SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Geoff Collins' only previous trip to Notre Dame Stadium was 14 years ago, when the hallowed field served as the finish line for a marathon he was competing in.
Saturday's return visit may have felt even more exhausting for the new Temple head coach, as the Fighting Irish overwhelmed the Owls, 49-16, in Collins' debut.
The Irish stormed to a 28-3 lead by early in the second quarter and were never seriously threatened.
Notre Dame piled up 606 yards — 422 of it coming on the ground — to the Owls' 330 overall. Junior running back Josh Adams had 130 yards on 11 carries by the intermission, and three Irish runners wound up with over 100 yards apiece.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Logan Marchi got the start for Temple. Marchi was among four contenders for the job. He finished 19 of 35 through the air with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
• Penalties proved costly for the Owls during the first half. A broken-up third-down pass by Temple was wasted due to a roughing-the-quarterback call that gave Notre Dame a 1st-and-goal that translated into its 28-3 lead. Earlier, an Owls drive was stalled by a false start and then a 15-yard personal foul call on Temple helped keep alive an Irish drive that resulted in the touchdown that made the count, 14-0. The Owls, who were yellow-flagged five times before the break, will need to clean up those kinds of unforced errors quickly to beat better teams.
• While a couple Temple sophomores made bold declarations during the week leading up to the game, Notre Dame waited until all of a couple plays into the contest to begin to issue a response. Equanimeous St. Brown hauled in a 33-yard pass on ND’s first snap from scrimmage and Adams followed with a 37-yard touchdown run to put the Irish up for good a mere 33 seconds into the game. Owls cornerback Kareem Ali had said during the week that “we’re going to kick their ass,” while linebacker Shaun Bradley also predicted a blowout. Going forward, Temple might be better served by not generating obvious opposition bulletin-board material, especially if sophomores are going to be the ones generating it.
• Temple welcomes Villanova to Lincoln Financial Field next Saturday in the first renewal of the Mayor’s Cup in five years. A victory by the Owls would exactly square the series at 16-16-2. Temple’s won the last three meetings, the most recent, 41-10, in 2012 at Lincoln Financial Field. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m.