Temple is ranked third in the nation, giving up roughly 276 yards per game. While Temple didn’t play as “tough” a schedule, it is still quite an accomplishment. Temple lost a ton of talent from last season and was expected to have a “down” year, but credit Matt Rhule for getting his defense up to speed for this season to win the AAC Championship.
Coming into the season, the Owls lost star linebacker Tyler Matakevich, defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis, and cornerback Tavon Young to the NFL. Of the key losses, Matakevich hurt the most as he finished his career with 493 tackles and the Bronco Nagurski Award, given to the nation’s best defensive player.
Not all is lost as the Temple Defense was reloaded very quickly with a surprise walk-on turned into senior captain Haason Reddick (pictured above). Reddick was paying for his own way into school as recent as a year ago. A Senior Bowl invite, Reddick has kept the Temple Defense playing extremely well this season.
In terms of scheme, Matt Rhule led defenses tend to be less blitz-heavy than I initially thought. From a quick film study, it seemed very evident that Temple is strong in the defensive line as year after year, they find players that can get to the quarterback. Rhule was primarily hired at Baylor because he is a good coach and he is expected to improve the defense dramatically. The best aspect of Rhule led teams in my opinion is that he puts his team in positions to succeed. With Rhule off to Baylor, expect the remainder of the staff who is staying to coach to maintain the status quo, playing a solid defensive framework and pestering the quarterback with a pass rush trying to generate pressure with stunts and delayed blitzes.