Frank Nutile has been great for the Owls this season. After nearly stealing a win from Army, Nutile lead Temple past a solid Navy team. This comes as a surprise to many as few expected the Owls to beat the Midshipmen. Still, Nutile was able to get the job done.
In the game he threw for 289 yards and 4 touchdowns completing 73% of his passes. With the exception of one garbage-time interception, the redshirt-junior played flawless football. However, this much early success forces me to wonder if Nutile can maintain this success.
As I stated earlier, “Frankie Juice” has been playing mistake-free since becoming the starter. In those two starts Nutile has thrown for 579 yards, 5 touchdowns and is completing an average of 71% of his passes. Most importantly, he’s spreading the ball around. After several weeks with Isaiah Wright being the heartbeat of the team’s passing attack, Nutile is giving other receivers a chance. Against Navy, Wright registered 3 catches for 35 yards, Keith Kirkwood had 7 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown, and Adonis Jennings lead the team with 127 yards and 2 touchdowns on 5 receptions.
Previously, the team was very one-dimensional in their passing attack, but now it appears they are using more of their weapons.
This success should translate against the Cincinnati Bearcats. They are currently 3-6, with a conference record of 1-4. They also give up 211 passing yards per game, which ranks 53rd in the country. This is far worse than Army’s defense giving up an average of 191 passing yards and Nutile was able to almost eclipse 300 against them. I would fully expect Nutile to continue his success against the Bearcats.
It’s also important to note that of Temple’s next three opponents, Cincinnati gives up the fewest passing yards per game. So, if Nutile does play well against the Bearcats it’s reasonable to believe it will be smooth sailing for the rest of the way.
Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see if Nutile can maintain his success going forward.