C Alex Derenthal and QB Adam DiMichele (photo by Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University)
Aug. 25, 2008
Friday, August 29
Michie Stadium (40,000)
West Point, N.Y.
7 p.m. on ESPN Classic
Temple opens its 110th season of collegiate football on the road at Army this week. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Friday, August 29 at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN Classic with Eric Collins handling play-by-play duties and Shaun King on color commentary.
The Owls' radio broadcast will air on WPHT 1210 AM with Harry Donahue calling the play-by-play and Steve Joachim providing color analysis.
Under the direction of third-year head coach Al Golden, Temple returns 51 lettermen and 33 starters to 22 positions, including all 11 starters on defense. After fielding the nation's youngest team for the last two seasons, the Owls lost just two letterwinners from last year while returning 20 seniors and 26 juniors. Joining the Owls for their first collegiate game are 30 true freshmen, walk-ons included.
Leading the MAC's No. 1 rated defense is coordinator and assistant head coach Mark D'Onofrio. The Owls will utilize a 4-3 defense. In his third season at Temple, Matt Rhule begins his first year as offensive coordinator. The Owls will utilize an East Coast offense.
Under the guidance of second-year head coach Stan Brock, the Black Knights host the Owls just 11months from their last meeting. Army returns 11 starters and will utilize a spread offense and multiple defenses.
For the third consecutive year, Temple plays its season opener on a non-Saturday. Last year the Owls hosted Navy on Friday, August 31, 2007, in the first-ever college night game at Lincoln Financial Field. In Al Golden's debut as head coach, the Owls opened the season on a Thursday night at Buffalo (August 31, 2006).
Temple stands 53-50-6 in season openers in 109 seasons of football. From 1925-1938, the Owls won 14 consecutive season openers, under head coaches Henry Miller [1925-32] and Glenn "Pop" Warner [1933-1938]. The last time Temple won its season opener was in 2002. The Owls claimed a 34-7 win over Richmond at Franklin Field [August 29, 2002].
Army's roster has 10 players from Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia native OT Jude Cooke. Temple has 10 New York players on its roster. Returning to their home state this week are WR Nyles Bynum (Jamaica, N.Y.), OL Derek Dennis (Peekskill, N.Y.), DB Tim Dollison (Staten Island, N.Y.), OL Andre Douglas (New Rochelle, N.Y.), DT Grigory Frenk (Brooklyn, N.Y.), DE Junior Galette (Spring Valley, N.Y.), DB Jaiquawn Jarrett (Brooklyn, N.Y.), DB Jonathan Miller (New York, N.Y.), OT Matt Paul (Sag Harbor, N.Y.), and CB Jamal Schulters (Brooklyn, N.Y.).
In his second season at Temple, running backs coach Tyree Foreman spent three seasons (2004-06) as the assistant running backs coach at Army.
TEMPLE-ARMY: THE SERIES
Friday's game is the sixth meeting between the Owls and the Black Knights. In series action, Army leads Temple, 4-1. In the teams' last meeting on Sept. 29, 2007, the teams were deadlocked at 21-21 at halftime, but the Black Knights scored 21 points in the second half for the home win. Temple's sole win in the series came on Sept.24, 1994, when the Owls claimed a 23-20 win at Michie Stadium.
Temple all-time vs. Army: 1-4
Temple in games at Temple: 0-1
Temple in games at Army: 1-3
First meeting in series: 1943 at Michie Stadium; L, 51-0
Last meeting in series: 2007 at Michie Stadium; L, 37-21
Year Site Results TU Coach Army Coach
1943 Michie Stadium L, 52-0 Ray Morrison Earl Blaik
1987 Michie Stadium L, 17-7 Bruce Arians Jim Young
1993 Veterans Stadium L, 56-21 Ron Dickerson Bob Sutton
1994 Michie Stadium W, 23-20 Ron Dickerson Bob Sutton
2007 Michie Stadium L, 37-21 Al Golden Stan Brock
Rushing: Tom Quinn, 29-144, 1 TD (1943)
Passing: Adam DiMichele, 23-42-314, 2 TD (2007)
Receiving: Bruce Francis, 6-133, 1 TD (2007)
Army Black Knights
Rushing: Akili King, 14-163 (1993)
Passing: Carson Williams, 11-26-175, 2 TD (2007)
Receiving: Jeremy Tremble, 5-125, 1 TD (2007)
Temple redshirt freshman QB Chester Stewart (Hanover, Md.), Army junior OT Joe Muldoon and sophomore RB Patrick Mealey played high school ball together at DeMatha Catholic for coach Bill McGregor.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
In the teams' first meeting in 1943, Army was coached by the legendary Earl "Red" Blaik, who guided the Cadets to a 121-33-10 record from 1941-58. His 1944, 1945, and 1946 teams were national champions. Temple was coached by Ray Morrison.
In 1987, Jim Young coached Army to an ambush of Bruce Arians' Temple squad. The score was tied, 7-7, at halftime, and the Cadets opened the second half running. They finished with 75 rushes in 76 plays for the game. However, on their fourth play of the half, QB Otto Leone caught Temple over-playing the run. He faked a handoff and hit TE Mark Charette for a 64-yard touchdown pass. It would be the key play of the game as the Owls were not able to score aside from Tom Quinn's two-yard run in the first half. Quinn rushed for 144 yards on 29 carries. The teams combined for just 12 passing attempts on the afternoon.
Beginning with the 1999 season, Army changed its nickname from the Cadets to the Black Knights.
LAST YEAR'S GAME: ARMY 37, TEMPLE 21
Senior wide receiver Jeremy Trimble accumulated a career-high 258 all-purpose yards and scored two second half touchdowns to lead host Army to a 37-21 win over Temple at Michie Stadium.
Trimble, who became the 24th player in Army history to eclipse 2,000 all-purpose yards, ran back a Jeff Wathne punt 85 yards for his first touchdown. That put Army in front 31-21 with 18 seconds remaining in the third quarter. His next score, a 69-yard touchdown reception, made the score 37-21, with 11:51 remaining to play. Trimble caught the pass from Black Knight quarterback Carson Williams just off the line of scrimmage, broke a tackle and then made a strong cutback across the field for the touchdown.
Despite the score, the Owl defense played well in the contest, allowing only 16 of Army's 37 points in the game. The Black Knights scored two special teams touchdowns. Army added a recovered fumble, forced by senior Caleb Campbell on a strong hit on TB Jason Harper that bounced 18 yards into the end zone and was recovered by Jordan Murray for a touchdown.
"Am I disappointed? Yes, but I'm not going to get discouraged," Temple head coach Al Golden said. "I just left a locker room with every guy coming back next year. We're going to come up here next year with every guy that was in that locker room. How can I get discouraged? There are two seniors that made the trip. We played 20 freshmen today. If you want me to get discouraged, it isn't going to happen."
DT Terrance Knighton had a career game. The Owls' defensive tackle recovered two fumbles, the first of his career, blocked a 54-yard field goal attempt, swatted a pass down at the line of scrimmage, had 1.5 tackles for a loss (-11 yds), recorded a sack and made six tackles.
DB Jamal Schulters had his first interception and had five tackles, and DB Dominique Harris broke up a pass in the end zone. As a unit, the Cherry and White defense had nine tackles for a loss with DT Andre Neblett, LB Alex Joseph and LB Omar McDonnaugh-Hales tying Knighton for team honors with 1.5 each.
Temple's offense moved the ball effectively, gaining 463 yards of total offense, but turnovers again proved costly. The Cherry and White made five miscues, three fumbles and two interceptions.
Even with the miscues, the Owls matched the Black Knights score for score in the opening 30 minutes and for the second straight week ended the first half deadlocked at 21. Harper, who fumbled twice, scored on a 25-yard run at the end of the first quarter to tie the score at 7-7.
Several Owls have earned preseason recognition. Senior C Alex Derenthal has been named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List as a candidate as the nation's top center. Derenthal is a preseason first-team All-MAC selection by Phil Steele's College Football, the Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook, and Rivals.com. He has also been named an NFL Draft Scout "Star of 2008".
A Bronko Nagurski Trophy candidate as the nation's best defensive player, junior NT Andre Neblett is a preseason first-team All-MAC selection by Athlon, Phil Steele's College Football, the Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook, Rivals.com, and MAC Report Online.
Junior CB Anthony Ferla is a preseason second-team All-MAC selection by Athlon.
Senior WR Travis Shelton is a preseason first-team All-MAC kick returner by Phil Steele's College Football and Rivals.com. Senior WR Bruce Francis and junior DB Dominique Harris are preseason fourth-team All-MAC selections by Phil Steele's, while junior DE Junior Galette and sophomore LB Amara Kamara, sophomore RB Marquise Liverpool are Honorable Mention All-MAC picks by the publication.
Senior DT Terrance Knighton has been named to the Senior Bowl Watch List. He is a preseason second-team All-MAC selection by Athlon and MAC Report Online.
As a team, Temple was selected to finish fifth in the East Division of the Mid-American Conference by the MAC News Media Association. Ranked by eight different groups, TU has been picked to finish anywhere between second and sixth in the East while also receiving two first-place votes. The Sporting News had the highest prediction, picking the Owls second.
Additionally, Rivals.com named Mark D'Onofrio as the MAC's best defensive coordinator, while Temple was named the "program on the rise".