Former Temple Football Player Arrested in Florida

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Former Temple football player and current New York Jets wide receiver, Robby Anderson, was arrested in South Florida on Friday. Police say Anderson was driving 105 mph in a 45 mph zone. He is currently facing nine charges including harm to a public servant/family, fleeing police, resisting an officer, reckless driving, eluding police, failure to drive in a single lane, two counts of disobeying a red light, speeding and turning without a signal.

A Jets spokesman said, “We are aware of the situation. This is a pending legal matter and we will have no further comment.”

This is the second time Anderson has been arrested since joining the Jets in 2016. His first arrest happened last May at a music festival in Miami Beach. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 19.

This comes after Anderson’s stellar second season with the Jets. He led the team with 63 catches for 941 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.

 

Owls Get Earn Much Needed Win Over Tulsa

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It was not a pretty matchup, but the Owls got the job done Wednesday night against Tulsa.

In a game where Temple only shot 32.4% from the field, they were able to outlast the Golden Hurricanes to the score of 59-58.

The driving force behind this win was the Owls’ defensive tenacity. The men in cherry-and-white gave Tulsa headaches throughout the game forcing them to commit a whopping 18 turnovers compared to the Owls 6.

Shizz Alston, Jr. of Temple does a victory dance after their 97-92 overtime victory against La Salle on Nov. 11, 2016. CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

Things did not look good for Temple early in the game. Obi Enechnioyia, the team’s leading rebounder, and third-leading scorer, picked up 2 early fouls forcing him to the bench.

Fran Dunphy elected to use freshmen J.P. Moorman II as his replacement. Moorman II was so eager to get on the court, he forgot to take off his warmup pants.

The freshman’s motivation translated in a big way for the Owls. He was a key factor in the win logging 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals, which are the most of any Temple player this season.

Fran Dunphy cited Moorman II one of the freshmen who has been pushing himself to get more minutes and it is paying off.

This was most apparent in the closing seconds of the game where Moorman secured an offensive rebound and then assisted the cutting Josh Brown for the game-winning basket.

The game also saw a solid performance from Quinton Rose who was previously benched in place of Nate Pierre-Louis. Rose had 19 points while connecting on 4 of his 10 3-pointers.

The Owls’ next game will be against Penn at 2 pm on January 20th.

 

Owls Can’t Finish Another Close One

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It is difficult to think of a more flattening loss than what the Owls just endured.

After a late-game rally, Temple was able to push the game into overtime. Then, the Owls seemed to be destined for victory leading the Tigers 72-70 with just 9 seconds left in the game.

Unfortunately, this was not to be. Memphis’ Kareem Brewer hit a 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left in regulation. Following a pair of Tigers free throws, the Owls officially lost the game to the score of 75-72.

This game did not come without Temple’s usual struggles. The Owls were unable to answer 3 runs for the Tigers, the worst of which being a 11-0 run halfway through the second half.

While this was a crushing loss for the Owls, there was a bright spot.

Nate Pierre-Louis got the first start of his collegiate career, in place of Quinton Rose, and made the most of it. The freshman led the team with 23 points, along with 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Pierre-Louis was clutch for the Owls as he hit a late 3-pointer as the team began to pull away from Memphis.

Pierre-Louis’ start also raises questions about the future of Quinton Rose, the player he started in place of. Rose is currently the team’s leading scorer, so this will be interesting to follow going forward.

The Owls next game will be on January 17th against Tulsa at 6 PM.

Temple Can’t Pull Off the Upset Over Cincinnati

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Quinton Rose has led the Owls in scoring throughout the year at 16.5 points per game.

On Thursday night, it took him until the second-half with 5:16 remaining to score his only 2 points of the game.

Fran Dunphy stated before their game against the University of Cincinnati that it would be a grind.

The two teams combined for 27 turnovers, 35% shooting from the field and 24% from beyond the arc.

Dec 2, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Temple Owls guard Josh Brown (1) dribbles the ball against the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights at Liacouras Center. The Temple Owls won 79-70. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the sloppy play, the Owls had control through the first and majority of the second half. But it was not enough for a full two halves.

Following Quinton Rose’s layup, the Owls went cold. Just as the Bearcats started to heat up. Cincinnati went on a 10-0 run following the score leading up to Kyle Washington’s 3-pointer which put the Bearcats up 52-50 with 1:59 remaining in the game.

The most scrutinized moment from this run comes with a technical foul call on Fran Dunphy. After a foul call on Ernest Aflakpui, Dunphy appeared to have smacked his water bottle off the announcers’ table and onto the court. The free throw assessed after the technical foul put the Bearcats within a point with 2:21 left in the game.

The Owls were able to mount a late comeback effort as Alani Moore II hit three late free throws to tie the game at 53-53 with 18 seconds left.

Cincinnati’s Jacob Evans nailed a pull-up jumper with just 4 seconds remaining in regulation.

The Owls were unable to answer, falling to the Bearcats 55-53 after leading the team for more than half of the game.

This loss makes 4 straight for the Owls and keeps them winless within the American Athletic Conference.

Temple will look to snap their losing streak on January 7th, away against the University of Central Florida.

 

Rebounding a Major Weakness for the Owls

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Temple Men’s Basketball has displayed one major flaw thus far this season, rebounding.

During Temple’s last four games, in which they lost three and hardly beat Drexel, the Owls have been out-rebounded 148 to 103. However, a large portion of this came from the blowout at the hands of Georgia. The Owls have only out-rebounded Tulane during this stretch of games, and they still lost to the Green Wave.

The team currently ranks dead-last in the American Athletic Conference for rebounding an average of 33.2 boards a game and a total of just 339 on the season. In comparison, the next lowest rebounding total in the conference is Memphis with 453 rebounds.

Courtesy: NBC Sports

Temple also holds the worst rebounding margin in the AAC. In fact, they are the sole team within the conference that holds a negative margin at -2.8. This may be alarming, especially considering that the Owls rank 287th for this statistic in the country.

Other NCAA rebounding ranks for the Temple is as followed: 313th in total rebounds, 296th in rebounds per game, and 216th in offensive rebounds per game.

Outside of Obi Enechnioya, Temple’s leading rebounder, the Owls top-4 rebounders are guards. Ernest Aflakpiu, the team’s starting center, is averaging just 2.7 boards a game. This can be attributed to the team’s design for guards to run the floor, as well as the significant minute difference between the top-4 rebounding players and rest of the team.

Rebounding is a key factor in any game and the rebounding battle often dictates the winner of a game. Temple will need to reevaluate their rebounding strategy in order to break this mid-season lull.

 

 

Temple Falls to Tulane 85-75 at Home in Conference Play Opener

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The Liacouras Center was home to the first conference matchup for the Temple Owls (7-4) as they hosted the Tulane Green Wave (9-3).

Tulane was able to hang onto a late Temple surge to win by a score of 85-75.

Tulane entered the contest winners of their last two against Nicholls Colonels and Southern Alabama. For Temple, they came in following an 18-point loss to Georgia.

Temple’s only lead was 2-0 when the game opened up. Tulane then went on to take a 9-2 lead. Turnovers remained an issue for the Owls throughout the game as they totaled 8 in the first half. Tulane capitalized, scoring 15 points off those turnovers.

Temple ended the half trailing 38-29.

The Owls were left playing catch-up the entire second half. They could not find a way to cut the lead to under 4 as the Green Wave took control and they would not give it back. It seemed as though every time the Owls would get close, there were the Green Wave making another shot to keep Temple at arm’s length.

With just under a minute to play in the game, the Owls trailed by 4 points. Certainly, a mountable comeback, but there was Tulane once again making another run. The Green Wave finished the game on an 8-2 run putting an end to Temple’s comeback bid.

The Owls’ leading scorers of the game were Shizz Alston Jr. and Quinton Rose who both scored 17 points, Rose also had 3 rebounds and 4 assists. Senior guard Josh Brown had 14 points before fouling out late in the 4th quarter and Nate Pierre-Louis off the bench was a sparkplug for the offense making plays all around, ultimately scoring 11 points and grabbing 5 rebounds.

Temple has now lost 3 of their last 4 and next will travel to Houston for their last game of the 2017 calendar year. That game will be tomorrow night at 6 PM and be televised on ESPNU. Follow up with the SportsDesk for coverage.

Temple Wins the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl 28-3 Over FIU

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In a defensive battle the entire game, filled with punts and turnovers, the Temple Owls prevailed for a victory against FIU by a score of 28-3.

FIU’s starting QB Alex McGough went down on their 3rd offensive play suffering a broken collarbone. So, FIU Head Coach Butch Davis entered sophomore QB Maurice Alexander who had only thrown 6 passes all season long.

Temple’s first 4 drives resulted in a punt, fumble, another punt and a turnover on downs. FIU’s first 4 drives resulted in a punt, an interception and then two more punts. It wasn’t until 7 seconds gone in the 2nd quarter that the first score was made. A 4-yard Frank Nutile run finally broke the scoring drought.

It wasn’t until 3:12 to go in the third quarter that the game saw its next score, a 27-yard field goal by FIU. Following the field goal, Temple went on to score touchdowns on 3 of their last 4 possessions. The first of the three came on a 1-yard run by David Hood after appearing to fumble it, it was reviewed and ruled he had crossed the plane before he lost control. The second was on a 45-yard catch and run by Isaiah Wright, and the final score of the game came on a Ryquell Armstead 5-yard run.

 

QB Frank Nutile was named the Bowl Game MVP. He finished the game completing 18 of 28 passes for 254 yards and a touchdown plus 18 yards rushing including his 4-yard TD run. Even with the QB controversy early in the season, Temple was able to record 3,273 passing yards which are second most in program history. Only 51 yards short of the most all-time set last season.

 

Junior RB’S David Hood and Ryquell Armstead each finished their season strong rushing for a combined 127 yards and two touchdowns. Armstead has been banged up for the majority of the season and is a true testament to his mental and physical strength to be able to finish out this season with a strong performance heading into his senior season. For David Hood, it was all about the seniors.

“It just feels good to be able to send our seniors out with a win. They’ve been preaching ’27 wins, 27 wins.’ It’s just been sitting on my heart to send Adonis and Kirkwood out with a win,” said the junior RB.

Mentioning Keith Kirkwood and Adonis Jennings, those two along with Isaiah Wright each finished the game with impressive lines. Wright with 5 catches for 73 yards, 45 of them coming on his long touchdown in the fourth quarter. Keith Kirkwood led all receivers, however, with 6 receptions totaling 96 yards. For Jennings, 3 catches for 51 yards, 39 of which came on a spectacular play where he was tripped up and fell to the turf but ended up making the catch on his back at the FIU 1-yard line.

This was a breakout season for Jennings as he totaled 742 yards receiving on 42 catches, almost doubling his production from last season. In fact, his 742 yards this season are the 9th most ever in the history of the program. He finished 17th in career receiving yards(1,362), Kirkwood sits at 10th all-time (1,638) and Ventell Bryant is 7th (1,754). Jennings finishes his career tied for 15th all-time in receptions with 89, Kirkwood finishes 11th all-time with 103 receptions, while Bryant enters his senior season tied for 5th all-time with 122 receptions, needing 44 to sit at number 1.
The Owls finished their season with an 8 game streak of gaining 390 or more yards of offense. The team’s 5,046 yard of total offense this season is 3rd most all time, only trailing the teams from the previous two seasons.

For Temple’s defense, they set a Gasparilla Bowl record with 7 sacks. LB Will Kwenkeu led the way last night with 2. Also, contributing to that feat was Sam Franklin, Dan Archibong, Dana Levine, Sharif Finch, and Quincy Roche. Roche finished his freshman season with 7 sacks which are the 3rd most ever by a Temple freshman. This was also the first season in Temple history that the team had 3 players with

7 or more sacks, Sharif Finch-8.5, Jacob Martin-8, Quincy Roche-7. The defense totaled 39 sacks this season which is good for 3rd most all-time, 4 behind the leading season.

Sharif Finch finished with 32 career tackles for loss which is 5th all-time, he had 15.5 this season which is 6th most in a season. Sean Chandler finishes his career sitting at 17th on Temple’s all-time tackle list with 265 and 7th on the all-time interceptions list with 10.

In Head Coach Geoff Collins first season with the Owls, he posted a 7-6 record after starting 3-5. He was able to coach his team to win 3 of their last 4 games which got them to the bowl game and ultimately winning. This was Geoff Collins’ first bowl win as a head coach.

“Coaches put down a lot of rules and a lot of plans, but these guys are together 20 hours a day. We’re only with them three or four, and the way that they handled this bowl game was amazing,” said the first year head coach. “This trophy, the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl trophy, is really special to me because of who it represents. It represents this group of seniors, it represents the guys in that locker room and all that they have put into it.”

The senior class now has the final piece to add to their puzzle: a bowl game victory.

Enechionyia’s Efficiency is Key for the Owls

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It is no secret that Obi Enechionya has been struggling for the Owls.

In Temple’s last 3 games he has shot just 16% from the field. To put that into perspective, Lakers guard, Lonzo Ball, who is widely known for his struggles shooting is converting on just 34% of his shots. While it’s never good to go on scoring droughts like these, this is not out of the ordinary for the big man. Last season, he shot a mere 40% from the field in the regular season. Compare that to the 39% he is shooting this season, and there is nearly no drop-off at all.

However, Enechionya’s struggle come to a head you analyze his 3-point percentage. His offensive game gravitates around his 3-point stroke. At roughly 6’10, 220 pounds, he can play the prototypical role of a 3-and-D forward, or a stretch 4. Either way, he relies on his 3-pointer to space out opposing defenses which creates mismatches and cutting lanes for his teammates. Thus far this season, his 3-pointer has not been reliable.

During this 3-game “cold spell”, Enechionya is shooting just 10% from deep. On the year he is shooting just 31% from 3, which is 7% less than last season. This may not feel like a significant percentage, but it is. Compared to players in the NBA, the average 3-point percentage is 37%. In recent years, the 3-point shot has slowly improved showing the difficulties of improving the shot. The last time the NBA had shot an average of 31% from deep the year was 1987.

The Owls need Enechnionya to be more efficient and has been evident in their last few games. The team’s last 5 contests have been decided by 4-points or less — excluding the Villanova blowout. Temple would clearly benefit from an improved efficiency in their third leading scorer.

Even through his struggles he has shown glimpses of improvement in other areas. The most glaring of these is his free throw shooting. Last year, Enechionya shot 68% from the stripe, but now he is connecting on 85% of his attempts — a far cry from a season ago.

When Enechionya’s shots begin to fall, expect a much more dynamic Temple offense.

SportsDesk Gasparilla Bowl Game Preview: Temple vs. FIU

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Following Temple’s dominant victory over Tulsa in the team’s regular-season finale, the Owls reached the mark of 6-6. With their 6th win, Temple clinched a school-record third consecutive bowl appearance.

The team was chosen to play in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl in St. Petersburg, Florida, at Tropicana Field, which is the home of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. The team selected to face-off against the Owls are the 8-4 Florida International University Golden Panthers from Conference USA.

This is the 10th annual Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, however, it is the first time Bad Boy Mowers is a title sponsor. The game had been known previously as the St. Petersburg Bowl.

This will be the first time that Temple will be playing against FIU and the first time the Owls will be playing at Tropicana Field.

Temple enters this game 2-4 all-time in bowl game appearances, 1-3 in the last 8 years and have lost in the previous two seasons. However, Geoff Collins is in the process of turning the tide on the recent bowl game outcomes. In this just his first season as head coach, he was able to reach the .500 mark for the season and make a bowl game appearance. Temple has not had a head coach guide the team through two postseason appearances. (Previous HC Matt Rhule left the team for the HC job at Baylor prior to last season’s bowl game vs. Wake Forest.)

Nutile will be making his sixth straight start in Thursday’s bowl game. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

For the Golden Panthers, they will be making their school’s third bowl appearance in program history. In their previous two appearances, FIU has a record of 1-1. In 2010, the team was the Sun Belt Conference Champion, entering the game at 6-6. FIU played the 8-4 Toledo Rockets. FIU was able to overcome a 24-7 deficit early in the 3rd quarter to come back and win the game on a game-winning 34-yard field goal as time expired. The following year, in 2011, FIU went 8-4, finishing 4th in the Sun Belt Conference. They were invited to play in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl against the 6-6 Marshall Thundering Herd. The game was tied at 10 apiece going into the 4th quarter, then Marshall scored the final 10 points to win the game.

The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl has had some significant names come through their contest. Blake Bortles, the starting QB for the Jacksonville Jaguars played QB doe UCF when his team played in the bowl in 2012. Star wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts T.Y. Hilton was catching passes when FIU played in the game in 2011. Other star players include the Colts starting QB Jacoby Brissett (NC State), the Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty (Rutgers), Minnesota Vikings running back Latavius Murray (USF), Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu Sr. (Rutgers).

Florida International comes into this game with an offense that ranks first in the nation in red zone scoring, scoring points on 97.5% of red-zone opportunities. On the opposite side of the ball, the Golden Panthers defense has been quite stingy in the red-zone, finishing the season 25th in the nation with their opposition scoring on just 77.6% of their chances. While the Golden Panther’s third-down conversion percentage is 26th in the FBS at 44.6%.

The FIU offense is led by senior QB Alex McGough, who on the season has a 65.3% completion percentage, throwing for 2791 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. McGough also has the team’s third most touches rushing the ball 77 times for 214 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Alex McGough has led his team to the third bowl game in program history.

Leading the rushing attack is senior Alex Gardner. This season, he’s rushed 171 times for 765 yards and 6 touchdowns. Over the last 4 seasons, Gardner has tallied up 3,037 rushing yards on 675 carries. He is also a viable option to receive out of the backfield as well. This season he’s caught 17 passes for 70 yards. Over his 4 seasons, he has caught 115 passes totaling 751 yards and 1 touchdown.

QB Alex McGough’s favorite target is senior WR Thomas Owens. On the season, Owens has 59 catches for 887 yards and 6 touchdowns. He has not had a game where he caught below 40 yards. Though due to a knee injury that sidelined him the last three games, he will be forced to sit out of the bowl game, and he will look towards the NFL for his next step.

In the place of Owens’ receptions, look to senior TE Pharoah McKever who has 26 catches for 294 yards and 3 touchdowns. Also look for sophomore WR Tony Gaiter who has 31 catches for 293 yards and 1 touchdown.

Defensively for the Golden Panthers, their leading tackler is senior LB Treyvon Williams with 82 tackles, 8 for loss. He also has 3 sacks and 1 forced fumble. Right behind Williams in total tackles is fellow senior LB Anthony Wint with 81 total tackles, 7 for loss.

Leading the team in interceptions is senior CB Brad Muhammad with 4. The senior also has 51 total tackles. Leading the team in sacks is junior defensive lineman Fermin Silva, who has 7 sacks and 45 total tackles, a team-high 14 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. Right behind Silva in sacks is fellow junior defensive lineman Anthony Johnson with 6 sacks, and 37 tackles, 7 for loss.

Again, it’s the Temple Owls (6-6, 4-4 American) vs. the Florida International Golden Panthers (8-4, 5-3 C-USA). The game is set to kick off from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, at 8 PM, on ESPN. Make sure to follow up with the SportsDesk for continuing coverage throughout game day.

#1 Villanova Tops the Owls 87-67

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Good things come in threes, and apparently so do bad things. They certainly do in regard to Temple playing Villanova when Villanova is ranked No.1.

It doesn’t matter if they play them at the Liacouras Center, Pavilion or the Palestra, Temple just can’t seem to shake this new era of Wildcats. Temple has dropped five straight matchups against Villanova. In their third consecutive effort to upset a top Nova team, the Owls could not result in an 87-67 loss.

Temple could not tame two Wildcats, in particular, Jalen Brunson and Omari Spellman. Brunson always seems to play his basketball against the Owls. He notched a new career high of 31 points, going 11-16 from the field and 6-10 from behind the arc. Brunson also grabbed 6 rebound and dished out 5 assists, while accumulating zero turnovers. However, Brunson was far more dominant in the first half, 22 of his of 31 coming from the first 20 minutes of play. When Brunson [hardly] dropped off, Omari Spellman picked it up for the Wildcats. Spellman went 11-14 from the field and 4-7 from the three. He also grabbed 8 boards. It should not be forgotten that the Wildcats’ leading scorer was irrelevant on the court. Mikal Bridges, who averages just over 18 ppg, only added 7 points to the offense.

Courtesy Yahoo Sports

While Brunson and Spellman were practically unstoppable, Quinton Rose did everything in his power to give the two Wildcats a response on the scoreboard. Rose also earned a new career high of 27 points. He went 9-12 from the field and 5-6 from behind the arc. He also ignited a 13-0 run in the first half by draining back-back-back 3s in under 70 seconds to cut the Villanova lead to 7.

Rose did not have much help on the floor. Shizz Alston only had 10 points and went 0-4 from deep. While Brunson was dishing assists all night with zero turnovers, Alston was doing the opposite. He had two turnovers and zero assists. Temple as a unit had 8 assists and 11 turnovers. Villanova also had 11 turnovers, but they had 19 assists.

Villanova was essentially without Bridges and Temple was essentially without Obi Enechionyia. Despite having 7 rebounds, he did not contribute much to the Owls’ effort to upset the No.1 team in the nation. He was 1-7 from the field, 0-2 from behind the arc, 1-4 from the foul line and had 3 personal fouls. Overall accounting for only 3 points of offense.

Villanova truly showed why they are the top team in the country and they made it look easy. They shot 60% from the field and 46% from deep while Temple shot 47% from the field and just 36.8% from behind the arc. Villanova’s ability to convert on fastbreaks put the game out of reach for the Owls. They outscored Temple 21-9 on fastbreak points, accounting for 12 of their 20 points over the Owls.

The Owls are back in action Saturday, December 16th, at 5:00 o’clock at the Liacouras Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.