SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Logan Marchi took every snap at quarterback for Temple in Saturday’s 49-16 season-opening loss at Notre Dame and ended up one of the brighter spots on a dim day for the Owls, but even those two facts netted the redshirt sophomore no assurances for next week.
And he insists he’s OK with that.
“Yeah, guys compete every day for a spot,” Marchi said. “That’s football and you gotta (stay) ready.”
On an afternoon that was disastrous for the Owls on defense and spotty on offense, Marchi was relatively steady, completing 19 of 35 passes for 245 yards with two touchdowns (see observations). He had attempted just four passes in his collegiate career heading into the day.
“You guys are going to get tired of me saying it, but every single thing we do is evaluated on a week-to-week basis,” first-year Temple coach Geoff Collins said of whether Marchi earned another start in next Saturday’s home opener against Villanova.
“How you practice, how you prepare, how you perform in all your reps throughout the week (go into the decision).”
Temple suffered its most lopsided defeat since a 45-3 loss at Penn State in 2008.
The Owls’ defense was shredded to the tune of 606 yards, or 8.2 per play. The Irish, coming off a 4-8 season, had three players each rush for over 100 yards (including Josh Adams at 161 on 19 carries with two touchdowns), while redshirt sophomore quarterback Brandon Wimbush added another 184 yards and two TDs through the air in his first action since 2015.
On the other side, the Temple offense was far from faultless. It was limited to 330 yards, allowed Marchi to be sacked three times, committed multiple key penalties and coughed up a turnover, but still outshone the team’s defense.
“I think I played all right,” said Marchi, who did badly misfire toward open receivers a few times. “I missed a couple routine throws. … I think we gotta execute a little more on offense and help the defense out, stay on the field, give the defense some rest.”
“Logan was playing good, so we didn’t really talk about it,” Collins said of why he never made a change at QB despite a large deficit and having declared four QBs ready to play.
“He had us under control. He was composed. I thought he was changing the rhythm, the cadence, trying to keep (the defense) off balance. I was happy with that.”
Marchi compiled his numbers despite injured star receiver Ventell Bryant missing the game. Collins said that up until Friday, the Owls were holding out hope the junior might be ready.
“Ventell’s a great player, so any time he’s not on the field, it’s a lost opportunity for him, but I thought the other guys stepped up,” Marchi said. “We have a great receiving corps, got great depth at receiver.”
Sophomore do-it-all wideout Isaiah Wright gathered four catches for 79 yards to lead Temple, while senior receiver Keith Kirkwood had four for 60 and a touchdown.
“It was rewarding, exciting to finally hear the news (after) a long battle,” Marchi said of getting the starting nod over junior Frank Nutile, redshirt freshman Anthony Russo and true freshman Todd Centeio, “but those guys also did a great job and they’re ready to play. We’re all ready to play.”
Collins, meanwhile, thinks his defense is more ready than it showed Saturday.
“The beginning was bad and the wheels fell off at the end,” said Collins, who became recognized as a defensive guru during his more than two decades as a college assistant. “But the in-between was pretty good.”
Collins attributed Saturday’s porous defensive showing to a combination that included Notre Dame’s offensive weaponry, ND’s offensive line and his team’s poor angles, among other things.
“I didn’t think we tackled the way we have all preseason,” Collins said, “but we’ll get it corrected.”