2008 Temple Owls Football Preview
Temple Owls - Mid-Amercian Conference
Temple 2007 Record: (4-8, 4-4)
2007 Bowl: none
Temple Head Coach: Al Golden (5-19 at Temple, 5-19 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Matt Rhule
Defensive Coordinator: Mark D’Onofrio
Returning Leaders for Temple:
Other Key Returnees: DE Leyon Azubuike, QB Vaughn Charlton, OT Derek Dennis, C Alex Derenthal, G Andrew Douglas, OT Jabari Ferguson, S Jaiquawn Jarrett, LB Alex Joseph, LB Amara Kamara, DT Terrance Knighton, DT Andre Neblett, CB Jamal Schulters
Key Losses: FB Josh Bundy, CB Abloye Oyeyemi
Normally, in the football world, saying everybody is back does not literally mean everybody. It does not in this case either, but this is as close as it is going to get. Twenty-six players saw action offensively at Temple and fullback Josh Bundy is the only one not coming back. The number was 27 on the defensive side of the ball and corner Abloye Oyeyemi is the lone departure.
Temple's 2008 Strengths:
Now that is experience and Coach Al Golden is building something special at Temple. Not that he will be around long after if something special does happen. The recruiting classes have been great and year three of the new regime is the year where things start to happen. The defense led the conference in pass defense and total defense and there is no reason for that not to happen again. The line is led by nose tackle Andre Neblett and Leyon Azubuike and Terrance Knighton are both experienced seniors. Obviously everybody, literally, is back from the linebacker corps, but players like junior Brian Sanford and sophomore Elijah Joseph have enough talent to unseat some of the returning starters. Strong safety Dominique Harris is one of the best in the conference.
Temple's 2008 Weaknesses:
After eight games last year, quarterback Adam DiMichele was sidelined with a broken leg. In three of the four games without their signal caller, the Owls scored a touchdown or less. Backup Vaughn Charlton took all the reps in the spring while DiMichele was still recovering and that experience will help Charlton if DiMichele goes down with another injury or is not fully recovered as expected by the time the season gets underway. But even if DiMichele is healthy, the offense has some problems. The line gave up 3.75 sacks per game and running back Jason Harper, who led the team with 586 yards on the ground, is now at wide receiver. Former wide receiver Marquise Liverpool is expected to attempt to spark a struggling ground game.
The Bottom Line for the Owls:
The offense needs do better than last in the conference in rushing offense, total offense and scoring offense if they expect to win the MAC East. The Owls can win some of those low scoring games, but the defense did give up 48 points to Bowling Green and 37 to Army last season. The defense can only do so much and the offense needs to pull their weight.
2007 Team Stats for Temple:
Rushing Offense: 93.25 (108 th in nation, 13 th in conference)
Passing Offense: 207.58 (73, 9)
Total Offense: 300.83 (112, 13)
Scoring Offense: 16.42 (116, 13)
Rushing Defense: 164.67 (70, 3)
Pass Defense: 198.75 (21, 1)
Total Defense: 363.42 (44, 1)
Scoring Defense: 26.25 (53, 2)
Turnover Margin: .00 (55, 7)
Sacks: 1.67 (88, 10)
Sacks Allowed: 3.75 (112, 13)
By Joel Welser
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