Temple Football Opens 2013 Season at Notre Dame

Temple Football Opens 2013 Season at Notre Dame




Temple opens its 115th season of football at No. 14/11 Notre Dame on August 31. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind. 

NBC will televise the game nationally with Mike Mayock calling the action, Dan Hicks providing color commentary, and  Alex Flanagan reporting on the sidelines.

The Owls' radio broadcast will air on 97.5 FM The Fanatic with Harry Donahue calling the play-by-play and Paul Palmer providing color analysis. Temple's student station WHIP will also broadcast the game online with Zach Gelb on play-by-play and Joe DiMattei  on color commentary.

Under the direction of first-year head coach Matt Rhule, the 2013 Temple squad returns 45 lettermen, including 15 starters.  The Owls utilize a pro spread and a 4-3 defense.

Top returning lettermen are junior WR Jalen Fitzpatrick (Harrisburg, Pa.) who led the Owls with 30 receptions for 363 yards and two touchdowns in 2012. Senior Chris Coyer (Oak Hill, Va.), who moved to H-back after three seasons at quarterback, rushed for 444 yards and two touchdowns last fall on 111 carries.  Under center, senior Clinton "Juice" Granger (Philadelphia, Pa.) started the last two games of the 2012 season, went 31-of-55 for 370 yards and two scores. Defensively, sophomore LB Tyler Matakevich (Stratford, Conn.), the 2012 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, led all defenders with a freshman record 101 tackles, including a team-best 67 solo takedowns, three break-ups, and two fumble recoveries.

In the final 2012 national rankings, Temple ranked among the nation's best in several categories—  No. 6 net punting (40.76), No. 21 in kickoff returns (23.96), and No. 31 in rushing (201.18).   Individually, LB Tyler Matakevich was No. 38 in tackles (9.18).

Nationally ranked Notre Dame, under the direction of fourth-year head coach Brian Kelly, is coming off an appearance in the BCS National Championship Game.  The Fighting Irish, which finished the 2012 campaign at 12-1, return 15 letterwinners to their spread offense and 3-4 defense.

Temple has no players on its roster from Indiana.

Notre Dame has four players from Pennsylvania, including freshmen WR William Fuller (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic) and OL Mike McGlinchey (Philadelphia, Pa./William Penn Charter). McGlinchey and Temple walk-on freshman RB Eric Neefe were high school teammates.

Both Temple and Notre Dame boast prominent alumni.   UND touts talk show host Regis Philbin, while the Owls claim comedian Bill Cosby ('61) who lettered at fullback in 1961. Philbin has already been publicizing this week's game between the schools.  Cosby will appear on Philbin's show on Fox Sports on Wednesday, Aug. 28.

Saturday's game marks the first meeting between the two schools on the gridiron.  Temple and Notre Dame are scheduled to meet again in 2015 (in Philadelphia) and in 2017 (in South Bend).

Actually, Notre Dame is the first of four new opponents the Owls will meet this fall. Temple has also never played Central Florida, Idaho or Memphis in football.

Temple has won its last three season openers, all victories over cross-town rival Villanova at Lincoln Financial Field in Mayor's Cup action.  The last time the Owls won a season opener on the road came in 2008 at Army with a 35-7 victory on August 27.

Temple has claimed just two upsets of nationally ranked teams in its history.

Since 1974, Temple has faced 77 nationally ranked teams, including 30 teams ranked in the Top 10. TU's two upsets came on the road.

W, 28-24 at #14 Virginia Tech  Oct. 17, 1998
Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Va.  Temple coach: Bobby Wallace

W, 24-21 at #16 Pittsburgh  Sept. 19, 1987
Pitt Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pa.  Temple coach: Bruce Arians

While the Owls have never beaten a Top 10 opponent, they?have faced the nation's No. 1 ranked team five times.

Matt Rhule brought back a tradition, rewarding the nine toughest players on the squad with single-digit jerseys.  This year's toughest players are: #1 DL Sean Daniels, #2 DB Anthony Robey, #3 QB Juice Granger, #4 WR Ryan Alderman, #5 WR Jalen Fitzpatrick, #6 LB Blaze Caponegro, #7 WR John Christopher, #8 LB Tyler Matakevich, and  #9 DL Levi Brown.

While first-year head coach Matt Rhule ranks as the eighth-youngest head coach in the country this fall (see list on his bio page), his Temple staff also boasts youth and successful experience. With 42 bowl games among them, their average age on opening day at Notre Dame will be 39.3 years. 

All of the Owls' coaches are former college football players. The Temple staff has extremely strong ties to the Northeast region, the heart of the team's recruiting base.  Two coaches hail from Pennsylvania, two from New Jersey, and two from Tennessee. Other coaches are natives of California, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

Six of Temple's 2013 opponents— UCF (Beef 'O' Brady's), Cincinnati (Belk), Louisville (Sugar), Notre Dame (BCS National Championship), Rutgers (Russell Athletic), and SMU (Sheraton Hawaii)— participated in postseason play in 2012.

Temple football is one of the few teams in the country that utilizes morning practice sessions.  The Owls began early morning practices during the 2007 season to accommodate the players' afternoon and evening classes.

Five of Temple's football games are slated to be televised live this fall, including national broadcasts on NBC (at Notre Dame) and ESPN (at Cincinnati).  ESPN?Regional will televise the Owls' games against Houston and Rutgers.  All other games are open to the 12-day tv window for selection.

In 2012, all 11 of Temple's football games were televised live, marking the most nationally televised games in a season for the Owls.

As elected by their teammates, seniors WR Ryan Alderman and DL Levi Brown, and sophomores OL Kyle Friend and LB Tyler Matakevich will serve as team captains for the 2013 season. 

Temple returns home to Philadelphia to host Houston in its home and American Athletic Conference opener on Sept. 7.  Kickoff is set for Noon at Lincoln Financial Field.  ESPN Regional (shown locally on 6ABC) will televise the game as the Conference Game of the Week.

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