SOUTH BEND, Ind. — There weren’t any substitutions. There weren’t any special packages. Saturday was, as coach Geoff Collins said, the “Logan Show” at quarterback.
Redshirt sophomore Logan Marchi started and took every offensive snap for the Owls in their 49-16 loss to the University of Notre Dame.
In the weeks leading up to the game, Collins said multiple quarterbacks could play at Notre Dame Stadium. The team listed all four quarterbacks, including true freshman Todd Centeio, on its depth chart on Monday.
As Notre Dame’s lead widened in the second half, Collins said he didn’t think about substituting Marchi for Centeio, redshirt junior Frank Nutile or redshirt freshman Anthony Russo.
“Probably was a little too much gamesmanship on my part,” Collins said. “I probably carried a little too far with the quarterback battle, the quarterback situation.”
Marchi knew he’d start the game in the beginning of the week, he said. He completed his first throw, a short pass to senior wide receiver Adonis Jennings that resulted in a 20-yard gain. The drive ended when he couldn’t connect with redshirt-junior wide receiver Brodrick Yancy on third down in Notre Dame’s territory.
The Owls converted five of their 17 third-down attempts. Of their 12 failed conversions, six were incomplete passes and one was a sack.
Marchi didn’t have redshirt junior Ventell Bryant, who didn’t travel with the team for Saturday’s game, available. He spread the ball out to nine different receivers. Sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Wright led the Owls with four catches for 79 yards.
Marchi didn’t give away the ball, but he nearly threw an interception to Notre Dame sophomore defensive lineman Daelin Hayes in the third quarter. He completed 19 of his 35 passing attempts for 245 yards and two touchdowns, the first of his career.
“[Marchi] threw some really nice balls and threw some balls that not a lot kids in the country can make,” Collins said. “And I thought the rest of the offense kind of rallied around him. We had some uncharacteristic penalties in the first quarter and then we settled down and eliminated those.”
The Owls moved the ball down the field early in the fourth quarter, getting a receiving touchdown from Yancy to make the score 35-16. On the Owls’ 2-point conversion try, Marchi unsuccessfully attempted a jump pass to redshirt-freshman tight end Kenny Yeboah. Two plays before, Yeboah dropped a ball in the end zone for what should have been an easy touchdown.
Earlier on that same drive, redshirt-senior wide receiver Keith Kirkwood dropped passes on first and third down. He said he has to be better at “securing the catch.” Marchi put the blame on himself.
“You gotta throw a better ball,” Marchi said. “I kind of overthrew Kenny on that one in the end zone, but we’re going right back to him.”
“We’re only going up from here,” he added. “We’re moving on to Villanova this week, and hopefully we go out and execute the game plan.”
Marchi became the third straight Temple quarterback to lose his starting debut. Former quarterback Phillip Walker threw for 200 yards and an interception in his debut against Cincinnati in October 2013, and former quarterback Connor Reilly threw for 228 yards in his debut against Notre Dame in August 2013.
Just because Marchi started Saturday doesn’t mean that he will take the field on Saturday against Villanova at Lincoln Financial Field.
“Every single thing that we do is evaluated on a week-to-week and a day-to-day basis with how you practice, how you prepare, how you perform,” Collins said. “All your reps are determined throughout the week, and that’s for every single position in the program.”