Last weekend the Temple Owls took on Notre Dame. Unfortunately, the Owls were no match for the Irish as they fell to the score of 49-16.
There were many parts of the Temple football units that seemed to contribute to their loss, but the offensive line noticeably struggled. Throughout the game, the fighting Irish was able to put constant pressure on quarterback Logan Marchi. Marchi was able to avoid some of the pressure, but was still sacked 3 times for a total loss of 20 yards. This constant pressure resulted in missed opportunities for the Owls’ offense — most notably the inability to fully capitalize on Mike Jones’ interception in the 3rd quarter.
The offensive line’s struggles came to a head in the rushing game. Even with a proven running back in Ryquell Armstead, they were only able to muster 85 total rushing yards. Armstead accounted for 67 of those yards on 19 attempts averaging 3.5 yards per carry. The next highest rusher was Jager Garner with a mere 19 yards. The Owls’ line struggled to get an initial push at the line of scrimmage which resulting in this lack of production. The only Temple football player who was an effective blocker was Nick Sharga. Sharga routinely made good blocks setting up running lanes for Armstead.
Temple should fare better against Villanova. Nova scarcely beat Lehigh 38-35 this past weekend. While the Wildcats played great against the run (78 yards allowed, 2.7 ypc), the team barely blitzed. This will result in less pressure on Marchi and allow him to play within the offense. It is important to note that Nova’s defense is built to produced without constant pressure on the quarterback. Instead they play within the system, put their “No Fly Zone” defensive backs on an island and putting a massive amount of trust in their linebacking core.
Expect the Owls to fix their mistakes against Villanova this Saturday at 3:30.
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