4. College Football News Preview 2020: Temple Owls Defense 3 Things To Know
– The defense that held seven teams to 17 points or fewer has to undergo a major overhaul of talent. The biggest problem early on might be on the ends for a pass rush that finished 14th in the nation and 15th in tackles for loss.
Quincy Roche took his talents and 13 sacks to South Beach to be on the Miami line, and Zack Mesday is done. The addition of Wake Forest transfer Manny Walker should help, and junior Arnold Ebiketie has a little experience, but it’s going to take a lot to replace Roche.
The interior, though, is good around 6-2, 285-pound Ifeanyi Maijeh at one tackle – he was second on the team with 6.5 sacks – next to 6-6, 300-pound senior Daniel Archibong.
– Losing the starting ends hurts, and having to replace the top three linebackers – the team’s top three tacklers – isn’t going to be fun, either.
Step One is replacing Shaun Bradley and his team-leading 87 tackles in the middle. After sitting out last year to keep a year of eligibility, 6-1, 230-pound senior William Kwenkeu will get the first look. Senior Isaiah Graham-Mobley made 36 tackles in the rotation, and a slew of true freshmen will get their shot for time.
– As if losing the top ends and all the starting linebackers wasn’t bad enough, losing star CB Harrison Hand early to the Minnesota Vikings doesn’t help, and not having fifth-leading tackler Benny Walls around at safety is another piece needing to be replaced.
Senior Amir Tyler is the team’s leading returning tackler after making 54 stops – he’ll take one safety job. Christian Braswell is a decent veteran corner, and 6-2, 200-pound junior DaeSean Winston got in a little bit of safety time.