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Temple WR Ventell Bryant expected to play against Villanova

Getting the Temple defense straightened out will be Coach Collins' biggest challenge this week.

Temple receiver Ventell Bryant (right) is expected to play this week against Villanova.
Temple receiver Ventell Bryant (right) is expected to play this week against Villanova.Read moreSTEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer

Temple football coach Geoff Collins said he expects redshirt junior wide receiver Ventell Bryant to return to action for Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game at Lincoln Financial Field against Villanova.

Bryant, who was Temple's leading receiver last season, missed Saturday's opening 49-16 loss at Notre Dame due to a hamstring injury.

After the game, Collins said he thought Bryant was a possibility for the Notre Dame game up until Friday, when he was ruled out.

When asked on Monday's American Athletic Conference media call if he expects Bryant to play this week, Collins replied, "I think things [with Bryant] went well this weekend, so yes."

Bryant had 54 receptions for 895 yards and four touchdowns last season. He tweaked the hamstring during preseason camp and had expressed optimism that he would be able to play against Notre Dame. Sophomore Isaiah Wright shared the team lead with four receptions and led the Owls with 79 receiving yards against the Irish.

Collins also said that redshirt junior defensive tackle Freddie Booth Lloyd didn't play on Saturday after suffering an injury in pregame warmups. Redshirt junior Michael Dogbe and redshirt freshman Dan Archibong started at defensive tackle for the Owls.

"Michael Dogbe had to come in, and we weren't sure Michael could play, and he was a warrior who played 40 plays," Collins said. Dogbe was credited with two tackles.

Notre Dame accounted for 606 yards of total offense, and Collins said the big play was what obviously hurt the Owls.

"Definitely, 17 plays accounted for about 85 percent of all their yardage, and we have to fix those things," he said.

Collins said that despite the score, his defensive players played hard, just not consistently.

"I didn't see a lack of effort," he said. "I don't think we tackled great."

A week ago, the concern was with the quarterback situation. But after Logan Marchi completed 19 of 35 passes for 245 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions, getting the defense straightened out will be Collins' biggest challenge this week.