Lafayette Defense Leads Upset-Minded Leopards Versus Temple

Lafayette’s strong defensive showing against defending NEC champion, Sacred Heart and Temple’s offensive woes may have an upset brewing in Philly.

Lafayette meets Temple for the first time since the LBJ Administration
Source: Lafayette Athletics

Last week, Lafayette kicked off their season with a resume-building win against defending NEC champion Sacred Heart. With an anemic performance by an offense that accumulated only 113 yards, the Lafayette defense stepped up and shut out the Pioneers in a 6-0 win. A game-ending goal line stand put an exclamation point on a signature defensive performance for John Troxell’s team.

This week, the Leopards play a familiar face of yore in Temple, with whom they were Middle Atlantic Conference colleagues from 1958-1969. Naturally, college football fans will write of a Patriot League’s chances against a school from the American Athletic Conference, but Lafayette’s defense is a cause for optimism.

Awaiting the Leopards’ defense is a Temple offense that put out a poor performance in Week One against Duke. Against a defense that allowed 40 points per game last season, the Owls could only muster 179 total yards. If the Owls’ offense sputters again, a close, low-scoring affair could be in order. However, to pull the upset, the defense will need more than the 8-17 for 8 yard performance that they got from quarterback Ryan Schuster last week.

Leading the Leopards defense is Saiku White and Malik Hamm. White had 12 tackles, while Hamm had 3.5 tackles for loss against the Pioneers. A strong pass rush will be key against Temple’s dynamic quarterback duo of D’Wan Mathis and Quincy Patterson. I

In the end, Lafayette’s defense should keep them in the game, but the Leopards may need a near perfect game to knock off the Owls for the first time since 1962.