Temple's Coyer is basking in the spotlight

Posted: July 30, 2012

Chris Coyer's situation has changed dramatically in one year.

Last summer, he was recognized for failing to impress when given the opportunity at practice. And in the process, the quarterback began the 2011 season behind Chester Stewart and Mike Gerardi on the depth chart.

Fast forward to this summer.

Coyer will be one of the headliners at Tuesday's Big East Football Kickoff in Newport, R.I.

He'll probably answer questions about his breakout performance during the latter part of the 2011 season. There's a great possibility that Coyer will also talk about being the face of the Owls. And that's something that appeared out of reach 12 months ago.

"In years past, the thought was to go win the starting job," the redshirt junior said of the preseason differences. "Now, the mind-set is win. Just win."

His play will go a long way in determining how competitive Temple is in its first season back as a Big East football member. The Owls spent the last five years in the Mid-American Conference.

The dual threat that Coyer provides was missing in the first eight games of last season, when Gerardi and Stewart were the primary signal-callers. Before replacing Stewart to start Temple's third offensive series at Ohio on Nov. 2, his only action came late in three blowout victories.

The 6-foot-3, 237-pounder went on to start the final four of last season's 13 games.

He completed 30 of 50 passes for 463 yards and six touchdowns without an interception. All of his pass attempts came in the last five games. In his eight games played, the Virginia native rushed for 562 yards (8.1 yards per carry) and three touchdowns.

Coyer was also named the offensive most valuable player in last season's 37-15 New Mexico Bowl victory over Wyoming.

Even with his impressive five-game stretch, the quarterback will ultimately be judged by what he does this season.

That's because Wyoming had one of the nation's worst defenses. His other three starts came against struggling non-Bowl Championship Series teams - Miami of Ohio, Army, and Kent State - with a combined 12 victories.

This season, Coyer will compete against more competitive teams in a BCS conference. And he's excited about the opportunity.

"Every kid growing up, they want to play in a BCS conference," Coyer said. "It's only natural.

"But I couldn't be more excited to show what this team can do."

Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 215-854-2939 or kpompey@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter @pompeysgridlock and read his blog at www.philly.com/OwlsInq

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