When Temple hosts Connecticut on Saturday in an American Athletic Conference football game at Lincoln Financial Field, it will be a chance for redshirt sophomore quarterback Logan Marchi to show his home state team that they made a mistake in not keeping him.
Marchi was a standout at St. Paul Catholic in Bristol, Conn., throwing for 3,222 yards and 38 touchdowns as a senior in 2013. He said he made an oral commitment to Connecticut in his junior year of high school under former Huskies head coach Paul Pasqualoni.
After Marchi’s senior season, Connecticut changed coaches with Bob Diaco replacing Pasqualoni. Marchi still intended to attend UConn and even made his official visit.
Three days before the NCAA signing date in February of 2014, he was told that Connecticut denied his application.
“They said it had something to do with the clearinghouse and they couldn’t follow through with the scholarship,” Marchi said after Tuesday’s practice.
When asked if it had to do with grades, he said, “I got in here [Temple]. My grades were good enough,”
Marchi ended up making a commitment to Temple in June of 2014. He didn’t attend prep school and enrolled in Temple in January of 2015. After redshirting his first year, he was the backup to record-setting quarterback Phillip Walker last year.
As for Diaco, he lasted just three years at UConn and was fired after last season. He was 11-26.
Marchi insists that there isn’t any extra incentive.
“That staff is gone,” he said. “I always wanted to play for my hometown school, but here I am and I love the school and bleed cherry and white.”
What is more important to Marchi is building off the best game of his young career.
Before this season, he had six career pass attempts. Now, he has six starts under his belt for the Owls (3-3, 1-2 AAC).
In Saturday’s 34-10 win at East Carolina, Marchi overcame an early red zone interception to complete 19 of 31 for 321 yards and two touchdowns.
“I grabbed him after [the interception] and we had a nice conversation,” said Temple head coach Geoff Collins, who did most of the talking. “I thought he responded very well after that.”Marchi had thrown six interceptions in his previous two games and despite Collins’ displeasure of the pick against ECU, he and the staff showed confidence in Marchi.
“A lot of kids will make the same mistake two weeks in a row and fall off the cliff,” Collins said. “I was proud of Logan, who made the mistake, corrected it, everybody stayed with it and really lighted it up the rest of the game.”
So this week, Marchi says he isn’t thinking of revenge on his home-state school. All he is looking for is a win.
“You can’t let personal stuff get into the way and you have to go prepare and go 1-0 this week and give the team the best chance to win,” he said.
Temple will have to go 1-0 in three of the six games in the second half of the season for the Owls become bowl eligible. They are hoping to do better than that, but it won’t be easy.
Marchi isn’t looking past UConn (1-4, 0-3), even though the Huskies just are coming off a 70-31 loss to visiting Memphis. UConn is allowing 43.6 points per game.
“You take them serious,” Marchi said of UConn. “They have good players on defense, and with Temple going against UConn, you have to take them serious each week.”
And also hold no grudges.