All during spring and preseason practice, Temple football coach Geoff Collins answered countless questions about his quarterback situation.
He didn’t reveal his starter until redshirt sophomore Logan Marchi guided the team in the first series and throughout Saturday’s 49-16 loss at Notre Dame.
Marchi, making his first college start after having just six career passing attempts, showed good poise in completing 19 of 35 passes for 245 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
While the 6-foot, 205-pound product of St. Paul Catholic in Bristol, Conn., missed some throws, he acquitted himself well.
This week, Collins was fielding most of his questions about the defense. At least this week, there is no quarterback controversy as the Owls host Villanova (1-0) in Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. game at Lincoln Financial Field.
While Marchi was among the bright spots, he said there was a lot about his performance that he wasn’t satisfied with.
“I missed a lot of throws, a couple of reads here and there that I have to correct going into this week,” Marchi said.
That said, he was happy to be out there on the field after a long competition for the job.
“It felt good being out there and I was confident,” he said. “The guys rallied behind me.”
That said, he added, “We have to be better as a team.”
Marchi received a passing grade from offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude, who said there was a lot to like about his first start.
“He wasn’t overwhelmed by the start in front of 80,000 [actually 77,622] people, on NBC-TV and he handled himself well,” Patenaude said. “The stage wasn’t too big for him.”
Patenaude said that Marchi showed well both physically and mentally.
“He did a good job checking the plays and made some good throws,” Patenaude said. “Some of the throws he missed early, he was under big duress. They brought a bunch of pressure on us and he knew he had to get the ball out and I thought he settled in nicely and played a good game for us.”
While Marchi is also known for his running ability, it didn’t surface against Notre Dame. Marchi had minus 21 yards on four carries, although three of them were sacks. His running ability could surface against the Wildcats.
While studying Temple, Villanova coach Mark Ferrante has been impressed by Marchi.
“He is athletic and looked like a competitor,” said Ferrante, whose team is coming off a 38-35 win over Lehigh in a battle of ranked FCS teams. “I thought he moved well and put the ball where it needed to be.”
Even as far back as the spring, Marchi was considered the favorite for the quarterback job, because of his dual-threat ability. Yet, he and the other three quarterback candidates all showed periods of inconsistency and so the job remained opened until last week.
Collins insists that players have to compete for their job each week, but he didn’t spend much time talking about the quarterback situation. That’s because after his opening week performance, Marchi didn’t have to look over his shoulder, at least this week.