Not many units graded well during Temple's season-opening 28-13 loss to Army, and that includes the offensive line.
It's an area that will need to be vastly improved when the Owls host Stony Brook (1-0) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.
"It wasn't all five of them, but we kind of struggled at guard and center and we were OK outside at tackle," Temple coach Matt Rhule said.
Quarterback Phillip Walker was sacked four times, after being sacked just 18 times in 14 games last year.
Rhule said he won't make any changes in the line. Last week Jovahn Fair and Adrian Sullivan started at guard and Brian Carter also saw extensive time. Brendan McGowan was at center with Dion Dawkins and Leon Johnson the tackles.
The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Dawkins is the leader of the unit and Temple's best lineman. He speaks softly but admitted that during the week in preparing for Stony Brook he raised his voice.
"I am not overly vocal, but I get at them and I did tell them exactly like it is," Dawkins said.
What he told his fellow linemen was that Friday's performance was unacceptable.
"They had to hear the truth with no filter," he said.
So Dawkins felt it was his duty as one of the senior leaders to speak up. Dawkins said he didn't mind letting his teammates have it.
"No sir, because they needed to hear it," he said.
Rhule emphasized that the failure was a collective effort, adding that the running backs didn't always distinguish themselves in protection.
Yet the line didn't grade well.
It's a line with some experience. Dawkins started his 27th game. Johnson, a 6-5, 320-pound redshirt junior, was making his ninth career start.
Redshirt senior McGowan (6-3, 298) made his 18th career start and fifth at center after starting four games there last year when Kyle Friend was injured.
It was the first game for Fair, a 6-2, 300-pound redshirt freshman, and the first start for Sullivan (6-3, 298), a redshirt junior. Carter (6-1, 304), a redshirt junior, has made 12 starts in his career, including 10 last year.
"We will stay with those guys and who we have and I think they will have to play better as we move forward," Rhule said.
Stony Brook's projected starting defensive line is bigger than Army's, averaging 6-2 and 283 pounds.
Rhule gave an example of how the line was out of sync.
"Our quarterback would be on the ground [after a sack] and they didn't help him up," Rhule said. "It's not because we have bad kids that don't care. They were kind of wide-eyed."
The Owls were outscored 14-0 in the fourth quarter and it wasn't just the line that fell short, although it struggled late in the game. In the fourth quarter, Walker was sacked twice and threw two interceptions.
"They have to compete and finish, especially in the fourth quarter," Rhule said about the line, although it could have applied to the entire team.
All week Temple has emphasized coming out with more fire.
"I learned if we don't come out to compete at a high level, there is no chance for us to win," Dawkins said.
He let his fellow linemen know that in no uncertain terms.