Temple’s defense continues to dominate as Tulane comes to town

Temple’s Tyler Matakevich handles honor after honor with humility
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There are 20 undefeated teams in college football, and perhaps the most surprising of these is Temple.

The Owls of course, shrugged off decades of futility against in-state powerhouse Penn State to open their 2015 campaign, and followed that up with wins over UMass, Cincinnati and Charlotte.

Back home (for homecoming no less) Matt Rhule’s confident squad will once again rely on an intimidating and veteran defense to take on 2-2 Tulane.

Ironically, two Philly teams will face two New Orleans teams in as many days in Lincoln Financial Field.

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Temple’s high-powered ‘D,’ led by Nate D. Smith, Matt Ioannidis and Tyler Matakevich, has allowed an impressive 15.5 points per game.

The defense is also well-rested when they are called upon to do their job thanks to a potent running attack, led by Jahad Thomas (who already has over 500 yards and six touchdowns.

“It’s just the way we are playing,” Rhule said after last Friday’s 37-3 win in Charlotte. “We are running the football and being physical. You aren’t going to always come out and out physical people right away. It’s a cumulative effect.”

Hard-nosed football has long been preached by the Owls program, but paired with youthful Matt Rhule’s leadership and some top-notch talent, it is finally paying dividends.

“We are trying to play really good team football,” Rhule said. “Our whole team understands the plan. They understand the first thing we are going to do is play great defense and a part of that is running the football.

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