It’s hard to believe Temple football had its first losing season since 2014 last year. The program that seemed to never get any momentum for decades had 5 winning seasons, two of which were 10 win campaigns. In 2021 the Owls are now looking to get back to being a consistently tough team in the AAC.
D’Wan Mathis looks to fill the much needed role at quarterback. If you aren’t familiar, D’Wan had to be rushed into emergency surgery after a University of Georgia doctor found fluid build up and a cyst on his brain. He eventually got the starting nod for the Bulldogs in 2020, but struggled against Arkansas and was eventually replaced. He is listed at 6’6 205lbs, and has some legs to escape pressure. He does struggle throwing on the run, and under pressure. He will have some help on offense with returning wide receiver Jaden Blue. Blue has some big play ability and will be the leader of this receiving corps. Temple also added transfer running back Ra’Von Bonner from Illinois, giving the Owls some depth at the skill positions.
On defense the Owls have upperclassmen everywhere to help young rising stars such as Jordan Magee at linebacker and Trey Blair at safety. The defensive line could be a weakness, because of the amount transfers that will have to contribute on the front four. The linebackers and secondary will be improved, and this defense as a whole can take a huge step forward in 2021 if the defensive line settles in early.
Temple could very well go bowling this year. Both the offense and defense will be better and more consistent throughout the year, especially if the defensive line can get off on the right foot. Mathis will have some struggles in the passing game, and his offensive line will have to make him feel comfortable in the pocket. The last three game stretch of the year will be the ones to pay attention to. On November 13th Houston will come to “The Linc”. The Cougars lack of defense will be perfect for an Owl offense that will have already hit their stride setting up an Owl upset in Philly. Temple will then travel for one of their toughest road tests in Tulsa. The Golden Hurricanes return a lot of their production from a team that went 6-3, with two of the losses coming against power five programs. This is a game Temple will most likely drop, setting up the season finale against Navy to determine if the Owls will be bowl eligible. By the end of the season the defense as a whole should be able to have the discipline and chemistry to slow down Navy’s flexbone triple-option attack, and avenge a heartbreaking loss that started last season off on a sour note.