Daily Focus: Temple adds Power-5 competition to schedule
Editor’s note: Every day in “Daily Focus,” PFF analysts take the latest NFL news and translate what it really means for each team involved.
Temple adds future home-and-homes with Power-5 teams: Temple announced Friday that it has agreed on future home-and-home series with three Power-5 schools: Boston College, Duke and Maryland. The series with BC and Maryland will both start in 2018 with Duke following starting in 2019.
Temple has had a big turnaround under head coach Matt Rhule. His first year in 2013 the team went 2-10 overall with a 1-7 record in the AAC. Last year the Owls finished 7-1 in the conference and 10-4 overall with their Power-5 games being a huge win versus Penn State to start the season and a close loss to then No. 9-ranked Notre Dame.
The Owls Defense led the way for them in 2015, grading out as the No. 2 defense in the AAC and No. 21 overall by PFF. But they lost three huge pieces of that defense in the draft this past April that will be difficult to replace. Tavon Young was first to go; he was drafted 104th overall to the Baltimore Ravens. Young graded out positively in his past two seasons for the Owls. He also ranked 2nd in the AAC among Cornerbacks in yards per cover snap with just 0.71.
The second player to go off the board for Temple was Matt Ioannidis at No. 152 to the Washington Redskins. Ioannidis graded out first overall for the Temple defense, aided by his gaudy pass rush grade that ranked first among all AAC defenders last year. His pass rushing ability will be sorely missed this season.
The last Owl to go in the draft was Tyler Matakevich, who graded out second overall among Temple defenders and led the team in Stops with 68. Matakevich graded positively in run defense, pass coverage and pass rushing showing that he was a key cog in the middle of Temple’s defense.
Boise State safeties’ status uncertain for opener: When Boise State opens their season up at Louisiana-Lafayette on September 3rd, they could be doing so with an undermanned back end. Dylan Sumner-Gardner was barred from traveling with the team in their Bowl win over Northern Illinois in December. In addition Chanceller James did not participate in Boise State’s sprig game for an unknown reason. Head coach Bryan Harsin did not give any encouraging signs that either was on track to be on the field to start the opener.
James graded out as Boise State’s third-best DB behind now New York Giants Darian Thompson and Donte Deayon. He was poised to make an impact on The Broncos’ back end, increasing his defensive snaps at safety to nearly 100 percent in the last four games of the year.
Sumner-Gardner lost his season in week four due to injury, but had defensive snaps in 11 games as a true freshman. This leaves Cameron Hartsfield, Kameron Miles, and Brandon Brown as the only returning Safeties on the roster. Both Hartsfield and Brown played under 100 defensive snaps last year, while Miles played 418 snaps defensively and graded out negatively in pass coverage.
San Joes State WR Tyler Winston to miss season: Tyler Winston, the third leading receiver in school history, will miss the 2016 season due to academic reasons. Winston ranked third among San Jose St. Wide Receivers in terms of yards and touchdowns and tied for second in receptions. Despite that San Jose state Quarterbacks had the highest QB Rating when throwing in his direction vs. his Spartan counterparts. Winston was not much of a deep threat in his past two seasons catching only 3/19 balls thrown 20 yards or more in his direction. Winston graded a -0.9 in the pass game last season, which was fourth among starting receivers for San Jose State.
Despite Winston being the third leading receiver in school history, his production on the field should not be too difficult to replace.