Temple Goes For 2-0 Today vs Auburn in Final 4 of Charleston Classic

No Comments

Temple looks to start 2-0 this season after defeating Old Dominion yesterday by a final score of 76-65. The Owls will square off against the Auburn Tigers today in the final four of the Charleston Classic. If the Owls win today, they’ll face off against the winner of Clemson vs. Hofstra in the championship game this coming Sunday.

Temple got off to a fast start yesterday in their season opener against Old Dominion. They scored 46 points in the first half and led by 17 going into the break, largely contributed by Shizz Alston Jr. and Quinton Rose.

After a shaky start to the second half, Ernest Aflakpui and Quinton Rose both hit very big shots for Temple as ODU had cut the lead to 5. It was the Owls who prevailed and hung on for the victory after a scary second half.

Shizz Alston Jr. (23), Quinton Rose (20), and Obi Enechionyia (15) were the only Owls in double figures. Alston was 5-8 from beyond the arc, while Enechionyia was 2-3 and the two shared the team-high in rebounds with 6. Rose went to the free throw line 11 times and led the team in assists with 5.

Today, the Owls will take on a 2-0 Auburn team who has beaten Norfolk State 102-74 and Indiana State in the first round of the Charleston Classic 83-64.

Leading the Tigers is junior G Bryce Brown, who has averaged 23 points in his two contests, though he shoots a low 26% from three-point land. Junior F Desean Murray nearly has averaged a double-double in his first two games averaging 13.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game (team-high). Sophomore G Jared Harper leads the team in assists per game (5.5) and is also 4-6 from beyond the arc. Anfernee McLemore, a 6’7 sophomore forward, has 6 blocks on the young season, along with 6’8 junior forward Horace Spencer, who also has 6 blocks in his two games.

Look for Bryce Brown, Desean Murray, and Jared Harper to try and take charge today for the Tigers today as they look to reach 3-0. While the Owls will try for 2-0 and a spot in the Charleston Classic Championship.

Tipoff is set for 11:00 AM on ESPN2.

SportsDesk Practice Report: 11/14

No Comments

One win away are the Temple Owls from becoming bowl eligible as they head into week 12 and with it brings the Owl’s toughest matchup yet. Temple (5-5,3-3) will take on the 14th ranked UCF Golden Knights (9-0,6-0) at Lincoln Financial Field this Saturday afternoon.

Last Friday night, the Owls went into Cincinnati, Ohio, and took care of business earning their second straight win, and their second straight conference win. Isaiah Wright took home the honor of earning Conference Special Teams Player of the week, due to his 98-yard kick return for a TD. Also earning honors was RB David Hood, who was put on the Conference Honor Roll for his career day of over 100 yards.

QB Frank Nutile will once again get the start, make that his third straight as he tries to go 3-0 to start his career as starting quarterback, amidst Temple’s second-half season turnaround. Since Nutile took over for Logan Marchi, the atmosphere seems much more “juiced” up, as Nutile’s teammates like to call him “Frankie Juice.”

“Frank is a leader. He connects with all the receivers, he gets us together, we talk about things. I like Frank back there, he’s just so confident and poised in the pocket. I believe Frankie’s a good quarterback, so I’m happy he’s leading for us,” WR Adonis

Jennings said.

Jennings, since Nutile has taken over at quarterback, has made 12 catches and racked up 205 yards and 3 touchdowns in the last 3 games. Right behind Jennings is sophomore Isaiah Wright, who, in the last 3 games, has caught 9 passes for 153 yards and completed a pass to Nutile for a 2-point conversion. Keith Kirkwood is not far behind either, in his last 3 games, he’s caught 11 passes for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The passing game isn’t the only thing that has sprung to life over the last 3 games though. RB’s Ryquell Armstead and David Hood have taken a leap as well. Armstead, while still fighting through injuries, was pulled from last Friday’s game against Cincinnati due to injury. It’s still uncertain if he will see the field this coming Saturday. Though in his last 3 games, Armstead has carried the ball 36 times totaling 205 yards and 2 touchdowns. David Hood has carried 38 times totaling 154 yards and 1 touchdown.

Temple has scored over 28 points in each of their last three contests and scored over 34 in their last two. The offensive outburst has lit a fire in the defense as well. Holding Navy’s offense to far below its average, and going into a brisk Cincinnati atmosphere and shutting down their offense as well. Credit Sean Chandler, Shaun Bradley, Delvon Randall, Quincy Roche and many more for outperforming their opponents week after week.

“Any game we play is going to be a big game for us. We’re a great defense, a learning defense. I think we’ve started to play very well. We’re doing some great things on defense and offense that definitely helps,” senior Jacob Martin said.

 

David Hood will wear jersey No. 1 this week after rushing for a career-high last week.

This weeks recipient of the No. 1 jersey is RB David Hood. Last week, Hood rushed for a career-high 108 yards and one touchdown. His all-around work ethic helped him earn this honor.

“It means I’ve put in a lot of work and it’s time to keep stepping up and be a leader on this team. It’s not much of a surprise, every day I strive and I feel like I should be a single-digit. I don’t want it to get my head too big, I’m going to continue to play like I’m still 24,” Hood said.

“It’s what he does in this building, in this program, on a day-to-day basis. His work ethic, his attitude, how he attacks everything he does. He’s just a positive person to be around. The reason he’s wearing the No. 1 is that of how he is every day in this building with his teammates in the locker room and how hard he works,” Head Coach Geoff Collins said.

The Owls will also be celebrating Senior Day this Saturday afternoon. And with one more win, that will give the senior class its 32nd overall victory and earn the title of the winningest class in school history.

They certainly do face a tough test though in one of the highest scoring offenses in the nation. The offense will look to keep pace, and the defense will look to shut them down, in the seniors last game at Lincoln Financial Field.

The game is set to kick off at Lincoln Financial Field this Saturday at noon. The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU and you can listen in on 97.5 The Fanatic.

Make sure to check back into the SportsDesk for the game preview later this week.

SportsDesk Practice Report: 11/7

No Comments

Week 11 is here and the Owl’s season is winding down. With only 3 games remaining in Coach Collins’ first season as Head Coach, his team (4-5) needs two more wins to become bowl eligible. This week, the Owls look to come one game closer when the visit the Cincinnati Bearcats (3-6).

This past Thursday, Temple knocked off their conference opponent, the Navy Midshipmen, 34-26. An offensive and defensive clinic put on by the Owls. QB Frank Nutile made the absolute most of the opportunity to make his second career start. In the game, Nutile went 22-30 passing, with 289 yards and 4 touchdowns, earning himself onto the conference’s weekly Honor Roll.

Nutile threw for 4 touchdowns in his second career start.

“I think I’m feeling pretty confident. Like I said before, it’s really easy to play at a level when the offensive line is playing the way they are, the running backs are running the way they are, the receivers running the right routes, the tight ends running routes and blocking,” Frank Nutile said on his confidence. “And the way the defense plays, it’s great to have those guys out there. I think they held Navy to 130 rushing yards which is amazing. So when all those things are going together it makes my job pretty easy.”

On the receiving end of Nutile’s passes were WR’s Adonis Jennings, (5 catches 127 yards, 2 TD’s) and Keith Kirkwood (7 catches, 87 yards, 1 TD). Jennings looks to remain confident and build off his big game,

“I’m going to try. All I care about is winning these last couple games. I’m going to go out there and play the best I can play. We’re trying to come out of this week 1-0 and prepare the best we can.”

Keith Kirkwood earned some honors as well this morning. The Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year selection committee released its list of 20 nominees for the national honor this Tuesday morning, putting Temple’s own senior WR Keith Kirkwood as a semifinalist.

The award aims to identify the most exemplary leader in college football, weighing ideals such as “exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship both on and off the field.”

Keith Kirkwood and his daughter, Aria.

Kirkwood began his collegiate career as a wide receiver at Hawai’i, but wanted to transfer home so he could have more of a primary role in the raising of his daughter, Aria. Aria’s biological father passed away before her birth and Kirkwood stepped into the role without giving it a second thought. He’s earned his degree in criminal justice prior to this season and is currently taking on graduate studies.

On the field, in his career, he’s started 26 games and gained 1,399 yards and 12 touchdowns. His teammates recognize his toughness by honoring him with a single-digit jersey, #5, and was the first to receive the honor under Coach Collins.

“It’s not secret how I feel about Keith Kirkwood, the amount of respect I have for him, as a player, as a man, as a father, as a person. I can’t say enough about him and what he means to me and this program,” said Coach Collins.

Also receiving honors this morning was senior DE Sharif Finch. Finch led the defense last week that limited Navy to 362 yards of offense. He led the team in tackles with 9 including 3 and a half for loss, and 2 sacks. For his performance, Finch earned Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

Freddie Booth-Lloyd is this week’s No. 1 jersey recipient.

The player who will be wearing the coveted No. 1 jersey this week will be junior DT Freddie Booth-Lloyd. He had a sack along with two tackles last week in a dominant performance, making hustle plays all game long to give his teammates the opportunity to go and make a play, and for that Freddie will be honored with the No. 1 jersey.

“It means a lot. For my coaches and peers to give me the No.1 for this week, I feel privileged to be known as the guy to wear No. 1 this week,” Booth-Lloyd said.

Safeties Sean Chandler and Delvon Randall are entering this week with 8 interceptions each, tied for 11th on the school’s all-time list. One more interception would put them in a tie for 8th in Temple’s record books.

Cincinnati is coming off a 1-point victory at Tulane following a 5-game losing streak. Both teams are looking to win back-to-back conference games for the first time this season. Last time between these two teams, the Owls cruised to victory for their sixth win on their way to the conference championship. The Owls looks for the same success this year against the Bearcats.

The game is set to kick off from Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, this Friday night at 7:00pm. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN2 and you can listen in on 97.5 The Fanatic.

Make sure to check back in with the SportsDesk for the game preview later this week.  

Temple Wins a Must-Win Over Navy

No Comments

Thursday night primetime football welcomed Navy (5-2) into Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Temple Owls (3-5). Temple was hosting breast cancer awareness night at the game, on a beautiful night for football.

The Owls were in control of this game from the beginning, winning this one 34-26. This was Navy’s first ever loss here at Lincoln Financial Field.

The team’s traded field goals on each of their first drives.

After the Navy FG, QB Frank Nutile found Adonis Jennings for a 40-yard touchdown catch. Giving the Owls a 10-3 lead. On the drive, Keith Kirkwood caught a 24-yard pass to help set up the Jennings score.

After the first quarter, Nutile completed 9 of 12 attempts for 120 yards and one touchdown. Adonis Jennings caught 3 passes for 60 yards. Isaiah Wright led all rushers with his 29-yard scamper.

The Temple defense really shut down the Navy offense in the first quarter only allowing 32 yards on 12 plays. Whereas Temple gained 164 yards on 17 plays.

If you blinked, you would’ve missed the second quarter. Temple went down the field in 12 plays and Nutile found Keith Kirkwood for an 8 yards score. Big plays all drive from Kirkwood of 14 and 19 yards helped set up his touchdown catch.

During the drive, Ryquell Armstead checked into the game and carried 5 times for 14 yards.

The ensuing possession for Navy lasted 9:35 seconds and ended up with only a field goal as time expired in the first half. The drive was 19 plays long, but most importantly for Navy, it kept Frank Nutile and the Temple high powered offense off the field for quite some time.

The Navy field goal made the score 17-6 at the end of the first half.

At the half, Temple QB Frank Nutile completed 13 of 16 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. WR Keith Kirkwood caught 75 receiving yards on 6 catches and a touchdown. Isaiah Wright remains the leading rusher with 31 yards on two carries.

Navy QB Zach Abey was 50% passing in the first half, completing 1 of 2 passes for 8 yards.

Abey was also the team’s leading rusher in the half with 44 yards on 12 carries.

In the half, Navy gained a total of 95 yards on 30 plays. Temple gained 230 yards on 28 plays.

Starting the second half, after trading punts, Nutile found Adonis Jennings for a 34-yard touchdown, giving Jennings his second score of the game and Nutile his third touchdown pass of the night.

The drive was 4 plays long and lasted only a minute, but ended up in 7 points for the Owls, giving them a 24-6 lead.

On the following Navy possession, they took the ball 75 yards in 10 plays for a 5-yard touchdown pass from RB Malcolm Perry to QB Zach Abey. Catches from Darryl Bonner of 22 yards and Malcolm Perry of 26 yards helped set up the touchdown, cutting Temple’s lead to 24-13.

 

The Temple defense held Abey to under 100 yards rushing.

 

Just when Navy thought they were inching closer, Nutile and the Owls responded right back, again. Another big catch from Adonis Jennings of 33 yards took Temple down to the 1-yard line. Two plays later, Nutile threw his 4th touchdown pass of the day to Jake Robinson for a three-yard score. That was Robinson’s first career touchdown and it extended Temple’s lead to 31-13.

Through 3 quarters, Frank Nutile was 20-25 for 274 yards and 4 touchdowns. Adonis Jennings with 127 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns on 7 catches. Isaiah Wright still led all rushers with 31 yards.

For the Midshipmen after three, QB Zach Abey completed 4 of 5 passes for 74 yards and led the team in rushing with 67 yards.

Defensively, Chapelle Russell led the Owls with 6 total tackles and LB Micah Thomas led the Midshipmen with 8 total tackles.

On Navy’s first drive of the fourth quarter, they decide to go for it on fourth and 9 from their own 48-yard line. Sharif Finch sacked QB Zach Abey leading towards a turnover on downs and Temple regained possession at the Navy 38.

Six plays later, Navy forced the Owls to only a field goal, extending their lead to 34-13 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game.  

On Navy’s following possession, after crossing the ball over to Temple’s side of the field, Abey’s pass was intercepted by DB Delvon Randall, for his team-high 4th interception of the season.

Though 4 plays later, Nutie gave the ball right back when he threw an interception to CB Micah Farrar. Navy entered a new QB into the game for the ensuing possession, Garret Lewis.

Navy scored 4 plays into the drive on a 16-yard touchdown from Lewis to Brandon Colon, making the score 34-19 after the blocked extra point by Dana Levine.  

After a Temple punt, Navy would find the end zone one more time on an 8-yard pass from Garret Lewis to Tyler Carmona. The score put Navy within one possession, 34-26 with just over 2 minutes to play

Chapelle Russell led the defense in tackles against Navy.
(Cred:// Zamani Feelings

in the game.

Temple QB Frank Nutile would finish the game with 289 yards and 4 touchdowns on 22-30 passing and one interception. Isaiah Wright led Temple rushers with 40 yards on 4 carries.

WR Adonis Jennings led all receivers with 127 yards and 2 touchdowns on 5 catches. Followed by, Keith Kirkwood who caught 7 passes for 87 yards and one touchdown.

Navy starting QB Zach Abey finished with 111 passing yards on 6-9 passing attempts and led all rushers with 87 yards on 25 carries. Malcolm Perry led all receivers with 94 yards on 4 catches, followed by Tyler Carmona who also caught 4 passes for 63 yards and one TD.

Defensively, Chapelle Russell led the Owls with 8 total tackles. The defense registered 5 sacks on the night, DE Sharif Finch had two of his own. Delvon Randall recorded yet another interception.

This win moves the Owls to 4-5, 2-3 in conference play. Next up for the Owls is conference opponent Cincinnati on the road. Make sure you keep up with the SportsDesk for the game week coverage next week.  

SportsDesk Preview: Navy vs. Temple

No Comments

Temple football is back and fresh off their much needed bye week. Losers of their last two, most recently coming from a crushing OT loss to Army 31-28, the Owls look to bounce back when they take on the Navy Midshipmen this Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Owls (3-5) look to get back on track in conference play, starting 1-3 on the year. They’ve scored just 78 points, which is the worst in the conference, though they gave up only 101 points, which is third best, certainly that is something to lean on heading into the final four games of the regular season.

In their overtime loss to Army, first-time starter at QB Frank Nutile had an impressive day. The QB went 20-29 on passing attempts giving him a career best 290 passing and one touchdown.

RB Ryquell Armstead found his groove for his best game of the season, compiling 151 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. That’s more rushing yards than Armstead’s last 4 games combined, and his best game since his week 3 performance vs. UMass where he rushed for 91 yards on 17 carries.

WR Isaiah Wright also had a very productive day, racking up 150 all-purpose yards. He had 3 catches for 79 yards, to go along with one big touchdown rush of 50 yards. Wright also gained some yards on punt return.

WR Adonis Jennings continued to be productive for the Owls hauling in 4 passes for 62 yards and a touchdown. This was Jennings’ best game since he tallied 75 yards week 2 vs. Villanova. He hasn’t caught less than 30 yards in a game this season.

Defensively, the duo of sophomores, Shaun Bradley and Chapelle Russell continued to dominate. Bradley led the way with 11 tackles, and Russell followed with 9 of his own. DE Jacob Martin and CB Artrel Foster combined for the only sack of the day for the Owls.

Senior S Sean Chandler caught his first interception of the season on the last play of the first half. That interception, the eighth of his four-year career at Temple, moved him up into 11th on Temple’s all-time interceptions list.

 

Nutile threw for 290 yards in his first career start against Army

The Temple defense held the Army rushing game to just 248 yards in the game, which is a season low for Army.

For the second week in a row, Frank Nutile will start at QB for the Owls. Logan Marchi will play only in an emergency situation, said Coach Collins in today’s press conference. Although, Anthony Russo has been taking backup snaps behind Nutile for the last two weeks. If Russo were to play, it would be his first time in his career at Temple.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to compete against a great team. I treat it the same way I’ve treated every week so far, same preparation, same process, and attack the week the same way I have been,” said Nutile on getting his second start this season.

This week’s coveted No. 1 jersey will be worn by redshirt freshman DE Dan Archibong. This season, Archibong has 11 total tackles and 2 passes defended. 

“He does an unbelievable job for us. He’s started a lot of games for us. He’s a tough, physical kid, unselfish kid. He’s another kid who I’m not sure has gotten a ‘B’ since he’s been in college,” said Coach Collins. “Kids like Dan who play Division 1 football in one of the toughest conferences in football and still do good in school, should be celebrated and we can do that for Dan.”

For the Navy Midshipmen, they enter Thursday’s primetime matchup at 5-2, 3-2 in conference play. Just like Temple, they come in losers of their last two contests. Navy only needs one more win to become bowl eligible for the sixth straight season.

The Midshipmen will try to become bowl eligible in a stadium in which they’ve never lost. Navy is 12-0 all-time at Lincoln Financial Field, 10-0 against Army and 2-0 against the Owls. The last time Navy entered LFF to play the Owls was in 2014 where they won 31-24.

Temple last played Navy in the 2016 AAC Championship game where Temple knocked off the Midshipmen 34-10. In the contest, Temple was able to shut down Navy’s usually potent triple option, and WR’s Keith Kirkwood and Ventell Bryant combined for 145 yards and two touchdowns.

In doing so, Temple won the conference championship, after falling short the year before to the Houston Cougars 24-13.

Zach Abbey will be making his second appearance against Temple, and his first start against the Owls

Leading the triple option for the Midshipmen is their junior QB Zach Abey. Abey doesn’t throw the ball too much, throwing only 51 times completing just 19 of those throws for a total of 606 yards, 6 touchdowns and 5 interceptions.

Abey doesn’t throw much because he ranks second in the nation in yards per game with 163, leading the Navy rushing attack which is number one in the nation. The QB has carried the ball 208 times, 58 more times then the next 3 leading rushers combined, for a grand total of of 1,208 yards and scoring 13 touchdowns.

 

In Navy’s last game against UCF, Abey left the game early with a head injury after a vicious hit by an opposing linebacker early in the third quarter. Abey remained on the ground for several minutes while the training staff took a look at him. He eventually walked off on his own power, but did not return to the game.

 

Navy Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo expressed confidence that his QB will be healthy and ready to play come Thursday night to take on the Owls.

Helping out Abey with the running game is sophomore Malcolm Perry, who has carried 39 times for 436 yards and 3 touchdowns. Perry is also the team’s second leading receiver with 6 catches for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns. Also getting a healthy amount of touches in the backfield is senior RB Chris High. On the season, High has 89 carries for 414 yards and one touchdown.

 

The leading receiver for Navy is senior WR Tyler Carmona who has hauled in 8 of Abey’s 19 completions for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns. Behind Carmona and Perry on the receiving yards list is senior RB Darryl Bonner who has caught 5 passes for 142 yards and one touchdown, also rushing for 139 yards on 22 carries, scoring one touchdown.

There’s no question who the biggest threat is in Navy’s offensive game and it’s their junior starting quarterback. Look for Temple’s defense to perhaps put a spy on him to shut down his running game early and contain his breakout ability.

 

Defensively for the Midshipmen, leading the team in tackles is junior S Sean Williams. Williams on the year, has 54 total tackles, four passed defended, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Leading the team in interceptions, is senior LB Micah Thomas, with two on the season so far. To go along with the interceptions, Thomas has 42 total tackles, two passes defended and one forced fumble.

Helping out Thomas in the front seven is fellow senior LB D.J. Palmore, who has 41 total tackles, 8 for loss, two sacks, one forced fumble and three fumble recoveries. Leading the defensive line for Navy is senior DE Tyler Sayles who has 33 total tackles, three for loss.

The series between Temple and Navy is tied 6-6 all-time. The past three seasons, Temple is 4-1 coming off a bye week. And in the last two Novembers, the Owls have compiled a 6-1 record.

The game is set to kick off from Lincoln Financial Field, Thursday night at 8:00PM. It will be broadcasted on ESPN and you can listen in on 610 WTEL.

 

Follow @TU_SportsDesk for all gameday coverage.

 

SportsDesk Practice Report: 10/17/17

No Comments

Week 8 is upon us, and some might not have envisioned the start the Owls have gotten off to. Temple sits at 3-4 on the season, and 1-3 in conference play. They look to bounce back this week as they travel to West Point to take on Army (5-2).

The Owls are coming off a disappointing homecoming loss against UConn last week where they fell 28-24. Temple was down 14 points in the second half and fought and clawed their way all through the second half, but fell short on the team’s final possession.

Ryquell Armstead will look to rush for 100 yards for the first time this season against ECU. // Credit: Zamani Feelings

 

In the game, QB Logan Marchi completed 33 of 54 passers and threw for a career high 356 passing yards with one TD and one INT. He’s set a career high in passing yards in two straight weeks. Temple significantly outgained UConn in total yards, 473-244, and first downs, 28-15.

RB’s Ryquell Armstead and David Hood led the running game for Temple, both rushing for about 30 yards and each scoring a touchdown. David Hood, and WR’s Kenny Yeboah, Adonis Jennings and Isaiah Wright, all caught for 50+ yards, Hood led receivers with 91.

“It felt good to score my first touchdown of the year. But like I said, it doesn’t matter who scored I just want to get the win, I think we lost by like 4 points. So, I’m just going to keep running the ball well, it’s alright,” said Ryquell Armstead on his first TD of the year.

The Owls defense was led by LB Chapelle Russell who had 12 total tackles, recorded half a sack and two forced fumbles. Followed by fellow sophomore LB Shaun Bradley who had 7 tackles, and S Delvon Randall with 5 tackles and 1 interception. That made Randall’s third interception in the last 3 games.

What truly defeated the Owls were their two turnovers that turned into 14 points for the Huskies. One being a pick six late in the third quarter which completely killed all momentum for the Owls. The turnovers went along with a number of penalties that hurt theOwls all throughout the game, they totaled 12 penalties for 117 yards.

Temple enters this week with yet again another QB controversy. Starter Logan Marchi left today’s practice early, with what Coach Collins described as a “lower body extremity,” during his press conference today. Coach Collins also said that he expects Marchi to be ready to play this coming Saturday, but if he isn’t, then next man up is junior Frank Nutile.

This week’s recipient of the all-important No. 1 jersey is sophomore LB Shaun Bradley. On the season, Bradley has 40 total tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble, but his leadership on and off the field goes unprecedented.

“To me it means that my hard work is paying off. I’m just trying to be a leader for this team, so i accepted it and I’m going to keep playing well for this team,” said Bradley.  

 

This week the Owls hope to get back on the winning track and get back to playing .500 football. The last time these two teams met was in last year’s season opener, where Army came into Lincoln Financial Field and shocked the Owls 28-13. Temple looks to turn the tide this week.

 

The game is set to kick off from Michie Stadium in West Point, NY. Saturday at noon. The game will be shown on CBSSN and you can listen in on 610 WTEL Radio.

Make sure to check back in with the SportsDesk for this week’s game preview.

Temple Football Loses in Thriller to UConn

No Comments

A big crowd on hand at Lincoln Financial Field for Temple Homecoming 2017 as the Owls faced division rival UConn but lost in a tough battle 28-24. 

The game started out excellent for the Temple defense as junior Delvon Randall intercepted Bryant Shirreffs on UConn’s opening drive at Temple’s 22-yard line. Randall’s interception stopped an 8 play drive from the Huskies offense. This is also Randall’s 3rd interception in the last 3 games. 

On the ensuing possession for the Owls, they marched down the field 78 yards for a David Hood 1 yard rushing touchdown halfway through the quarter. 

The scoring drive consisted of 3 receptions by Keith Kirkwood for 35 yards and an Adonis Jennings rush for 22 yards which helped set up Hood’s one-yard score. 

UConn would respond though on a 6-yard touchdown catch by Quayvon Skanes from Shirreffs. That was a 15 play 88-yard drive that ate up 6 mins off the clock. 

On the Huskies scoring drive, LB Chapelle Russell, forced a fumble, though it was recovered by Huskies offensive lineman Trey Rutherford. The forced fumble by Russell goes along with 7 total tackles he had in the first half. 

Two drives later, Temple QB Logan Marchi completes a pass to WR Brodrick Yancy who turned the ball over on a forced fumble by DB Jordan Swann, recovered by UConn’s Marshe Terry who took the ball all the way down to Temple’s 9-yard line. 

The Huskies would score 2 plays later on a 6-yard completion from Shirreffs to WR Hergy Mayala. 

In the first half, Temple QB Logan Marchi passed for 86 yards on 12-19 passing. Adonis Jennings’ 22-yard rush leads all Temple rushers. Followed by RB David Hood’s 19 yards and Marchi’s 18. 

Keith Kirkwood led all receivers with 35 yards on 3 catches followed by this weeks No. 1 Isaiah Wright’s 13 yards on 3 catches. David Hood also got in on the receiving action with 2 catches of his own for 16 yards and Ventell Bryant has one catch for 9 yards. 

For the Huskies in the first half, QB Bryant Shirreffs went 10-16 for 51 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. RB Kevin Mensah led the rushing attack with 5 attempts for 23 yards, followed by Arkeel Newsome with 9 rushes for 19 yards. 

Hergy Mayala led in receptions with 3 for 17 yards and one touchdown, followed by Aaron McLean catching 2 for 20 yards. 

The second half provided some quick action as UConn scored on their first possession of the half on a 6-yard pass from Shirreffs to Arkeel Newsome to make it 21-7 UConn with 9 minutes to go in the frame. 

On the touchdown play, DL Sharif Finch was ejected for targeting the quarterback, which is a big loss for the Temple defensive front. 

Temple would answer back quickly on the very next drive. A 37-yard completion from Marchi to TE Kenny Yeboah helped set up an Isaiah Wright 9 yard touchdown completion. The score brought Temple to within one score at 21-14. 

On Temples next drive, QB Logan Marchi threw a big pick six to DB Tyler Coyle who took the pass back 34 yards for the score. Marchi threw that pick six after a major 3 and out for the Temple defense. Coyle’s score made it a 28-14 contest with 6 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter. 

After that drive, Temple marched all the way down the field to the UConn 12 only to turn the ball over on downs after a failed 4th down conversion. 

Though, on UConn’s first play after the turnover on downs, Chapelle Russell forced another fumble, this time on Huskies WR Tyraiq Beals, recovered by Temple’s Artrel Foster. The Owls would take over at UConn’s 21-yard line. 

4 plays later, on the first play of the fourth quarter, RB Ryquell Armstead carried the ball in from 10 yards out. That TD gave Armstead his first touchdown on the season and cut the UConn lead to 28-21. 

Temple’s defense continued to make key stands. Which enabled the Owl’s kicker Aaron Boumerhi to hit a 21-yard field goal, to cut the lead again down to 4.

After trading drives no scores, with 4:45 to go in the game, Temple took a gamble on 4th and short from UConn’s 24-yard line. Marchi’s pass was unable to be hauled in by Keith Kirkwood, turning the ball over hoping their defense would yet again make a much-needed stop. 

On the ensuing possession, UConn QB Shirreffs scrambles for a 49 yard gain. Setting the Huskies up for a missed 36-yard field goal, giving the Owls one last chance to drive down the field and score a touchdown for the win. 

RB David Hood with a big catch and run of 25 yards to help set up one final Hail Mary for QB Logan Marchi that was unsuccessful. 

QB Logan Marchi finished the game with 356 yards on 33-54 passing attempts. RB David Hood was the top receiver for the Owls with 91 yards on 8 catches, followed by Kenny Yeboah who caught 4 passes for 73 yards. 

Ryquell Armstead found the end zone on one of his 9 carries totaling 33 yards, fellow RB David Hood gained 30 yards on 6 attempts, also scoring a rushing touchdown.

For the Huskies, QB Bryant Shirreffs finished the game going 18-28 for 105 yards with 3 TDs and one INT. Shirreffs was also 2nd in rushing for UConn with 7 attempts for 56 yards, following RB Arkeel Newsome who rushed 18 times for 60 yards. 

Hergy Mayala caught 4 passes for 28 yards, Quayvon Skanes caught 3 passes for 18 yards, and Arkeel Newsome had 3 receptions. All three scored receiving touchdowns in the game. 

Defensively for the Owls, Chapelle Russell had quite an impressive performance totaling 12 tackles, one sack and two forced fumbles. DB Delvon Randall finished with 5 tackles and one interception. 

LB Junior Joseph had 11 tackles for the Huskies to go along with one sack and two passes broken up. DB Tyler Coyle took an interception back to the end zone for a 34-yard score which ultimately was the difference in today’s contest. 

With the loss, Temple drops to 3-4 on the season. Next up for the Owls, a trip to face Army on the road next Saturday at noon in the Owls final non-conference game. 

Make sure to check back in with the SportsDesk for next week’s coverage.

SportsDesk Preview: Temple vs. UConn

No Comments

The Owls (3-3) are coming home this weekend for a Homecoming matinee this Saturday afternoon to take on the UConn Huskies (1-4).

Temple will try to even their conference record with a win against their intra-divisional opponent this week who has had struggles throughout the season.

The Owls are fresh off their 34-10 victory down at East Carolina, where they made enormous strides as a team.

 

The team registered season highs in both points (34) and total yards (523). They entered the game with only one rushing touchdown in 5 games, and scored 2 against the Pirates defense.

 

RB David Hood had a career day rushing the football with 106 yards and a touchdown. QB Logan Marchi had a career day as well throwing 321 yards and 2 touchdowns from 5 and 32 yards out, completing 19-32 passes.

 

The offensive outburst last week, put the Owls 11th in the conference in total offense and 10th in the conference in scoring offense. A step up from their rankings last week for sure: dead last in both.

 

“[Our offense is] very dangerous, it’s always dangerous when you have more than one threat on the offense, so that will definitely help open up a lot of things for us,” RB David Hood said about the duel threat the offense presented against ECU.

 

To add to the offensive threat, plug in the wide receivers. Sophomore Isaiah Wright led the pack with 6 catches for 91 yards and a score. The other receiver hauling in one of Marchi’s TD passes was senior Adonis Jennings, who caught 3 passes for 37 yards and a score.

 

One receiver seems to be missing though over the last few weeks: junior Ventell Bryant. Bryant hasn’t caught more than 2 passes in a game since the Owls week 2 matchup with Villanova where he caught 7 passes for 79 yards.

Since then, he’s caught the same amount of passes, 7, only totaling 57 yards, all in the last 4 games. Halfway through the season, he’s only caught 14 passes for 136 yards, following a season where he caught 54 passes for 895 yards. Bryant sits at number10 all-time in receptions at Temple, and with 19 more receiving yards, he will be tied for 10th in that category as well.

So, where has Ventell Bryant been in the offense? QB Logan Marchi talks about how to get him going.

“You just got to take what the defense gives you. Ventell is a great player, any time you can get him the ball that what we’re trying to do. His time is coming, we’re going to get him the ball this week and we’re going to get all the receivers the ball this week.”

Defensively, the Owls front 7 continue to produce. Sophomore Shaun Bradley had a team-high 9 tackles, freshman Quincy Roche continued his fine play with 3 tackles and one sack. Senior Jacob Martin had two sacks to go along with two tackles, also getting a sack was senior Sharif Finch, making it a total of 4 sacks on the day for the defense. Junior Delvon Randall continues his impressive play with 5 tackles and 1 INT.

“Most people panic, that’s when pass interference comes into play. Me and [Mike Jones] and the guys we try not to panic and just play through the hands, stuff like that,” Randall said about dropping back into coverage against big, physical opponents.

As for the Huskies, they come into this game after the worst defensive outing in program history, losing to Memphis 70-31. UConn is 1-4 overall and 0-3 in conference play, their lone win coming from a 27-20 victory over Holy Cross, which was their first game of the season. Since then, they’ve gone 0-4 and have been outscored by a total of 83 points by opponents.

Offensively, they’re led by their senior QB Bryant Shirreffs. On the season, he’s completed 94 of 141 passes for a total of 1475 yards, 9 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Last week Shirreffs went 21-35 for 310 yards and one touchdown. It was his third straight game with 300 yards passing.

Shirreffs leads the AAC in passing yards, 295 yards per game, and is second in pass efficiency, 171.3, which is sixth nationally. The Huskies have averaged 469 yards per game this season.

 

Leading the rushing attack for UConn is freshman RB Nate Hopkins. Hopkins had a dazzling debut week one against Holy Cross, rushing 20 times racking up 130 yards and scoring 3 touchdowns. Since then, Hopkins has been quiet, averaging 29 yards per game in their last 4 contests, scoring 3 more touchdowns to give him a team high 6 rushing touchdowns.

Also in the backfield for UConn is senior RB Arkeel Newsome. He rushed 9 times last week vs. Memphis for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns, though running the ball hasn’t been Newsome’s biggest threat. On the season, he’s caught 18 passes for 360 yards. His best receiving game coming in week 4 when he racked up 170 yards on 8 receptions and one touchdown.

Another running back the Owls defense could see is freshman Kevin Mensah. His biggest game of the year came against ECU when he rushed 16 times for 107 yards. There’s a lot of personnel the Owls need to look to when studying the backfield this week.

“UConn’s actually a great team, when you really look and study them, they can put up points. Their QB is very good, their running backs are good, receivers are good, they’re a good team so we have to come and be ready to play,” safety Delvon Randall said.

RB Arkeel Newsome leads the Huskies in receptions, but there are a few wide receivers who’ve had nice games thus far. Sophomore Tyler Davis had his best game catching 4 passes for 87 yards. Junior Aaron McLean had a stellar game vs. SMU in week 5 catching 5 passes for 122 yards and one touchdown.

Early on in the season, it seemed junior WR Hergy Mayala was the main target, with 11 receptions for 183 yards and 3 touchdowns in the first 2 games. Since then, he hasn’t recorded a catch. Recently, it seems the most consistent target has been freshman Mason Donaldson. In the last 3 games, he’s recorded 13 receptions for 176 yards and 2 touchdowns. Look for production from just about everybody from this UConn offense, as they clearly like to spread the ball around and get everybody involved.

Defensively, they’re led by senior LB Junior Joseph, who has a team high 45 tackles and one sack on the season. The Huskies defense only has one interception so far, coming from freshman DB Tyler Coyle, who has 20 tackles as well.

Leading the way on the defensive line is senior Cole Ormsby. On the year, Ormsby has 12 tackles, including 3 sacks, to go along with 2 forced fumbles. Helping out Ormsby on the defensive line, is fellow senior Folorunso Fatukasi who has 17 tackles thus far.

In their 3 conference games, the Huskies have allowed the most points scored against them at 160, but have put up 97 points, which is second in the conference in points for during conference play.

Temple has had success against UConn during the team’s meetings, leading the series 12-5. The Owls look to keep their winning success going this weekend when they celebrate homecoming and look to had to the presumably exuberant atmosphere.

The game will kick off from Lincoln Financial Field this Saturday at noon. It will be broadcasted on ESPNews and you can listen in on 97.5 The Fanatic.

Follow @TU_SportsDesk  for all gameday coverage. 

SportsDesk Practice Notes 10/10

No Comments

Homecoming week is here for the Temple Owls (3-3, 1-2), who got back to .500 last week after a much needed victory over the East Carolina Pirates, also giving them their first conference win this season. The win gave head coach Geoff Collins his first conference win and his first road win, both in one game. They’ll take on the Huskies of UConn (1-4, 0-3) this Saturday afternoon at the Linc.

The offense finally broke out in a big way. Two big performances helped the Owls on their way to a victory: QB Logan Marchi threw for 321 yards on 19-31 passes and two TD’s with 1 INT, and junior RB David Hood who totaled 106 yards rushing and one touchdown.

 

“It felt good to finally see the potential of the offense and what we can do. We went out and executed the gameplan well and it’s a great confidence boost going into this week,” Marchi said.

On the defensive side of the football, the Owls smothered the opposing run game only allowing 34 yards on the ground. LB Shaun Bradley recorded nine tackles, two 

for loss. DE Jake Martin had a pair of sacks while S Delvon Randall had 5 tackles and one interception.

 

“I feel like we came in and prepared well, we over prepared honestly. We came in and just kept watching film, practiced hard. Over preparing is a great thing, and I hope we continue to do that every week so we can go 1-0 every week,” Delvon Randall said.

Leading the way in receiving was sophomore Isaiah Wright. He hauled in 9 passes for a total of 91 yards and a touchdown during the contest. Along with a great performance, Wright has earned the right to wear this week’s coveted No. 1 jersey against UConn. Though Coach Collins says it has nothing to do with his production.

“This has nothing to do with production, even though he is highly productive. Everybody recognizes him from the special plays he’s made all year, but it’s what he does, his work ethic everyday at practice,” Collins said. “He’s had a really good season for us, the production he brings is because of the preparation he puts in on a daily basis and a weekly basis. It’s no shock.”

 

Wright is coming off his best game thus far, scoring for the first time since week three when the team bested UMass. On the season, Wright has 21 catches totaling 338 yards, which is best among all receivers on the team. He’s also rushed 8 times for 20 yards.

The Owls look to continue their offensive surge this week against a struggling UConn defense who give up an average of 43.6 points per game this season. In their last game against Memphis, the Huskies defense gave up 431 passing yards and seven touchdowns.

The last time these two squared off was in early November of last season, the Owls took that game by a score of 21-0. Temple looks to keep that winning mentality going against UConn and build another win streak.

Fans will be loud this Saturday afternoon as their celebrate homecoming. Look for them to give the Owls a boost on the field. The game is set to kick off from Lincoln Financial Field this Saturday at noon. The game will be broadcasted on ESPNews and you can listen in on 97.5 The Fanatic.

Make sure to check back in with the SportsDesk later this week for your pregame report.  

SportsDesk Practice Report

No Comments

Temple (2-3) enters week six after dropping their last two contests. Both of which, have been to top conference rivals, USF and more recently, Houston by a score of 20-13. This week, they travel down to Greenville, North Carolina to take on division opponent East Carolina (1-4).

In last weeks loss to Houston, the Owls showed a lot of heart and effort in the second half, scoring all 13 of their points, and shutting Houston out in the fourth quarter is what gave them a chance. However, they fell short after not being able to convert on fourth down with a little over a minute to go.

Through an up and down 2-3 season, junior safety Delvon Randall remains confident.

“We respond well, we don’t come in and pout. We get back in, we know we have to go to work, watch film, prepare e

Sep 2, 2017; South Bend, IN, USA; Temple Owls quarterback Logan Marchi (12) prepares to hand off the ball in the first quarter against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

xtra and try to come out [of the week] 1-0,” said Randall.

QB Logan Marchi had a much better day completing passes, going 20-41 for 182 yards. A big step up from the night he had against USF. Though his turnover issue carried over, Marchi for the second game in a row threw 3 interceptions, making that 6 in the last two games. Thar stat makes it clear what he needs to work on, going into Saturday’s tilt with the Pirates.

“Anytime you turn the ball over you decrease your chances to win the game, so we have to take care of the football to give ourselves the best possible chance. [I have to] get in the film room more, identify coverages better, make better decisions when the pocket breaks down, that’s on me,” Marchi said.

The Owls running game picked up in the second half due to the exit of Houston’s star defensive tackle Ed Oliver. That allowed RB Ryquell Armstead to break some of the rust off from last week’s defeat. Armstead rushed 14 times for 63 yards. Following Armstead was fellow junior RB David Hood rushing 8 times for 53 yards.

Mike Jones, the Owl’s redshirt senior CB from Baltimore, Maryland is the recipient of this week’s jersey No. 1. Jones is a transfer from North Carolina Central and has made a big impact on the team thus far. He serves as kick returner and has racked up a total of 448 yards on 21 returns. As a cornerback, he has 20 total tackles on the season, 18 were solo, 2 were for a loss. He also has one interception and one pass broken up.

“It’s an honor. I’m blessed to have Coach Collins even consider me for the number. I’m thankful,” said Jones.

Jones said that Coach Collins told him to play relentlessly, to put days and weeks together and keep being a leader.

“[Jones] has an unbelievable attitude, really bought into this culture, he’s dove in with two feet. He’s become a tremendous leader and competitor. He is a dominant force on special teams and played a great game at cornerback last week,” Coach Collins said about Mike Jones.

Last time the Owls and Pirates went head to head was last season when Temple won by a score of 37-10. In doing so, Temple won its sixth straight game and claimed the East Division title for the second year in a row.

This time around it’s a different story. Temple is trying to end their losing streak, get back to .500 and get their first conference win of the season.

The game will kick off from Bagwell Field at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, N.C. this Saturday at noon. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and you can listen in on 97.5 The Fanatic.

Check back in with the SportsDesk later this week for our pregame preview.