A Special Milestone for Tyler Matakevich

One more tackle to No. 400

One more tackle to No. 400

If Tyler Matakevich was playing baseball instead of football on Saturday night, they would stop the game and give him the ball for what he is about to do and, while it’s not a home run, it will be just as significant.

Instead, when Matakevich gets his next tackle, which will be his No. 400 career one, against visiting Central Florida, the AAC game will go on and the Temple football linebacker will have to settle for getting his just rewards at the end of the season. Four hundred is just a number, but add that to all of the other numbers Matakevich has been able to compile over both his career and this season and he is building enough currency to purchase some valuable hardware at the end of the season.


With just 10 tackles on Saturday, Tyler moves from No. 30 to No. 22 on the all-time list.

Sports are all about numbers, with different numbers meaning different things but some meaning everything. For Matakevich, it’s just one more tackle but it should move him one step closer to winning the Dick Butkus’ Award as the nation’s best linebacker. It certainly will cement his legacy as one of the greatest ever to play on the defensive side of the ball in college football. In college football, 400 tackles means just as much—if not more—than 500 or 600 home runs mean in major league baseball simply because the number of guys who have done both is approximately the same.

Already, Matakevich is the nation’s leading active career tackler in all five NCAA classifications (FBS, FCS and Divisions I-III) and what’s left for him is to add to it in his final season by getting some much-deserved hardware in addition to the Butkus’ Award. One of his top competitors for the trophy, Scooby Wright III of Arizona, has played only one game due to injury. Matakevich has to be considered at the head of this year’s linebacker class.

When it comes to numbers, few have been as impressive as Matakevich. He is the only active FBS player with 100 tackles in each of his last three seasons. This year, he is the only player among FBS teams to lead his team in tackles each game—remarkable on its own, but even more impressive in that his defense is the No. 13-ranked scoring defense in the country. With 44 tackles in five games, he is right on pace for 100 in 12 games and, with the way the unbeaten Owls are playing, they could easily have more games than the regular-season minimum. The Temple school record for tackles, by Steve Conjar (492) clearly is in sight and, should Matakevich reach it, only two players in the history of college football, Boston College’s Luke Kuechly (532) and Houston’s Marcus McGraw (510) will finish ahead of him.

With that career and with this season, that should be more than enough to get Matakevich long overdue recognition.

Tomorrow: Forgetting is Not An Excuse

Saturday: Game Day Preview


8 thoughts on “A Special Milestone for Tyler Matakevich

  1. The best advertisement our program can get is every Sunday when alumni players from around the league state their college as Temple (or when Todd Bowles wears a Temple hoodie). Tyler will be another one. He’s certainly deserving and fun as heck to watch. In fact, I’m really surprised our defense hasn’t garnered more attention so far this year. If you look at the points against column in the AAC we stick out pretty easily.

    At this point I’m just excited for Saturday’s game under the lights.

  2. Mike and Ike were gushing about Temple today on WIP. They actually started talking about how the Temple board needs to step up its game and support the team either with an on-campus stadium or at least getting the Linc to hang Temple banners and take down the eagles stuff! I immediately thought of you Mike haha.

    Very excited that the team is doing so well right now.

  3. This guy is phenomenal and the best lber I’ve seen up close since Lavaar aarington.

    He plays all phases of the game. He’s not even that big. I believe he could play SS and be all conference. I’ve seen him 40 yards downfield covering receivers and even breaking up passes.

    I noticed all of the 400 tacklers are from the last decade or so. I guess teams snap the ball faster so theres more tackles being made? I wouldve loved to see some comparisions to old time players. I wonder who the top 3 TU linebackers are of all time. Does TU ever make an all time team? That’d be an interesting list to read

    • Considering that Steve Conjar had 476 playing 11 games and didn’t have his tackles in the bowl game count he’s still the best. Also, the 12th game wasn’t added til 2006 so the guys who played before them got their tackles playing one less game.

      • Steve had all of his tackles 20 yards downfield and Tyler has most of his behind the line of scrimmage. (Only kidding, Steve. Both were/are great.) 🙂

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