Temple sophomore middle linebacker Shaun Bradley is ready to make his first career start in Saturday's opener at Notre Dame. Bradley won't be shy entering Notre Dame Stadium, and he likely provided the Fighting Irish some bulletin board material.
Speaking to reporters, Bradley not only suggested that Temple would be victorious but he also predicted a blowout. The Owls are 17.5-point underdogs.
When asked about that comment, coach Geoff Collins didn't criticize Bradley, a former standout at Rancocas Valley.
"I think Shaun is a special kid and I am excited about his development in the program," Collins said. "He has been a special-teams player and now has a chance to basically be the leader of the defense and hopefully the leader of the team."
Collins was asked what a bold proclamation says about the Owls confidence.
"We will be tough, we will be physical, we won't back down from anybody, any situation, any challenge and that is a testament to the what the players have done here over the last 10 years in establishing that culture of physicality, toughness, playing anybody, anywhere, any time," Collins said.
Collins said on Monday that he would go with two kickers, and that's basically because senior Austin Jones and sophomore Aaron Boumerhi have kicked at a high level.
Jones was a three-year starter before suffering a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury in the sixth game last season against Memphis. Boumerhi, who was a walk-on but has since earned a scholarship, was a second-team all-American Athletic Conference choice after replacing Jones and hitting 15 of 17 field goals.
Collins said depending on the distance of the field goal, he would choose his kicker. Boumerhi is considered to have the stronger leg and will likely be the kickoff man. His career longest field goal is 48 yards, while Jones' is 47.
Both kickers have supported each other and say they are ready to go with the flow.
"This is the first time I am hearing of this but whatever the team needs, I will do," said Jones, who is tied for second on Temple's career list with 46 field goals.
Jones had high praise for Boumerhi.
"We are really good friends and like the competition, and he is one of the top specialists in the country," Jones said.
Boumerhi has the same attitude as Jones about the competition.
"Whatever the situation, the coaches know best and want to put is in the best situation to win the game," Boumerhi said. "Whatever they say, I am not going to disagree with them. They are great coaches and I trust what they do."