2019 Temple Football Season Preview
A new coach brings along a new system–will Temple football continue their winning ways? That is the question of 2019…
2018 Record: 8-5 overall, 7-1 in AAC
Head Coach: Rod Carey, 1st year
The Temple offense wasn’t spectacular last season, but they took advantage of their opportunities and were excellent when the team needed them.
Back is their signal caller Anthony Russo, who has the talent to light up the AAC but needs to improve his decision-making. His arm is powerful and he believes he can make every throw–but he can’t and will ultimately need to cut down his interception totals.
The offensive line returns four starters and is the lifeblood of this unit. It led the conference with the fewest sacks allowed, did a good job when needed for the ground game and should do the same thing in 2019.
Rod Carey does not get to utilize the duo of Ryquell Armstead and Rob Ritrovato in his first season at the helm of the Owls–Armstead took his talents to the pros and Ritrovato has graduated. Instead, he’ll have senior Jager Gardner, who ran for 253 yards last season and will see plenty of action early on, but it’ll take a rotation to get it done with junior Jeremy Jennings and redshirt freshman Kyle Dobbins adding more dash to the backfield.
Wide receiver also loses their best player from a season ago in Ventell Bryant–but they do have some depth behind him with 6’5 junior Branden Mack, deep-threat Randle Jones and Isaiah Wright who is a physical presence at 6’2 220-pounds.
The defense carried this team at times last year–and they return six starters along with four of the top seven tacklers.
Rock-Ya Sin is gone at one corner, but Baylor transfer Harrison Hand is an excellent get to step right in, and Linwood Crump is back on the other side. The senior combination of Benny Walls and Keyvone Bruton have to rise up and rock at safety with the loss of stars Delvon Randall and Jyquis Thomas. Sam Franklin is an excellent 63-tackle Rover who can work in a variety of spots.
Linebacker may be the most talented position group on the team this season with Shaun Bradley and Chapelle Russell leading the way. Both are arguably two of the best linebacker’s in the entire conference.
The defensive line will need to show they can handle themselves–there’s not a ton of bulk on the inside, but there’s just enough experience to compete on every down.
Temple has a chance to be a strong team under new head man Rod Carey, but will the bounces go their way the way they did last season? Certainly no guarantee.
The Owls get Maryland and Georgia Tech in Lincoln Financial, and they host UCF in an East showdown and Memphis and Tulane in tough battles against the West. They’re going to have to win at least three of those five games, though.
I am predicting a sub-par 2019 campaign for new head coach Rod Carey–they have the talent to be successful in the AAC, but it is rare to see a team get lucky two years in a row and that is what happened last season.