Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Temple Owls season with what you need to know.
2018 Record: 8-5 overall, 7-1 in AAC
Head Coach: Rod Carey, 1st year
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE TEMPLE OFFENSE
– The offense was sort of weird. It didn’t crank up a ton of yards, but it was ultra-effective and amazing at taking advantage of seemingly every break. Putting up points in bunches wasn’t a problem, but five starters have to be replaced and the new coaching staff has to find a bit more explosion. However, head coach Rod Carey is more than happy to rely on a tough defense and great offensive line, and …
– He’s got a great offensive line. Four starters are back on one of the best lines in the AAC. It led the league with the fewest sacks allowed, did a good job when needed for the ground game – but it could’ve been stronger – and it should be just as good with a whole lot of toughness around guard Jovahn Fair and center Matt Hennessy.
– Carey knew how to get a running game going at Northern Illinois, but he doesn’t get 2018 star back Ryquell Armstead and No. 2 back Rob Ritrovato. Senior Jager Gardner is a big 6-2, 215-pounder 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. Junior Tyliek Raynor can fly – he’ll be used in a variety of ways.
– The new coaching staff gets a veteran talent at quarterback, but Anthony Russo has to cut down on the picks and be more accurate. He’s a 6-4, 230-pound passer with a live arm and all the tools, but he’s not quite the runner that Carey likes to have in his offenses.
Even so, Russo is the main man with sophomore Todd Centeio a bit more of a mobile option and redshirt freshman Trad Beatty in interesting left-handed talent to throw into the equation.
– Losing top target Ventell Bryant stinks, but junior Branden Mack is a 6-5, 215-pound go-to guy who led the team with five touchdowns on his 44 grabs for 601 yards. Randle Jones is a speedster who averaged over 19 yards per catch and Isaiah Wright is a big 6-2, 220-pound physical midrange guy. 6-5, 230-pound junior Kenny Yeboah is back at tight end coming off a 13-catch season.