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Temple's Geoff Collins hints at using multiple QBs vs. Notre Dame

Geoff Collins insists that he doesn't know who his starting quarterback will be against Notre Dame, but he suggested that a few of them could see action.

Temple football head coach Geoff Collins chats with quarterback Logan Marchi during practice.
Temple football head coach Geoff Collins chats with quarterback Logan Marchi during practice.Read more(Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)

Temple football coach Geoff Collins insists that he doesn't know who is starting quarterback will be for the Sept. 2 opener at Notre Dame, but after Thursday's practice he indicated that multiple candidates should expect to see action.

The four candidates fighting for the job are redshirt junior Frank Nutile, redshirt sophomore Logan Marchi, redshirt freshman Anthony Russo and true freshman Todd Centeio.

The secretive first-year coach won't post a depth chart, but will announce on Monday the players who are "above the line" meaning those who have the ability to play in the game.

"I am thinking we have three, maybe four (quarterbacks) who end up above the line, we just have to determine when they get their series and reps during the game," Collins said. "We are not opposed to playing those guys in different series going into the game, that is what we are leaning toward now."

Four quarterbacks in one game?

"I'd say three," Collins said. "There will be two that will probably play more than others and there is a third one who will come in and some different, some pretty unique things."

The former University of Florida defensive coordinator, feels multiple quarterbacks can foul up a defense.

Collins says it can be unsettling to a defense not to know who to prepare for and to have to face quarterbacks with different skill sets.

Of course, there is the flip side, where multiple quarterbacks can hurt the stability of an offense, but Collins doesn't see it that way.

Either way, the handling of the quarterbacks by Collins and offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude, will go a long way toward determining the Owls' success.

The four Temple quarterbacks have attempted 11 total college passes. Collins was asked if he knows in his own mind, who the starter will be.

"There are two who have distanced themselves and the other two who have specialized packages," he said.

Of the two who have distanced themselves, he was asked if he knew the actual starter.

"No," he said.

It appears that Marchi, last year's backup to Phillip Walker, and Nutile, are the two leading candidates. Centeio, a dual threat, could have packages and Russo, who has the strongest arm, can't be counted out.

Collins might be taking a page out of his former boss's playbook. Florida head coach Jim McElwain said he is mulling using three quarterbacks in the team's opening game against Michigan.

It turns out that on Wednesday, Collins and McElwain had a long discussion and obviously, the quarterback situation at both schools was brought up.

"He and I talked a long time last night," Collins said. "I can't give either side of that conversation but we talked probably 45 minutes about the quarterback situation, about the way we do practice, all those things, and it was a great talk."

Collins thinks he is keeping Notre Dame off-guard. That may be accurate to a certain degree, but if any coach were given truth serum, he would always opt for a true No. 1 over multiple candidates.

Unlike Temple, there will be no guessing at Notre Dame, where junior Brandon Wimbush will be the starting quarterback. Wimbush has just five career passing attempts.

Yet he has the stability that the four Temple candidates don't have, something that doesn't seem to bother the Owls coach one bit.

Notes: Punter Senior punter Alex Starzyk, who had been suspended indefinitely since the spring, returned to practice this week. A starter the three previous years, Starzyk says he has enough time to get ready if he is the opening day punter. "I have been getting ready this whole time," he said. "It is not like I just started this week."….Freshman Connor Bowler is another punter candidate…Receiver Ventell Bryant, who has been sidelined by a hamstring injury, didn't practice, but was running on the side. He said he expects to be practicing full-time next week and ready for Notre Dame.