The closest thing Philadelphia drive-time sports talk radio got around to talking about the Temple’s impending bowl game tomorrow was on the Mike Missanelli Show two days ago.
Missanelli was making a point about trading Carson Wentz for a No. 1 and keeping Nick Foles to run the show and mentioned the name of the Duke quarterback as a draft possibility should the Eagles designate Foles as a placeholder for the next couple of years.
“They could even draft a guy this year,” he said. “Let’s look at the list of projected No. 1 NFL quarterbacks. How about that Daniel Jones of Duke? If you reject the notion that Wentz is the last franchise quarterback the NFL draft will ever produce, and I do, then now is the time to get rid of Wentz and get something for him. You can draft a guy like Daniel Jones, have him learn from Foles for a couple of years and then he could turn out to be as good as Wentz. You never know.”
I thought that was a lead-in to talking about the Temple-Duke game, but Missanelli beat about 20 other Eagles’ topics to death and left Daniel Jones floating out there. Philly talk show hosts probably don’t even know Temple is playing in the Independence Bowl against Duke (1:30 p.m., ESPN) tomorrow but the Owls can certainly open some eyes with a big win.
First, there will be a lot of draftniks watching Jones to form their own opinion of him and, second, there is another very talented quarterback on the field named Anthony Russo who can establish a reputation of his own with a good game. There was a terrific story by Marc Narducci on Russo’s wearing a 40-year-old Bishop Egan jersey that his dad wore as a QB there. I also have a jersey over 40-years old–my game jersey for The Temple News’ intramural basketball team–but it has not survived as well so I don’t know how he preserved it.
Jones still has a year of eligibility but it would be crazy for a projected first-round pick to come back to college. Jones checks all of the boxes. Like Wentz, he’s 6-foot-5 and, like Wentz, he can do damage with his feet. He had two runs in excess of 60 yards in a 42-35 win over North Carolina. Jones will be looking to move up the draft board with a strong game against Temple because he hurt his prospects some in a 59-7 loss to Wake Forest in his last game. He was 17-of-36 for 145 yards and a Pick 6.
He’ll be motivated but facing a Temple secondary with two NFL hopefuls in safety Delvon Randall and corner Rock Ya-Sin. Since Duke coach David Cutcliffe is adept at breaking down film, expect Jones to try to attack Linwood Crump Jr.’s side of the field. Crump has been pretty solid as well, but sliding over Randall in help is probably the way interim coach Ed Foley is leaning.
Temple is a four-point favorite, but there’s very little to base that upon since there are no common foes. Interestingly enough, this fall Duke owns wins over both the incoming Temple coach (20-12 at Miami) and the team the outgoing Temple coach (28-14 at Georgia Tech) is taking over so there will be bragging rights to be had for the Owls. Another twist is that Duke beat Baylor and Matt Rhule, for what that’s worth. If the Owls can pull this off, it will be their most prestigious bowl win since beating California, 28-17, in the 1979 Garden State Bowl so there is plenty at stake.
If Temple controls the clock behind Ryquell Armstead and Russo is effective in the short passing game, Jones won’t be able to do too much damage.
Friday: Game Analysis
Monday: Infante Impact