Who will be Temple’s starting quarterback by the end of the year?

First-year head coach Stan Drayton has named redshirt-sophomore D’Wan Mathis as Temple’s starting quarterback, but will Mathis keep the job?

Temple University Football quarterbacks D’Wan Mathis and Qunicy Patterson II battle for the spot for first string quarter back. | THE TEMPLE NEWS / EARL KUFEN

Rymir Vaughn 

First-year Temple football head coach Stan Drayton named redshirt-sophomore D’Wan Mathis as the starting quarterback to begin the 2022 season on Aug. 25. However, by season’s end, redshirt-junior transfer Quincy Patterson will be the starting quarterback for the Temple Owls. 

Before spraining the AC joint in his right shoulder, Patterson was 7-0 as North Dakota State University starter during the 2021 season. Then-sophomore Cam Miller stepped in for Patterson and led the Bison to an FCS National Championship victory, prompting Patterson’s transfer.  

Patterson is physically gifted, listed as 6 feet 3 inches tall and 235 pounds. Last season’s starting Temple quarterback D’Wan Mathis is listed at 6’6’’ and 210 pounds. At NDSU Patterson’s teammates called him “Baby DK Metcalf,” after the Seahawks’ 6’4” 235-pound Pro Bowl wide receiver. Both quarterbacks possess above-average arm strength, but Patterson’s weight allows him to provide more power than finesse in the run game.  

Given his size, Patterson can be an asset as a dual-threat quarterback in new offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf’s system. Throughout his career, Patterson has displayed the ability to use his legs, rushing for 660 yards and seven touchdowns in just seven games at NDSU. Patterson’s arm strength and running abilities should provide Temple multiple options offensively with quarterback runs, quick passing concepts, lots of play action and run-pass options.  

Patterson also has some familiarity with the coaching staff as he spent two seasons with Temple’s pass game coordinator and wide receivers coach Jafar Williams at Virginia Tech University prior to his stint at North Dakota State University. While with the Hokies, Patterson amassed 692 total yards and seven touchdowns. 

Patterson has been praised for his work ethic and leadership in the past with Miller tweeting that Patterson’s work ethic “rubs off on everyone,” and Drayton calling him a “natural leader.” 

Patterson has the potential to have a positive impact on Temple. His physical skills, relationships, work ethic and leadership are the qualities that coaches search for in starting quarterbacks, especially first-year coaches like Drayton that are looking to get off to a good start. 

Sean McMenamin 

Mathis, Temple’s starter in 2021, is a lock to fend off Patterson and remain the starting quarterback by season’s end.  

Mathis started all seven games that he played in 2021 and, as evidenced by Drayton’s announcement on Thursday, Patterson hasn’t done enough to remove Mathis from that post. It’s like the old combat sports adage to be the champ, you have to beat the champ. 

With Drayton now in charge of the offense, Mathis will have more freedom to use his legs and not have to adapt to broken plays as often as last season. Mathis was sacked 16 times in seven games due to constant pressure being sent against the run, preventing play action.  

Mathis was recruited to play for the University of Georgia, an SEC powerhouse, but during his one year at the program he only played in three games due to the talented quarterback room that featured players like Jake Fromm and Stetson Bennett. 

The current redshirt-sophomore threw for 1,223 yards and six touchdowns while posting a 118.2 passer rating in 2021. 

With a renewed emphasis on the running game and the return of offensive line coach Chris Wiesehan, Mathis will be under less pressure to win games with his arm. Temple will be able to run the ball more and set up play action passes and RPOs for Mathis, allowing the quarterback to use both his arm strength and legs against sleeping defenses. 

Since he redshirted his true freshman season and in 2020, the NCAA granted athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mathis has four seasons of eligibility left. He will be in the building for a while, so there’s no reason for Drayton to hand the keys to anyone until they definitively dethrone Mathis.   

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