Temple Preview 2006 - Further Analysis
Temple Owls
Posted Aug 7, 2006

Temple Owls Preview 2006 - Temple Further Analysis

1st and Ten – Paging anyone who can take a snap – When an earthquake registers 9.7 on a Richter scale, it’s considered a major catastrophe.  When a team averages 9.7 points per game as an offense, although it pales in comparison to the impact of that strong of an earthquake, the word catastrophe takes on a whole new, yet equally just meaning.  That’s what the Temple offense did last year – they averaged less than 10 points a game, the aforementioned 9.7 PPG.  They didn’t score more than 17 points in any one game last season.  Ouch.  So, start at the top – can this George DeLeone coached offense find the right leader for this unit – a QB who can actually put pressure on a defense?  A QB who can get the Owls in scoring range throughout a game, not once every Saturday.  Colin Clancy, Joe DeSanzo, Shane Kelly and incoming freshman Jarrett Dunston will have their shot to take the job and when one of them does, he’ll take the job for a while (they’re all freshmen and sophomores).  DeLeone wants to have a QB who can think quickly on his feet and be quick with his feet.  He wants a dual threat guy who won’t beat his own offense with stupid mistakes.  Unfortunately, he might only get one of those traits in these young guys.  Clancy, DeSanzo and Kelly all got playing time last year as freshmen, with Joe D earning three starts last year.  But, if this position doesn’t get worked out early in fall camp and a leader doesn’t emerge, 9.7 points in a game might sound like a dream offensive performance.  It just won’t be the dream that DeLeone imagined when he took the job as offensive coordinator.

2nd and Seven – Five Fingers as a FIST – Arguably the best unit on the field this year for the Owls will be the offensive line.  Temple’s big uglies will return three starters, two from last year and one who sat out all of 2005 with an injury.  Elliott Seifert is widely recognized as one of the quickest and smartest offensive linemen in the MAC, already and center Alex Derenthal has a bright future in front of him.  Tariq Sanders returns after missing last year, and provides some good versatility to this line.  With a newbie behind center and a new offense being installed, this quintet will be under heavy pressure throughout the year to carry the offense.

3rd and Three – Could it get worse? – Former USC and Tampa Bay Buccaneer legendary coach John McKay once said about his team “We couldn’t block anyone and we made up for that by not tackling anyone either”.  Well, that was in response to the play of his expansion Bucs, but it could’ve been the 2005 Temple Owl defense he was referring to as well.  The defense was putrid giving up a whopping 45.3 points per game, and this year could be worse.  There are no play makers on this defensive unit that will change to a 3-4 under the leadership of former Penn State linebacker Mark D’Onofrio.  The defensive line has a great deal of inexperience.  The secondary has shifted some guys around (and perhaps lost Garrett Schultz, last year’s starting safety who left the team after spring practice).  Linebacker Ryan Gore is going to have his work cut out at outside backer, but he’s a strong, physical Philly kid, who should adapt well to the new Owl scheme.  Keep an eye on how many true freshmen get time on defense this year – it won’t bode well for this year, but the future could be bright.  Well, bright-er.

4th and One – The Owls find a new nest…finally – Playing a season with no championship possibilities in a conference that is ready to have you gone with a coaching staff that is as lame duck as it gets – well, let’s just say that you could see the 2005 season going down the toilet from jump.  Enter Al Golden, new Temple head coach, and one of the youngest in the nation.  But, along side the word “young”, put the word “recruiter”, which has to be music to the ears of the Temple fans/alums.  Players will turn this thing around, but what’ll make Golden’s job that much easier (if that’s possible) is the fact that he now has something to sell – MAC championships.  Sure, it’s not as sexy as winning the Big East, but you know what, a ring is a ring is a ring.  If it says “C-H-A-M-P-S” – who cares?  It’s hard to say that last year’s Owls were given a fair shake in the slightest, but with that debacle behind them, with a conference to now call home, Temple football is going to change for the better.  How much better is now up to the Golden Boy and his charges.

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