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Notre Dame Football: What You Need To Know About The Temple Owls

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It’s time for us to really start looking at the 2017 schedule. Take a deep breath.

Military Bowl - Temple v Wake Forest Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

We are creeping towards the middle of July and that means that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team is getting closer and closer to the start of fall camp. Instead of filling your head with too much information, we offer you these choice nuggets to contemplate.

If you need an in-depth preview of the Temple Owls, please check out Bill Connelly’s wonderful work.

Temple

At first glance for some fans, this game looks like a “cupcake game” to start the season. That means that they either haven’t been paying attention, or they are some type ridiculous snob (for no reason). Temple is legit, and they still present a lot of problems for the Irish.

5 Things You Have To Know

  1. Temple kicks off the Geoff Collins era in South Bend. Matt Rhule is now the head coach of the Baylor Bears, but he leaves behind a new legacy of success for the Owl football program. Part of that legacy is a tough defense. Collins is the former defensive coordinator at Florida. Will he add to the legacy, or will he change it too much too soon?
  2. Speaking of defense, the Owls had a nasty pass defense last year. That pass defense helped the Owls achieve the 11th best scoring defense in the country last year. The secondary returns, but they have to replace a ton along the front seven - including Hasson Reddick. In fact, only one other starter from 2016 returns.
  3. Temple should be able to run the ball really well. They return five offensive linemen with starting experience, and running back Ryquell Armstead. Armstead looked more explosive and more durable than Jahad Thomas (now a member of the Dallas Cowboys). Thomas rushed for over 1300 yards last year and 19 touchdowns, while Armstead ran for over 900 yards and 14 touchdowns.
  4. The Owls have 3 wide receivers that are physically imposing, with all three standing at 6’3”. Ventell Bryant, Keith Kirkwood, and Adonis Jennings are matchup nightmares for cornerbacks.
  5. NEW STARTING QUARTERBACK ALERT! The Owls are without PJ Walker, and a quarterback competition started this spring. I have no idea who will start, or what that will mean, but it should prove advantageous to the Irish to get a quarterback trying to start his first game on the road in front of a MASSIVE jumbotron.
South Florida v Temple Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Best Case Scenario

Notre Dame shows up ready and hungry. The infusion of new blood on the coaching staff is finally able to get Notre Dame to play football at full speed early. The Irish overpower Temple and the game is never close.

Worst Case Scenario

Nothing clicks. Brandon Wimbush struggles against a stingy secondary, and the Irish front seven gets knocked around and ran over. Brian Kelly loses his shit. Notre Dame loses and 2016 remains a weight that drowns the Irish.

Early Prediction

Notre Dame 34, Temple 20. Things start a little slow, but gradually the Irish wear down an inexperienced Temple front seven.