Unlike last year, when the starting quarterback wasn't known until the opening week of the season, Temple has long known its starter for the season opener against Villanova on Sept. 1 at Lincoln Financial Field.

While graduate student Frank Nutile is the starter, and redshirt sophomore Anthony Russo has solidified himself as the No. 2,  the Owls still have a little intrigue at the position.

That's because Temple is apparently intent on taking advantage of the running ability of redshirt freshman quarterback Todd Centeio.

During spring practice, Centeio was used at wideout and as a running back in practice at times, fueling speculation that he might change positions.

Coach Geoff Collins has repeatedly insisted that the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Centeio is staying at quarterback.

And while Centeio may be No. 3, he could be a factor in the games.

>> READ MORE: Owls quarterback preview

Beginning in the spring, offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude said that the Owls could have certain packages with Centeio. Depending on the game situation, it's possible that Nutile could get a breather and Centeio could come in and display his dual-threat ability.

After Saturday's team scrimmage at Franklin Field, Patenaude didn't hesitate when asked if the Owls would still have packages for Centeio.

"Absolutely," said Patenaude, who, like Collins, is in his second year with Temple. "He has a skill set that is different than anybody else's."

Last season Temple got a small sample of Centeio's ability. He appeared in two games, with his best showing in a 29-21 win over UMass. In that game Centeio completed both of his passes for 20 yards and rushed twice for 10 yards.

After appearing briefly the next week, a 43-7 loss at South Florida in the fourth week of the season, Centeio didn't play again, thus preserving his redshirt status.

Patenaude said Centeio has improved considerably since  a year ago.

"He is so much more advanced in his throwing ability," Patenaude said. "He could start the game for us now vs. Villanova and we would be a really good offense. We would be a little different, with his ability to run the ball, but we would be kind of foolish not to utilize the weapons we have."

Patenaude has also raved this preseason about the other quarterbacks: Nutile, Russo and true freshman Trad Beatty.

It will be interesting how the Owls treat Beatty with the new redshirt rule. The new rule allows a player to compete in four games at any time of the season and still preserve his redshirt.

Beatty, who enrolled in January and competed in spring practice, entered Temple with a high profile and he hasn't disappointed the coaches.

"He has the development and demeanor way past a guy who has only been with us six months," Patenaude said. "He understands the offense completely."

It's likely that Beatty will get game action, although it may come when the outcome is decided, at least in the beginning.

Centeio, could see action at any time, and he will force opposing defensive coordinators to prepare for the extra element that Temple will bring to the quarterback position.