What Mathis being named starter means …

About this time five months ago, new Temple head coach Stan Drayton gave tepid praise to incumbent quarterback starter D’Wan Mathis, saying this:

“We’re going to bring in some guys to compete with him.”

If Mathis can become a fan favorite in Georgia, he can do that in Philadelphia too.

That was after the Cherry and White game. Nice game for Mathis, but nothing special.

True to his word, Drayton brought in those guys–Elijah Warner and former Virginia Tech starter Quincy Patterson–and, after a healthy competition, Mathis retained his job.

At least for the Duke opener.

Thursday, Mathis was named the starter for the Duke game one week from tonight and that can only mean one thing.

Former Michigan State, Ohio State, and Georgia commit D’Wan Mathis is shown here starting the 2020 opener for Georgia.

Mathis, a former Elite 11 four-star quarterback, rose to the occasion to beat out Patterson, a former Elite 11 four-star quarterback.

We’ve checked the game notes of the other 10 AAC teams and none of them have an Elite 11 quarterback.

Temple now has two.

Duke has none and that’s one reason why you’ve got to like Temple’s chances a week from now (7:30 p.m., ACC Network).

It’s not even fair to say Mathis showed flashes of his Elite 11 quality in the 2021 season.

He showed flash as in one, the Memphis game. If Mathis showed flashes, maybe the Owls steal a win or two in the other AAC games. It was a damn good flash (35-for-49, three touchdowns) but it was a one-and-done nonetheless.

We needed to see more and it’s an even better sign that Drayton needed to see more.

Now he has.

Maybe he’s a guy who needs a fire lit under him and, in Patterson, that’s a lot of lighter fluid.

Patterson went 7-0 as a North Dakota State starter last year and, except for Cincinnati, you can make a strong argument that North Dakota State would have beaten every other AAC team, including Houston and UCF.

He’s a nice insurance policy to have should Mathis falter.

So far, Mathis has shown no signs of faltering and that’s a good thing. This is the third-straight year that Mathis has won a starting job. He started for Georgia in the 2020 home opener and Temple in the 2021 opener at Rutgers, beating out another Elite 11 quarterback (Re’al Mitchell) for the honor.

Memphis was objectively a better team than Duke last year so is 35-for-49 and three touchdowns out of the question next week?

Certainly not and, if Mathis puts up those numbers again, the Owls are guaranteed to have a nice flight home.

Monday: All’s Quiet on The Southern Front

Friday: Temple-Duke Preview

Saturday: Duke Game Analysis

11 thoughts on “What Mathis being named starter means …

  1. Great article, keep up the great work. Excited to attend games once again!

  2. Mike,
    For those of us who do not have cable….what is the ACC channel and can we find it in a bar somewhere? Or can the game be streamed? Any ideas?

    • I also cut the cord a couple of years ago. I’m assuming my ESPN+ subscription ($4.99 or so a month) will get me the ACC channel. I will check tonight but my backup plan is taking out a free YoutubeTV subscription (which definitely does have ACC channel) and canceling it after a week. I will be making all of the home games.

  3. This video popped up on my YouTube feed.

    • Saw it a couple of years ago. Guy had a point

    • Joe, watching the Florida A&M vs. North Carolina game on my ESPN+ now … so anyone with ESPN+ gets the ACC Network. They are promoting the hell out of Temple vs. Duke so I’m confident I will get that game Friday night. Bad news: Got word from my Amazon Prime account that my ESPN+ subscription went from $4.99 to $9.99. That’s OK. I was stealing money with that for four years. Where else can I watch Temple minor (err, Olympic) sports for free?

      • Interesting that the refs are from our conference (AAC). Refs at Duke will also be from the AAC as the two conferences exchange refs for home games (ACC refs had the 24-2 Temple win over Georgia Tech in 2019).

  4. PJ Walker stands tall in the history of TUFB Championship QBs. Mathis, Patterson, and Warner chase his greatness.

  5. sup w/#91? is he hurt, or fallen out of grace? Thought he was tracking a single digit? dunno?

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