Written By Ajay Patel
Photo Courtesy of: OwlSports
College sports have been through a lot with a season as unconventional as the 2020 season, especially Temple Football. Having their season opener in October, the Owls were only able to get eight games under their belt; and with minimal pre-season practice time, the team was only able to secure one win.
Finishing second to last in the American, the team is projected to finish in the same position this season according to the 2021 American Athletic Conference Preseason Media Poll.
After dealing with the grievances of the past season, Coach Rod Carey believes “no one can throw anything at us that we can’t handle now.”
Yet the unpredictability of last season does not end just yet. The team may have over an 80% vaccination rate, but who is set to take the field is still unclear. With only 16 starters returning from the past season, Coach Carey has a lot of position decisions still to make.
The biggest decision made by Rod Carey this off-season was naming D’Wan Mathis, the former Georgia Bulldog, the starting quarterback.
“D’Wan is a real self-motivated guy. You don’t have to push that a whole lot,” Coach Carey explains. Knowing Mathis has not played a lot of football since high school, Coach is impressed with “the rapid improvement, the curve for improvement is fantastic.”
Playing in a new system under a new head coach may initially be uncomfortable for Mathis, but having an offensive line with 127 collegiate starts under their belt adds a sense of relief.
The newly acquainted team looks to gel together and build chemistry at SUNY-Maritime College, the location of their fall camp this year. What seems like a luxury after not participating in fall camps last year, players and coaches thought it was the best decision to get away from campus to focus on team development. Having camp in the Bronx, New York “just takes everyone out of their element and gets us together alone. From there it’s about the work, it’s always about the work,” Carey added.
The third-year head coach and company are grateful to get back into the normal swing of things, something that all college athletes, coaches, and spectators have taken for granted over the years.
Having a more conventional schedule this year, Temple is set to open with Big 10 competition at Rutgers on September 2nd.