SportsDesk Weekly Profile: Logan Marchi

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One of the biggest questions coming into the 2017 season for the Temple Owls football program was “who’s going to lead the offense and take over the starting quarterback position?” For the past four years, Temple fans were used to seeing Phillip Walker under center.

After a long quarterback battle at summer camp, Logan Marchi stepped up and answered the question that everyone waited the entire off-season for an answer for. A redshirt sophomore, Marchi earned the nod at starting quarterback days before the opening game against Notre Dame. Last season, he was the number 2 quarterback on depth chart sitting behind Walker.

So far Marchi is off to solid start in his new role for the Owls. He has a 2-1 record as a starter, leads the AAC in passing yards with 767 yards to go along with 5 passing touchdowns. Not to mention he’s thrown 0 interceptions.

Marchi leads the AAC in passing, with 767 yards (Cred:// Zamani Feelings)

Born in Bristol, Conn, Marchi played quarterback at St. Paul Catholic high school in Bristol. In both his junior and senior years, he threw for 38 touchdowns. His senior year he threw for 3,220 yards. He was an ironman athlete in high school as he played both sides of the ball. He accumulated 38 tackles and 4 interceptions on defense. A two-star pro-style quarterback coming out of high school, Marchi received offers from Temple University and his hometown school, University of Connecticut. Marchi committed to Temple as part of the 2015 recruiting class.

As the 2017 season goes on, Marchi is showing signs of improvement in the new offense as the starting quarterback and showing growth as a leader. The Owls have a young offensive core and with Marchi as the starting quarterback leading the charge, the future’s very bright for Temple.

Even with the impressive stats through the first three weeks of the season, Marchi knows he still has room to improve.

“For me, just staying consistent, can’t have one big play and then a couple bad plays,” said Marchi after practice on Tuesday. “Converting on third downs, and scoring in the red zone is  probably on two biggest things right now that we gotta work on offensively.”

Marchi received AAC Weekly Honor Roll for his efforts against UMass, after throwing for 248 yards and three touchdowns. Marchi, a first year starter, has impressed his first year head coach Geoff Collins to this point in the season.

“The way he studies film, the way he takes every advantage vs. the scout team. I’ve been really proud of him.”

Marchi has already etched his name into the Temple record books, as he has thrown for the most yards in Temple history of any quarterback in their first three career starts.

One aspect of his game that was missing until the UMass game was Marchi’s ability to run the ball. He showed glimpses of his running ability against the minutemen, but will look to get more opportunities on the ground to keep the defense honest.

“He was banged up early in camp,” said offensive Coordinator Dave Patenaude. “He ran the ball pretty well the other night. In the plays where he had a read, as part of it, he was 100%.”

True Freshman Todd Centeio made his Temple debut against UMass, but according to Patenaude, it’s of no fault to Marchi. He alluded to the fact that Marchi is playing at an all league level as to why fans should not expect a quarterback change in the near future, even with the talent the Owls have at the position.

Marchi will look to use his legs as the season progresses to keep the defense honest (Cred:// Zamani Feelings)

With all the confidence surrounding Marchi coming from the locker room, and the coaching staff, the team will look to compete against USF Tomorrow night. The key for Marchi, is starting fast, and staying on the field.

“Trying to stay on the field, for the defense, to get them some rest, is key this week,” said Marchi. “It’s definitely something we’re trying to do. Go out, start early, have a good first series, and put the ball in the endzone.”

The Owls enter as a 19.5 point underdog a year after beating the Bulls at home 46-30. The play of Marchi will be key if the Owls want to keep pace in the division, and return to their third straight AAC championship appearance.

SportsDesk Weekly Profile: Sharif Finch

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Temple Athletics produced this graphic to spotlight Sharif Finch’s single digit honor during the off season. // Credit: Temple Athletics

As a player of the Temple University football team, one of the highest honors you can obtain is by earning a single digit jersey. Some of Temple football legends have worn single digits during their tenure at the school. Names such as Tyler Matakevich, Tavon Young and Haason Reddick. To wear a single digit at Temple means you represent what it means to be “Temple Tuff.” This year, Sharif Finch represented that at camp and earned himself a membership to the single digit club.

Finch is a 5th year senior, looking to make a huge impact during his last ride as an Owl. Started his collegiate career as a linebacker but converted into a defensive end his sophomore year as he showed blatant ability to get to the quarterback. In 2016, Finch battled chronic knee injuries that only allowed him to play in just four games. Due to the injures, he was granted a medical redshirt, giving him another year of eligibility of college football.

Finch spent his high school football days playing linebacker at Henrico High School located in Virginia. He led the team in every defensive category his junior and senior year. His junior year he racked up 161 tackles to go along with 10.5 sacks. As a senior, he got a total of 123 tackles and 7 sacks. Finch was a two-star inside linebacker in the 2013 recruiting class. He go to receive offers from several schools including Richmond, Old Dominion, Hampton, East Carolina, and Temple. Per Rivals.com, he committed to Temple on February 5, 2013.

Finch is the active NCAA leader in blocked punts in a career with 5. // Credit: Getty Images

Finch is a special play waiting to happen as he enters to the 2017 season as the NCAA active leader in blocked punts with five of them. In the opening game against Norte Dame, Finch was quiet with just 3 tackles but quickly made up for it the next week in the Owls home opener against Villanova. Finch recorded 6 tackles, and 2 tackles for loss of 8 yards’ total. He also recovered a late fumble that sealed the deal for Temple’s first victory in the Geoff Collins era. As the season goes on, when the Temple Owls go on defense, it’s a guarantee you’ll see number 6 flying around and wherever the ball is at, that’s where he’s usually at.

SportsDesk Weekly Profile: Isaiah Wright

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4 receptions for 79 yards led the Owls in receiving in the season opener- which was 1 yard shy of top game receiver, Notre Dame’s Equanimeous St. Brown. // Credit: Getty Images

Sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Wright started the season hot, and is expected to make an explosive impact for the Temple Owls offense in their 2017 campaign. Wright possess raw natural talent and athleticism that makes him the ultimate dual threat on offense.

As a true freshman last season, Wright carried the ball 42 times racking up 232 yards to along with one rushing touchdown. He also caught 8 passes for 74 yards. As a kick returner, Wright returned 11 kickoffs for 278 yards.

Before Saturday, Wright was completing his senior season of high school football the last time Temple and Notre Dame met back on October 31, 2015. He was a two-way athlete, playing both sides of the ball at quarterback,  wide receiver and defensive back at Kingswood-Oxford high school in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a three-time conference honoree in high school.

To hear from Isaiah Wright during training camp, watch his Mic’d Up video from Temple Athletics. Disclaimer: Wright can land a front flip wearing full pads.

Isaiah Wright showed flashes of playmaking ability as a true freshman, now his workload will grow in year 2. // Credit: Philly.com

The Owls went into South Bend with a lot of confidence and high expectations as they had an excellent summer camp but unfortunately walked away with a loss. Wright snagged 4 catches for 79 yards in the season opener- and likely played more minutes due to Ventell Bryant’s lagging hamstring injury. In his chance to shine, he led the team in receiving yards and proved he can contribute to an offense in a big way. He’s already got a new career high in receiving yards for a season in just one game (74 rec. yards in 2016). Look out for number 13 in cherry and white this upcoming season as he looks to make an immediate impact on the field whenever his number is called.