The Temple Owls are looking for improvement under first year head coach Matt Rhule following a rocky move in the Big East last season. There are plenty of question marks as Temple prepares for fall camp, but none may be more of an issue than the pass rush. Temple is small and thin along the defensive line, putting pressure on their best player, defensive end Sean Daniels, to pick up the slack.
Daniels will hold down the end of the line after recording 17 tackles and three sacks in 2012. He is the only defensive lineman returning with more than one sack last season and will have a bigger role to play following the departure of defensive line stalwarts John Youboty and Marcus Green who combined for seven sacks a year ago. Daniels has seven career sacks heading into 2013 and will need to bring a lot more pressure if the Owls’ defense hopes to hold up.
While he attempts to raise his own game, he will have to hope for some help from other members of the defensive line. Many of them are untested and inexperienced, but will be thrown into the mix to show what they can do in 2013. Sophomore Hershey Walton was one of the big stars of spring drills in the interior and could play his way into the rotation sooner rather than later. Temple has a long list of young linemen that they will be running through this fall, trying to find a handful that can get the job done.
As Temple runs through all their options, the pressure will be on Daniels to play the best football of his career. If he struggles, then the Owls’ pass rush has no hope of taking off in 2013 and it will be another rough season in the AAC.