Temple Takes Down NJIT

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PHILADELPHIA- In a matchup of non-conference play, Temple Men’s Soccer took down NJIT by a score of 3-1 to improve their overall record to 7-6-1 and finally get the team record over .500.

In a rather defensive matchup, the two teams remained scoreless up until the 40th minute. The Owls first goal came off a defensive turnover, which was stolen by junior, Jordan Wix Rauch. Wix Rauch proceeded to put the ball in the bottom right corner of the goal, past the diving NJIT goalie.

The Owls scored again midway through the 2nd half on a free kick outside the box. The free kick from Divin Fula Luzolo was played right at the feet of Brendon Creed, who had no problem finishing it for the 2nd goal of the game for the Owls.

Courtesy OwlSports

The Owls never looked back as that 2nd goal was enough to command their 7th victory of the season. The Owls dominated NJIT as they outshot the Highlanders 16-9.

In the 72nd minute, Fula Luzolo scored the Owls 3rd and final goal, to go along with his assist earlier in the half. In the last minute of the game, however, the Highlanders scored to spoil a 3-0 Owls shutout, but the Owls hung on for a 3-1 victory and another win at home.

“It was definitely a momentum builder,” said Temple head coach David MacWilliams after the game. “I think we frustrated them today”

The Owls will host their final home game of the season on Sunday, November 4th against the University of Central Florida. The Owls will recognize their 7 seniors prior to the game in honor of Senior Night.

SportsDesk Practice Report: 10/17/17

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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.

SportsDesk Spotlight: Temple Football’s Delvon Randall

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Among a secondary with two likely 2018 NFL draft selections (Mike Jones & Sean Chandler), Delvon Randall is seeing his stock rise with another full season following. // Credit: Zamani Feelings
Among a secondary with two likely 2018 NFL draft selections (Mike Jones & Sean Chandler), Delvon Randall is seeing his stock rise with another full season following. // Credit: Zamani Feelings

When you think of safeties that are known as the heart and soul of their defense, names that come to mind are Ed Reed, Brian Dawkins, etc.. On the 2017 Temple Owls defense, when it comes to heart and soul, Junior strong safety Delvon Randall comes to mind immediately. This past summer during training camp, Randall was awarded a single digit jersey as he converted from 23 to 2 which is a huge honor for any Temple football player. In the Owls first 7 games in the 2017 season, Randall racked up a total of 50 tackles to go along with his first sack of his collegiate career. As conference play has picked up, Randall has done his fair share of picking as well. Temple’sdefense has four interceptions on the year and three have been in the past three games. All three most recent have been gathered from Delvon Randall. As a sophomore, Randall emerged into the starting rotation on defense at strong safety and haven’t looked back since.

In the Owls first 7 games in the 2017 season, Randall racked up a total of 50 tackles to go along with his first sack of his collegiate career. As conference play has picked up, the junior has done his fair share of picking as well. Temple’s defense has four interceptions on the year and three have been in the past three games. All three in conference play have been gathered from Delvon Randall. As a sophomore, then number 23 emerged into the starting rotation on defense at strong safety and haven’t looked back since.

During his high school career, Randall was an Ironman athlete, playing both sides of the ball at Gateway High School in Pittsburgh, PA where he was born and raised. Rivals.com ranked Randall as 3-star prospect in the 2015 class of recruits and was ranked the number 33 overall player in Pennsylvania. He received several offers from many college football programs including Temple University, University of Akron, Bowling Green University, University of Massachusetts, and Toledo University. As a high school sophomore, Randall participated in the 2013 Chesapeake Bowl where he represented the North high school all-star team. Fellow Owl teammate and starting free safety Sean Chandler was also part of the North all-star roster. Randall would go to be a three-time all-conference player and spent some time on the ball courts as he spent some time on the varsity boys’ basketball team in high school.

From left to right; Delvon Randall, Sean Chandler, and Adonis Jennings await the start of the Temple vs. UConn homecoming matchup. // Credit: Zamani Feelings

Fast forward today, Randall has emerged as a leader to this young Temple Owls football team and a force on the field against opposing teams. It’s hard to watch a Temple football game and not see number 2 involved in the action any type of wait. You don’t accumulate 50 tackles (good for second on the team) just by standing on the field like a deer caught in headlights. As the season progresses, you can expect to hear Randall name in national conversations about some of the top colligate safeties in the country.

Who’s To Blame For Temple Football Struggles?

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To put this piece into more context, Temple football dropped their homecoming matchup to UConn 28-24 on Saturday 10/14 and Brian Steinmetz was at the game. Read his recap piece here, and watch highlights and a breakdown of the game from Vince Coll and Brian in the SportsDesk postgame report.

Week after week it seems I write about the same topic and there never seems to be a change. Disclaimer: Yes the offense reached 473 total yards and scored three touchdowns so you know the unit is able to produce- but week after week, whether it’s turnovers, missed opportunities, blown calls, etc. it’s no secret that they need to find answers. After Saturday’s loss to UConn, the team’s woes have never been more apparent.

Where to put the majority of the blame is the biggest question. Is it the offensive line? The quarterback play? Questionable play calling? Or a culmination of all of these things?

One thing’s for sure, losing to UConn is inexcusable for a team coming off an AAC Championship. 

Sure, there’s a lot of moving parts to this Owls football team. Obviously, there is a new coaching staff, quarterback and overall a different feel to this team. Still, you can’t help but feel like Temple let this game slip away.

The most difficult part of this loss is the number of opportunities the team was given. After a slow start, the Owls’ defense was able to stand strong allowing one score in the third quarter, and the rest of the game.

However, a costly pick-six put the Owls’ comeback aspirations on hold for another quarter. Here, Temple made a strong push for a comeback victory. The Owls moved the ball down the field with ease on numerous occasions as their stout defense continued to make stops.

On the team’s final drive, they were unable to get the go-ahead touchdown.

The biggest question here would be the coaching staff’s decision to not kick a 34-yard field goal on 4th and 7 with 4:40 left on the clock. If converted, the kick would put the Owls within one point and give them the option of kicking a field goal to win the game, rather than going for a touchdown. Considering the defense had been dominating UConn and the Owls had two timeouts, this decision left many confused.

As this season has proven, these errors are exactly what have plagued the Owls this season.//Temple will need to hash out these offensive missteps as they travel to take on Army next Saturday.

SportsDesk Spotlight: Men’s Soccer Michael Samnik

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As a sophomore and current starting goalkeeper, Michael Samnik has made the most of his opportunity as a starter, with a 3-2 record to show for it.
Samnik, in High School, was a captain, MVP, and earned 2nd team All-Regional in his Senior year. He also was the first freshman to play on varsity in his High School’s history. Now, he has finally been able to show the Owls what he is made of.

Courtesy OwlSports

The 6 foot 5 goalkeeper from Atlanta, Georgia lets his height play to his advantage, “It definitely helps to my advantage, make the angles a lot smaller. Makes me more of an aerial threat so people aren’t scoring off set pieces.”
Since Samnik has taken over at goalie,and the team has seen immediate success. Samnik believes there are a few keys to the team’s recent success. “Scoring early and that takes the weight off my shoulders, at the same time to be able to keep shutouts in two consecutive games has been big. Also the relationship I have with my defense and the connection we have is key.”
Samnik believes this Owls team is on the right path and can see them finishing first or second in the conference if they keep up these solid performances because nobody has really taken a step ahead in conference play.
After receiving the honor of Philadelphia 6 defender of the week last week, Samnik was very pleased and said his family found out before he did. “It felt Phenomenal to win it. I didn’t even know the news, I saw text messages from family members saying congrats. I want to keep that going and keep winning awards and keep up the success this year, and the remaining two years I have at Temple.”
As for the his starting goal-keeping position, Samnik hopes that he will get to keep it for his next couple of years at Temple. “ I hope to keep it through leadership, and I’m a vocal guy, everyone respects me on and off the field. Let my performance honestly speak for itself.”

Owls Beat Cincinnati to Earn Second Conference Win

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Temple men’s soccer team was able to win their second conference game yesterday as the Owls took down the Cincinnati Bearcats 2-1. This win puts the Owls at 6-6-1 on the season and 2-2 in conference. The lose brings the Bearcats to 5-6-1 on the season.

The Owls have consistently scored early in the game, and this game was no different. Within the first 7 minutes of the game, Cincinnati was issued a yellow card inside the

Courtesy OwlSports

box, earning Temple a penalty kick. Senior, Joonas Jokien, rocketed the ball in the bottom left corner of the net to give the Owls the early 1-0 lead. In the second half of the game, Junior Hermann scored the second goal of the game off of a corner kick that was originally deflected and gave the Owls a 2-0 lead. Cincinnati scored its lone goal of the game in the 67th minutes off of a penalty kick.

During this game, there was a combined 10 yellow cards that were issued. Temple outshot Cincinnati 13-7. The Owls also had 7 shots on goals while the Bearcats only had 1. Temple also had 5 corner kicks, and Cincinnati had 1.

Head coach David MacWilliams said, “We played a very tough team in Cincinnati tonight. It was an intense match with intense rivalry, fortunately we came out on top.  It was great to see Hermann score for us today to add to his other contributions throughout the season. Joonas was out for a while and his work today shows his efforts in getting back on track. Overall the guys played well and I think we are pretty confident in what we can do.”

Watch the Owls next as they take on NJIT at the Temple Sports Complex on Tuesday October 17.

Penn Downs Temple 4-2 in Sudden Upset

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The Field Hockey team suffered a loss on Sunday afternoon against city rival, Penn. Despite the determination brought on the field, the Quakers left with a progressing record of 6-6.

Temple dominated the first half of the game. Possession was mainly in their hands, and they took advantage of their opportunities. With 17 minutes into the game, Maddie Merton made the first goal of the game and the 3rd of her season.

The second half was the Owls’ downfall. On Penn’s 5th offensive corner, Gina Guccione deflected off the right post, advancing the Quakers to 1-1. Moments later, Temple responded by interrupting Penn’s 16-yard hit. Maiyah Brown had a fast break down the field where she passed to Cristen Barnett, who scored the Owls’ second, and final, goal of the game.

Temple’s defense let down and the Quakers gathered 3 consecutive offensive corners. With eight minutes remaining, Alexa Schneck scored the Quakers’ second goal. Erin Kelly scored her first goal of the season four minutes later. With less than three minutes remaining, Alexa Hoover took advantage of Temple’s open net and scored Penn’s 4th goal of the game.

Temple’s defense collapsed and Penn took advantage. Despite the lead Temple held in the first half, the Quakers showed their tenacity. Penn held 10 offensive corners over Temple’s two, and 10 shots on goal to Temple’s three.

The Owls will be back in action for the Big East conference on Friday, October 20th on Quinnipiac’s turf.

Temple Football Loses in Thriller to UConn

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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.

Owls Fall to Wildcats Despite Tough Fight

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By: Ashley Mir

On Friday the 13th, the Owls hosted an intense game against the Villanova Wildcats. Despite the tough fight Villanova took full advantage of all opportunities on the field and owned the game, leaving the Owls at 4-9-0.

 

From the first whistle, Wildcats took possession. The Owls retaliated with strong double-teams and block tackles to contain Nova. The Wildcats scored off of a deflected shot on their first offensive corner.

Temple bounced back with a fast-break down the field. Nova held forceful defense and took possession once again as the Owls’ defense broke down in their defensive circle, allowing the Wildcats to score again.

 

The Owls were relentless. Constant communication between the midfielders and forward line allowed efficient passes down the field. Lucy Reed scored Temple’s first and only goal of the game in the 27th minute off of a rebound. With less than five minutes remaining in the first half, Nova obtained a penalty stroke, leaving the Owls down 3-1 at halftime.

 

Temple put immense pressure on Nova’s defense for most of the second half. They forced 4 offensive corners, searching for opportunities to score.

 

Despite the intensity level the Owls played, Nova took control and now stand at 5-8. The Wildcats held possession most of the game, ending with 22 shots on goal and Temple with 14. Being down by 2 goals early in the game had a major impact on Temple’s outcome.

 

The Owls’ next game is another home advantage. Temple will take on Penn this Sunday, October 15th at 2 P.M. The Owls are focused on improving their record.

Women’s Volleyball Sits at a Steady 8-6

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Friday, October 6, 2017 vs. ECU, L 1-3

The Owls lost a hard fought game against ECU at home on October 6.  They lost the match 3-1, and fell to a record of 7-6.  The ladies played a great match but the ECU Pirates just outplayed them in the end. The Pirates hit a percentage of .259, compared to the Owls .177.  The Owls had good turnouts by Izzy Rapacz, who has been playing exceptionally well this season.  In this game, Rapacz recorded a double-double with 18 kills and 14 digs.  Additionally, Iva Deak had 11 kills, and hit at an amazing .450.  Kyra Coundourides had a big game to show for with 39 assists and 9 digs.  The team played well and got everyone involved, but it was not enough to slow down the ECU Pirates as they coast to a record of 11-6 after this match.

 

Sunday, October 8, 2017 vs. Cincinnati, W 3-1

The Owls hosted Cincinnati on October 8, at home for their Dig Pink for Breast Cancer game.  The game against Cincinnati was the complete opposite of the first game of the weekend against ECU.  This time the Owls had the better hitting percentage, hitting .247 while holding the Bearcats to .160.  The team played as a whole through every rotation this time and came out the victors in this match, 3-1.  Another great performance was turned in by Izzy Rapacz as she was one of three Owls to have a double-double.  Senior Kyra Coundourides, and freshman Katerina Papazoglou had the other two double-doubles.  Coundourides had a crucial role in this win, with another huge game, totalling 55 assists, 15 digs and a career high 6 blocks.  Additionally, the team had four players who hit double digits in kills in this match.  The Bearcats drop to a record of 6-12 on the year and the Owls move to a season record of 8-6 after this win, and are steadily above .500 at this point in the season.

 

Weekend Star- Izzy Rapacz

Senior Izzy Rapacz has been playing her best brand of volleyball this season.  She has 157 kills, 56 blocks, and 92 digs as of now.  She played two great games during both the loss against ECU and the win against Cincinnati.  Against ECU she hit the ball well at a percent of .235, and got her fifth double-double of the year.  Following that match, she notched her fourth straight double-double and sixth on the year, against Cincinnati.  During the game against the Bearcats, she totalled 17 kills and 13 digs while hitting .182 through four sets.  She turned in a great weekend and is truly leading this team to important wins.

 

Looking Ahead

Around the midseason mark, the team looks to truly break out and get into a playoff spot.  The Owls have two crucial conference matches coming up on October 20, and 22.  They play Tulsa at home on Friday, October 20, at 7 pm.  Following this game, they host SMU at home on Sunday, October 22, at noon.  Currently, Tulsa sits two games below .500, at a record of 8-10. Tulsa is 2-4 in conference play, so this match looks like it is in favor of the Owls.  SMU however, has won six straight games and sits at a record of 12-5.  The Owls need to play both of these teams confidently and as a team.  They are both beatable and important games if the Owls look to get a win streak of their own established.  SMU is currently undefeated in conference play and is additionally 4-0 in away matches.  This should be something the Owls are aware of, but should not fear the Mustangs, as anything can happen in conference play.  The Owls need to limit their mistakes early in this one if they want a shot at derailing the SMU Mustangs.

Both of these games are must wins as the team only has ten remaining games following this weekend at home.  Currently the team sits in fourth place in the AAC Conference standings.  They trail Wichita State, SMU, and ECU.  The Owls need to continue their conference success, and a win against SMU would be huge.