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.
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.
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.