Temple starting defensive projections

They said it couldn’t be done, but we have college football in 2020

We’re getting thisclose … thisclose … to a real football season judging my the weather patterns.

Almost always the weather moves from West to East and, if the Austin Peay football game over the weekend was an indication, it’s going to be raining footballs at Navy on Sept. 26.

Austin Peay made sure the guy who wrote this has egg on his face this morning

The players there proved you can play a fun game and it can still be fun and the fans there showed that, if you can wear a mask and do high fives six feet apart, you don’t have to sacrifice a season. Look at it this way: If you can wear a mask and shop for groceries, you can wear a mask and go to a football game.

Gasparilla Bowl defensive MVP William Kwenkeu (35) had two sacks in the win over FIU in 2017.

So I’m feeling better for the Temple football Owls today. If the city allows the Owls the same rights the other birds in town, the Eagles, have, then Temple should be ready for a football season. If not, as Al Golden said in the past, all the Owls need is to-find a 100-yard patch and the will be ready. Owls have two of those at Ambler.

What we do know is that this team is in relatively good shape on offense.

Defense is going to be a little more challenging. The Owls have to replace their best pass rusher, Quincy Roche, who pulled a Benedict Arnold and transferred to Miami. The coaches did their best to replace him, grabbing a P5 transfer in Manny Walker, but he would have to be awfully impressive to replace the AAC defensive player of the year. He should line up where Roche did. It’s up to him to match the production.

Owls held their preseason camp at The Cherry Hill Inn (1974 here) and finished 8-2, proving all you need to get ready is a field, goal posts and permission to hit.

Our defensive starting projections:

DE: Manny Walker (6-4,250) and Layton Jordan (6-2, 210); DT: Dan Archibong (6-6, 300) and Ifeanyi Maijeh (6-2, 285); LBs: Isaiah Graham-Mobley (6-2, 225), Audley Isaacs (6-1, 227) and William Kwenkeu (6-1, 230); S: Amir Tyler (6-0, 195) and DaeSean Winston (6-2, 200); CBs: Christian Braswell (5-10, 178) and Linwood Crump Jr (6-0, 175). For the mathematically challenged (and we had one of those last week), that’s two DEs, two DTs=4; plus 3LBS=7; two safeties=9 and two corners=11.

First impressions: That’s a lot of inexperience to create an edge rush but the Owls also have another defensive end, Arnold Ebiketie, who was a healthy part of the end rotation last year and could challenge for a starting spot if one of those falter. Pretty good depth at the corner position as Ty Mason and Freddie Johnson both have AAC starts under their belts behind the even more experienced duo of Crump and Braswell. Both Mason (Tulsa) and Braswell (UConn) have pick 6s on their resumes. Safety Amir Tyler is a solid single-digit player and Kwenkeu was the defensive MVP of the Gasparilla Bowl win way back in 2017. IGM might be the best NFL prospect on the team, even though Dan Archibong is a solid DT and fellow DT Maijeh is a returning AAC first-teamer.

Second impressions: Depth is better in years past because of people like Mason, Johnson and tackles Kevin Robertson and Khris Banks. George Reid, from Abington High (thanks, Rob Krause!), has had plenty of playing time at safety and outside linebacker and M.J. Griffin is a prized recruit ready to come into his own at safety.

Now it’s just a matter of getting these guys on the field against a real opponent. If Austin Peay can get it done, so should Temple.

Friday: Special Teams

Monday: Do You Ever Get The Feeling?


19 thoughts on “Temple starting defensive projections

  1. How dare you, Mike. George Reid went to Abington, NOT CHELTENHAM!

  2. BTW. Ain’t it just TOOO precious, that the wonderful Philly Mayor, Kenny , spotted enjoying indoor dining at an establishment in Maryland.

    That’s a politician for you.
    I wish he had chocked on his clam-chowder.
    Another Philly Large Mouth Bass-terd, for you.
    He get’s elected automatically with the Philly vote.

    Yet out doors football is UNSAFE here.

  3. Owls finally scrimmaged. Ranked 8th in a pre-season media poll according to Narducci. .

    • In the nation? 🙂

      • Sorry AAC. Sorry. Thought I included the article in my post. Temple was ranked eighth among the 11 American Athletic Conference teams in the preseason media poll (This reporter had the Owls 6th): 1. Central Florida, 2. Cincinnati, 3. Memphis, 4. SMU, 5. Navy, 6. Tulane, 7. Houston, 8. Temple, 9. Tulsa, 10. East Carolina, 11. South Florida.

      • Memphis lost their top RB who opted out (the best RB in the league in my opinion, Kenny. G.) and UCF lost 10 players who opted out. Only Ty Mason (backup corner) has opted out so far at Temple to my knowledge. We could be moving up with a bullet. What I don’t like is that Navy will have played two competitive games before us we’re practicing with one hand tied behind our backs (The City of Philadelphia) while the Eagles are allowed to do whatever they want. If we win Navy, watch out. We could go 7-1. If we lose, probably headed for a 4-4 season.

  4. It will be interesting to see if slimming down will help Russo. There were many times my fellow tailgaters and I noticed that he seemed 20 pounds overweight altho we said it with a little less tact. To truly run the RPO, he has to run the ball, something he did not do until the very end of the season.

  5. TU administration fails again, So far no extra games. Both Memphis and SMU are playing Saturday on TV. Don’t want to hear from TU administration that they were restricted by the City when the Eagles are practicing. Football is football and it’s pure nonsense that the Eagles are doing more than TU to protect the players. I want to know if anyone even asked about allowing contact at practice. What do all those athletic department employees do all day?

  6. Again I ask: Is there a TV schedule for Temple’s games, which stations, etc.?

    • TV schedules are typically only set two weeks in advance due to ESPN’s demanding flexibility in contracts so it’s completely understandable there is no Temple TV sked now. I guarantee you that every Temple game will be on no less than ESPN3 and, with only 76 teams playing, Temple will probably set a season record for number of games on ESPN or ESPN2 (and that’s accounting for only an eight-game schedule). Hell, the Navy game will probably be the only one not on ESPN (CBS Sports Network has contract to all Navy, Army and Air Force games and likes to stagger those games on a noon-3:30-7 basis.)

  7. Inky reports today that ten UCF players have decided to sit out.

    • Good players, not their 10 best, but it’s like 10 Temple Owls decided to opt out who are starters. We had one backup corner (an area where we are strong) opt out. I hope that’s it. This could be a year that the team with the least attrition wins the AAC title. Cincy and us are in very good shape. Not so much UCF and Memphis.

      • They will be weak in linemen. Today second team linemen on both sides of the ball get significant time. if their starters get hurt they’re in trouble. Navy concerns me more than anything especially the way they finished last year.

  8. Mike, I hate to admit it but I did not go to the Cincy game last year – considered it but opted out. Being a cheap skate I didn’t want to have to spend a night in a motel since it was a late starting game – 2 1/2 hours each way for me. Anyway you can see games better on TV and no costs. Years ago when I lived in Nashville I followed Temple all over the southeast going to SEC games (plus Louisville). Living in Ohio, I’ve been to several MAC/Temple games and I want to get to a bowl game sometime – bucket list thing. Anyway…….

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