Temple junior linebacker Tyler Matakevich was named to the American Athletic Conference All-Conference First Team on Tuesday.
Four other Temple juniors – center Kyle Friend, defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis and defensive end Praise Martin-Oguike – were selected to the second team. Junior cornerback Tavon Young was named All-Conference Honorable Mention.
Matakevich led the conference with 88 solo tackles. He finished with 117 on the season, marking the third year in a row that he has finished with at least 100+ tackles. Last weekend he was named the conference's top defensive player for his 16-tackle performance in the Owls' 10-3 win over Tulane. It was his second 16-tackle game of the season.
Temple finished the season 6-4, 4-4 in the conference and was bowl eligible for the first time since 2011. However, the Owls did not receive a bowl invitation.
Martin-Oguike, who missed the last two seasons, finished third in the conference with 7.5 sacks. Twice named the conference's defensive player of the week, Martin-Oguike forced a team-high five fumbles and he also blocked a pair of kicks.
Switched to tackle after playing defensive end during the 2013 season, Ioannidis was one of the most improved players on the team. He was stout against the run and his 47 tackles led all Temple linemen. He finished second on the team with 3.5 tackles, and he led the Owls with 11.0 tackles for loss.
As the only returning starting offensive lineman from the 2013 team, Friend helped anchor a young line that struggled often. However, the one they improved in was in sacks allowed. After allowing 32 sacks last season the line allowed just 21 in 2014.
Cornerback Tavon Young led the Owls with four interceptions. Young scored a pair of touchdowns on defense, one on a 93-yard interception return, the other on a 63-yard fumble recovery.
Temple's defense was much improved. After allowing 29.8 points per game in 2013, Temple allowed just 17.5 per points per game in 2014. The Owls allowed just 347.1 yards per game this past season after giving up 474.2 in 2013.