    I am just now…figuring things out.


    PS. Im rooting for the new FS.


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