TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) The Temple Wildcats had a fantastic start to the 2018 season with eight straight wins, but those were followed up with three losses, including a first-round playoff loss to Mesquite Horn.
The Wildcats have made the playoffs every year since Scott Stewart took over as head coach in 2016, but they want something other than a district runner-up finish they've had in each of the past three seasons.
"It's hard to win state championships," Stewart said. "It's hard to win those kinds of things. Everything has to go right. You have to have breaks go your way. You have to have lack of injuries. We'll control what we can control and what we can't, we can't worry about."
Temple will be a young defensive team. All but one starter on that side of the ball last year were seniors, with the lone returner being cornerback Roman Jackson.
They'll enter with a different quarterback, and if the Wildcats began the season today, Stewart says senior Vance Willis would be the starter.
Whoever is slinging around the football will have plenty of reliable choices, including Anthony Jackson and Quentin Johnston.
"Johnston would probably tell you that if he has a bad day, he'll run with the twos," Stewart said. "People aren't responsible for their talent, so they shouldn't get praise for their talent. They should get praise for their work ethic. They should get praised for things they can control."
Multiple FBS programs have noticed his football resume, most notably Texas, the school that Johnston verbally committed to earlier this week over Oklahoma, TCU and Notre Dame, among others.
"Last year, even though I did good in terms of yards and stuff like that, I know I could've done way better and took more time on the little things," Johnston said. "I just learned to tweak that (and) train my mind."
Temple begins the season at Cedar Ridge.