Temple football has a tall task coming up in taking on Notre Dame. Perhaps the tallest task for the team will be taking on the Fighting Irish’s offensive line.
Last season, Pro Football Focus ranked Notre Dame as the #1 preseason offensive line in the NCAA. Of that group, 4 of 5 starters are returning. Mike McGlinchey, Quenton Nelson, Sam Mustipher and Alex Bars are the lineman coming back. The open spot on the offensive line is right tackle. Tommy Kraemer, Liam Eichenberg and Robert Hainsey all are in the mix for that spot.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com commented on Notre Dame’s impressive front.
“The strength of the team will be along the offensive line and specifically the left side with Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson. Nelson might be the most effective run blocker I studied on tape this summer and McGlinchey is an ace in pass protection. Notre Dame has two quality tight ends and exciting young prospects in Equanimeous St. Brown and Josh Adams. Defensively, the Irish are a little light on talent with Jerry Tillery, Nyles Morgan and Drue Tranquill as some of the draftable talent.”
CBS, Fox, Pro Football Focus and other websites already list 6’8″ McGlinchey as a top-10 pick in next year’s draft.
To make matters worse, the Fighting Irish have one of the best up-and-coming running backs in Josh Adams. Adams totaled a career high 933 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns and averaged 6.4 yards per carry. Now with an even more experienced offensive line, expect Adams to breakout.
Temple football will struggle to penetrate this offensive line and stop Adams. This year they lost all of their starting defensive line except Michael Dogbe- even though it isn’t as bad as it sounds. On the ends will be experience in Jacob Martin and Sharif Finch, and Freddy Booth-Lloyd will likely fill in the other starting DT role.
The Owls also lost all 3 of their starting linebackers. Young guys like Chapelle Russell, Shaun Bradley, and William Kwenkeu will now likely be pushed into the starting lineup as leaders of the defense. As physical and gifted as the coaches have praised the linebackers to be, game experience is a huge factor. Especially in week one. At Notre Dame.