Another season of Temple Football is here, and as the Owls look to claim their third division title in four years, they will host the Villanova Wildcats at Lincoln Financial Field in their season opener.
Head Coach Geoff Collins has a strong team coming back this year after a 6-6 season and a bowl game win in his first season as head coach. QB Frank Nutile is back for his final season as starting QB for the Owls and has a strong stable of weapons on his offensive unit including graduate RB Ryquell Armstead, graduate WR Ventell Bryant and junior WR Isaiah Wright.
As the Temple Football tradition grows, Coach Collins, over the last few weeks, has released his ‘Single-Digit Tuff’ players for this season.
#1 WR Ventell Bryant
#2 S Delvon Randall
#3 C Matt Hennessy/LB Chapelle Russell
#4 FB Rob Ritrovato
#5 LB Shaun Bradley
#6 DB Rock Ya-Sin
#7 RB Ryquell Armstead
#8 QB Frank Nutile
#9 DT Michael Dogbe
In his press conference, Collins spoke to this decision of giving Ventell Bryant the #1 jersey. “9:30 at night, Ventell Bryant is out on the field catching balls. 9:30 at night after he gets the single-digit. People as why guys get single-digits, it’s because of that. He earned it, he worked hard, he’s out there being a positive role model for our guys,” Collins said.
Defensively, the Owls are returning a good group of starters that will be a force to be reckoned with. DT’s Dan Archibong and Michael Dogbe hold down the line while LB’s Shaun Bradley, Sam Franklin and Chapelle Russell look to carry over their successes from last season. CB Linwood Crump and S Delvon Randall also look forward to another successful season in the defensive backfield.
This Saturday afternoon at 12PM Temple takes on Villanova, a team they haven’t had issues with in the last few years. In their last 3 meetings, Temple has outscored the Wildcats 114-41. The closest of those being a 16-13 win last season at home. Coach Collins definitely has not forgotten last season’s affair and knows what this rivalry means to the fan base. “If I see a Temple fan, that’s what they say, ‘Villanova is a big game.’ I understand it’s a rivalry to our fans, it’s a big game to us, every game is a big game. We take them with the most amount of respect you can give somebody,” Collins said.
The two teams are tied for the overall series 16-16-2, and with a win, the Owls would not only have the advantage in the series, it would give them a fifth straight win over the Wildcats.
This week’s captains will be S Delvon Randall, RB Ryquell Armstead, QB Frank Nutile and DT Michael Dogbe.
The game is set to kick-off at 12PM from Lincoln Financial Field in South Philadelphia. It will be broadcasted on ESPNNews and on the radio on 97.5 The Fanatic.