Now comes the hard part for the Temple football coaching staff: Figuring out who will play in the Sept. 1 opener at Lincoln Financial Field against Villanova.

Temple has a system different from many other college teams in that the Owls don't employ a depth chart. They just have players above the line and below the line, and those above are the ones considered for game action on offense or defense.

Those decisions might have gained some clarity after a second team scrimmage Saturday, but there are still a number of days before the final ones are made.

"That conversation happens every day," coach Geoff Collins said after Saturday's off-campus practice (scrimmage) at Franklin Field. "…That is the last conversation we have — if we were to play tomorrow, who would be above the line."

Then there is another factor: special teams.

"The next part is who would be a contributor on special teams, even if they aren't above the line offensively or defensively, and who still needs to develop," Collins said.

This year, there should be more depth, although injuries can always change that. Last season, Temple had such a lack of depth in the secondary that Collins wasn't always able to use nickel and dime packages, which utilize five and six defensive backs, respectively.

This year, despite the fact that Temple has lost three of last season's four starting defensive backs — Sean Chandler, Mike Jones and Artrel Foster — the Owls should have more depth in the secondary. The depth is especially noticeable at safety, led by senior Delvon Randall, Temple's lone first-team all-American Athletic Conference choice last year.

In the Owls' dime package, four of the defensive backs could be safeties. The other safeties bidding for time are junior Benny Walls, a St. Joseph's Prep grad; graduate transfer Rodney Williams, from Syracuse via Cherry Hill West; redshirt sophomore Keyvone Bruton; and graduate student Jyquis Thomas, who is still rounding into form after his 2017 season was cut short after eight games because of a foot injury.

The defensive line and linebackers appear just as deep, and the addition of senior transfer Rock Ya-Sin to the secondary, where he will be a starter, has boosted the cornerback spot.

On offense, Temple has great depth at receiver. Asked if he has figured out his rotation for receivers, offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude said "not really."

The offensive line has a veteran group projected to start, but many of the backups are young. Running back is the one question on offense. Top back Ryquell Armstead was "nicked up" and didn't play in the scrimmage, but Collins didn't seem worried. Backup Jager Gardner, coming off a season-ending knee injury, didn't play Saturday but was expected to return this week, according to Collins.

Choosing who will be on special teams, with the added depth, is equally challenging, but a pleasant problem from the coaches' perspective. Collins puts many first-string players on special teams, believing it helps both the team and the players' development for the next level.

So in addition to beginning the game-planning for Villanova, Collins and his staff are still sorting out his squad. The added depth could make that a time-consuming task.