Temple’s Matakevich named a semifinalist for major defensive player award

photo by: Media.philly.com

Temple senior linebacker Tyler Matakevich has been named a semifinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, named after Hall of Fame football legend Ronnie Lott.

College football’s top defensive player is annually awarded The Lott IMPACT Trophy due to their outstanding character and performance on the field. The award ceremony will be held December 13th at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, California.

Matakevich has 96 tackles this season for the 8-2 Owls, including 12 tackles for loss and four sacks. He is second in the American Athletic Conference for interceptions with five so far this season..

Matakevich is trying to become the first Temple football player and seventh in FBS history to record 100 tackles or more in all four seasons of playing.  He is the third Temple football player in school history to do this in his first three seasons of playing.

The Owls, who lost to South Florida 44-23 last Saturday, fell out of the Associated Press’ Top 25 poll this week.  They face Memphis (8-2) at home this Saturday at noon (E.S.T) at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

Temple battles SMU in a nationally televised college football game Friday night.

Temple (7-1, 4-0) is off to its best start in school history and battle American Athletic Conference opponent SMU (1-7, 0-4) at SMU Friday night at 8 p.m. (E.S.T.) in a college football clash.
     The game is being televised live on ESPN2.

The visiting Owls are coming off a 24-20 loss to then No. 9 in the Associated Press poll Notre Dame in their last game at home.

     “I think (the Notre Dame game) just shows how good they’ve gotten and they have to find it out now,”  Temple head coach Matt Ruhle told the Associated Press this week.
     In other words, the Owls shouldn’t be satisfied with their season yet, despite their lofty record through the team’s first eight games.

     SMU has won just one game the last two seasons and the Owls are favored by 13 points Friday night by the Associated Press.