The biggest question surrounding the football team was answered Thursday as the offense huddled up for the first time nearly five minutes into its game against Buffalo.
As the huddle broke apart, sophomore Adam DiMichele set up behind center Alex Derenthal.
A leader had finally emerged from the crowd of Temple quarterbacks following months of speculation and competition. DiMichele is the guy.
The 6-1, 185-pound signal caller played the first series, then true freshman Vaughn Charlton led the team on its second drive. DiMichele came back for the Owls’ third possession
and never departed.
Coach Al Golden warned reporters at football media day last month not to be surprised if two players split the snaps.
“Perhaps, a lot will have to do with what’s going on with the game at the time,” Golden said of the player who will receive the ost snaps. “If somebody gets happy, you pull them out. Those are all the things that we think about on a daily basis.”
If DiMichele struggles, there are three others waiting for their opportunity.
“I think the team realizes that there really are four guys who can lead this team and I guess it’s just going to come down to who the coaches think can be the best,” DiMichele said at media day.
“We all have leadership qualities, pushing the team to its limits.”
In the weeks leading up to Thursday’s opener, the players acted as if the depth chart was a seesaw. Up and down the quarterbacks went as they duked it for top dog.
The preseason depth chart had sophomores Shane Kelly and Colin Clancy sharing the top spot. A depth chart released to the media early last week listed Clancy and Charlton as the top signal callers. A day later, the depth chart said DiMichele and Charlton would split time.
And as the first game played out, DiMichele took an overwhelming majority of the snaps, beginning
with the first series.
DiMichele completed his first pass, an 11-yard gain, to wide receiver Ben Hendy for a first down. He immediately connected with his brother Alex, a fullback, for a three-yard gain on the next play before tossing an incompletion two plays later, on third-and-seven.
Charlton trotted onto the field for the Owls’ second drive. Playing in his first collegiate game, Charlton appeared a bit overwhelmed.
At one point Charlton looked confused by a man in motion, snapped the ball, and was immediately tackled for a five-yard loss.
The 6-4, 210-pound, quarterback said at media day that his biggest challenge, thus far, has been reading the opposition.
“High school was a lot more of straight athletic ability – [a] throw the ball, run the ball type of thing,” Charlton said, “but here, it’s more of a chess game. Coach [George] DeLeone always says it’s a giant chess game of who can outwit the other one.”
Charlton did not reappear and DiMichele completed the game.
DiMichele proved to be an accurate passer, completing 19 of his 24 attempted passes.
However, the offense had difficulty moving the ball and DiMichele totaled just 103 passing yards. He also threw an interception in overtime on third-and-16 from the Buffalo 31-yard line. The Bulls scored three plays later to win the game, 9-3.
John Kopp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.