Men’s Soccer Falls to #1 SMU

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DALLAS- In the American Athletic Conference semifinals Friday night, the Owls season came to a close as they were defeated by #1 seed, SMU, who will advance to the the AAC Finals to take on UCF.

Less than three minutes into the game, SMU struck first with a goal from Emil Cuello to make the game 1-0.

In the fourth minute, SMU was awarded a free kick off a Darri Sigthorsson yellow card. SMU’s Bryce Clark connected with Jordan Cano for the Mustangs’ 2nd goal and to break open the floodgates.

Sigthorsson was issued a 2nd yellow card in the 34th minute and promptly ejected from the game, putting the Owls in a two goal deficit with only having 10-men on the field.

Courtesy OwlSports

SMU scored two more 2nd-half goals and put the game out of reach. The Owls were not dominated on the stats sheet, but two quick goals and being down one man did them in. The Mustangs outshot the Owls only 11-9, but SMU dominated the game itself. The two quick and early goals were too much for the Owls to overcome in the end.

As the Owls look back on their season, they can keep their heads up. After starting off 2-5-1, they turned their season around and were able to get themselves into the playoffs only to fall to SMU yet again. SMU grabbed their 7th consecutive shutout, as the last time they allowed a goal was vs. the Owls in October.

Chapelle Russell Out For Season

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As the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Marc Narducci first reported, Sophomore linebacker Chapelle Russell is out for the season with a knee injury.

Russell had been the team’s leading tackler up until this point in the season, with 70 total tackles in nine games. He also had 3.5 tackles for loss for a defense that is quickly turning around as the season progresses.

The Temple defense held the top two rushing offenses in the nation in Army and Navy to just 384 yards combined. Both teams were averaging over 300 yards per game entering the game.

While Russell has been notably the best linebacker on the field for Temple this season, the Owls have a young group of linebackers that will look to fill the position.

Lining up next to Russell this season has been Shaun Bradley, who is third on the team in tackles with 57, and nine tackles for loss. Bradley will now look to be the leading tackler on the defense minus Chapelle Russell.

Other options to fill the spot include William Kwenkeu, Sam Franklin, and Isaiah Graham-Mobley. All three have seen significant time on defense this season, and have performed well enough to stay on the field.

As the Owls continue their hunt for a bowl game, they will have to do it without their top tackler in Russell. Temple must win two of its last three games to become bowl eligible. The stretch continues tonight at 7 pm against Cincinnati.

SportsDesk Preview: Temple @ Cincinnati

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An idea that many thought was well out of reach after a devastating overtime loss to Army, is now coming into fruition for Temple in Geoff Collin’s first season. The Owls must win two of the final three games to make a bowl game, and two of which come against teams in Cincinnati and Tulsa, each with a losing record this season. 

First up is the aforementioned Cincinnati Bearcats, a team that lost five straight before last week’s one point victory over Tulane.

For Temple, it is once again a must win to have any hope at making a bowl game. While Cincinnati is a longshot at making a bowl game at this point in the season, the Bearcats will be looking to put a winning streak of their own together as the season winds to a close.

Matchups

Starting on the offensive side of the ball for Temple, Frank Nutile enters his third career start looking to continue his stellar play. In his two starts against Army, and Navy, the redshirt junior has thrown five touchdowns, four of which coming against Navy, and just one interception.

The offense has taken off with Nutile under center, averaging over 30 points per game in the last two games. Along with the play of Nutile, the wide receiving corps has also come to life down the stretch, as Isaiah Wright and Adonis Jennings have been getting open early and often in the past few games.

Wright put together perhaps his strongest performance of the season against Army, with 79 yards, on just three catches, for an average of over 25 yards per catch. The sophomore wideout also made plays in the run game against Army, with 52 yards on four carries, and a long touchdown run to cap it off.

Nutile has thrown five touchdowns to just one interception in his first two career starts

Jennings’ best performance of the season came last week against Navy, as the senior Pitt transfer racked up 127 yards and two touchdowns, including a 40-yard touchdown strike from Nutile in the first half.

“Frank is a leader, he connects with all the receivers,” Jennings said after practice on Tuesday. “He’s just so confident and poised in the pocket, I believe that Frank is a good quarterback.”

The run game has also been improving, as Ryquell Armstead continues to get healthy. Last week, the Owls rushed for 104 yards as a team, while using a trio of running backs in Wright, Armstead, and David Hood.

Armstead’s best outing of the season came against Army, when he rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. The junior running back has been getting more carries the past two weeks, and will look to be the number one back for the remainder of the season.

The defense of Cincinnati has been the strength of the team this season, as it ranks 5th in the conference in total defense, and second in pass defense. Nutile faces his toughest test of the season as a starter, on the road against a strong, playmaking secondary.

The secondary hasn’t been the only unit making plays for the Bearcats, as they also have a strong linebacking corps. Senior Jaylyin Minor has totaled 87 tackles on the season , followed by Perry Young who has collected 76 tackles, and he leads the team with 8.5 tackles for loss.

As a unit, the Cincinnati defense has 46 tackles for loss. The Bearcats will look to put pressure on the Temple offensive line, and Frank Nutile, early and often in Friday night’s matchup.

Defensively for Temple, the Owls have contained the nation’s top two rushing attacks in consecutive games. The front seven of Temple held Navy, who was averaging over 340 yards per game on the ground, to just 136 yards as a team. Quarterback Zach Abbey, who leads the AAC in rushing, was held to just 60 yards on 25 carries.

Much of the success of the run defense can be credited to the strong play of the linebackers. A unit that looked lost against Notre Dame and Josh Adams in week one, has turned into a position of strength on the Temple defense.

Chappelle Russell is the leading tackler on the Temple defense (Zamani Feelings)

Chappelle Russell leads the team with 70 tackles on the season, and 3.5 tackles for loss this season. He turned out another strong performance against the midshipmen, with eight tackles to lead the team. Shaun Bradley has also made his mark this season, with 57 total tackles, and nine tackles for loss through the first 10 games.

Safeties Delvon Randall and Sean Chandler have also been performing at a high level for the Owl’s defense. Randall is second on the team in tackles, with 60, and he leads the team with four interceptions. His ball hawking style of play has transitioned well in the new defensive system, as he leads the team in forced turnovers.

Lining up across from Temple will be a Cincinnati offense that has struggled mightily this season. The bearcats rank dead last in scoring offense in the AAC, averaging just over 20 points per game.

While the team has struggled, quarterback Hayden Moore has put together a solid season, throwing for almost 2,000 yards, and 13 touchdowns. The 6-3 215 lb. junior has spread the ball around to a plethora of different receivers, most notably Kahlil Lewis. The junior wideout leads the bearcats with 48 receptions, 444 yards, and four touchdowns on the season.

As for the Cincinnati rushing attack, the Bearcats use multiple different backs in different situations much like that of the Temple offense. Leading the way is Gerrid Doaks, who has rushed for exactly 500 yards on the season. He is followed by Mike Boone and Michael Warren who have each rushed for over 200 yards on the season, and have a combined four touchdowns.

Moore also contributes to the run game out of the quarterback position, as rushed for 197 yards to this point in the season, to go along with three touchdowns on the ground.

It is a must win game for both teams in the hopes of making a bowl game. The Owls have won the past two matchups, including a 34-13 victory a year ago.

Can Frank Nutile Maintain Success?

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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.

Nutile has thrown six touchdowns to just one interception in his first tow career starts

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.

SportsDesk Practice Report: 11/7

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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.  

Owls Win Big Against USF

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In a vital conference matchup against USF, the Owls were able to live up to the hype and defeat the Bulls 1-0. This win not only puts the Owls at 9-7 on the season and 4-3 in conference play, but it also gave the Owls an AAC playoff berth. The Bulls lose puts them at 6-6-4 on the season and 3-3-1 in conference play.

Recently the Owls have been starting out hot early in the match to secure the win, however, that was not the case in this game. USF played a very strong defensive game that the Owls are not used to seeing. The first half was scoreless for both teams, due to the great defense on both ends.  In the 53rd minute of the game, senior Joonas Jokinen scored the game-winning goal off a corner kick. That goal secured the win for the Owls and secured them a spot in the AAC semi- finals.

Courtesy OwlSports

USF outshoot Temple 12-7, but Temple goalie, Michael Samnik had 4 saves while the USF goalie had 0. USF also had double the amount of corner kicks than Temple, however, Temple was able to execute on their corner kick and secure the win.

Coach David MacWilliams said, “This win on senior day is a huge win for the program and for our eight seniors who have contributed over the past several years. I am so happy for our guys. We’re in it to win it as far as the conference tournament goes. I think the team is pretty confident and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

The Owls will travel to the AAC tournament on Friday, November 10th at a location that will be determined shortly.

Temple Men’s Soccer vs. USF Game Preview

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PHILADELPHIA- With a win on Senior Night, the Owls will be in the American Athletic Conference Playoffs. A team that started off at 2-5-1 and looked finished, is now standing at 8-7-1 and destined for a playoff run with a victory tomorrow night.

Eights seniors will be honored in a ceremony before the game. Seniors such as Alex Cagle, Divin Fula Lozolo, Matt Sullivan, Joonas Jokinen, Brendon Creed, Mark Grasela Tim Rudy, and Albert Moreno, will be honored in a pre-game ceremony for their contributions over the past four seasons to Temple Men’s Soccer.

Beating USF will be no easy task. The Bulls stand at a 6-5-4 record and have also not secured a playoff spot, which they can do with a win. 4 teams remain ahead of Temple in the AAC standings: UCF, SMU, UConn, and of course, USF. Both teams need to win to lock in a playoff spot, so it will be a tough battle and game between the two. The Owls are 0-4-1 against the Bulls and suffered a 1-0 loss to them in 2016.

Courtesy OwlSports

Temple will look to their leading goal scorers in Thibault Candia and Alan Camacho Soto to lead them past USF and their fantastic goalkeeper, Christian Knight. Knight held the Bulls’ ranked opponents scoreless with a career-high 15 saves and has 3 shutouts on the season. In order to get a spot into postseason play, Temple will look for leadership from their 8 seniors, who may be playing their final games, and goal scoring abilities from Candia and Soto to lead them to a victory over Knight and the Bulls.

Temple is coming off a 1-0 loss to UCF, while USF is coming off a tie with #12 SMU. Both teams look to clinch a postseason appearance at the Temple Sports Complex, tomorrow night, at 7 PM.

Women’s Volleyball Hitting its Groove

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Temple’s Women’s Volleyball team has been playing exceptionally well since conference play has started.  The Owls are coming off of two huge wins on October 27, and October 29.  The team won both matches without dropping a single set.  Exceptional team play has been coasting them through their winning streak.  The winning streak is currently seven games long and the team has had no problem with any teams during this win streak.  This winning streak and recent success could not have come at a better time, as the team is chasing Wichita State as the only team ahead of them in the AAC Women’s Volleyball standings.

Friday, October 27 vs. Houston, W 3-0

The Owls faced off against Houston on Friday, October 27, at home.  They took this win without dropping a set to Houston.  Temple out hit Houston .278 to Houston’s .184.  The team did not trail at all during the first and third set, and everyone was doing their part to get the team their sixth straight win.

Kyra Coundourides is in the midst of a stellar senior campaign (Cred:// Temple News)

Kyra Coundourides continued her dominant senior year, with a great game on Friday, totaling for 42 assists and 12 digs in another double-double.  Junior Mia Heirakuji had a great performance as well, with 13 digs to help the Owls defensive approach.  Additionally, freshman Averi Salvador led the Owls in digs with 15, making that her career best.  These women certainly dominated the court and all hit double digits in digs, helping the team outdig the Cougars, 61-55. 

WIth the win, the Owls moved to a demanding 13-6 on the year, and 8-2 in conference play.  Houston however, fell to 8-11 on the year and 4-7 within the conference.

Sunday, October 29 vs. Tulane, W 3-0

After the easy win on Friday night, the Owls returned to McGonigle Hall on Sunday afternoon at 1 pm, to face off against Tulane.  The Owls took the first match between the schools on September 29, with a score of 3-1.  The Owls improved on their game plan against Tulane this time around, as they did not drop a set in the showdown.  The Owls won three sets to none, which led them to their tenth conference win of the season.

The Owls had another great turn out by Kyra Coundourides who had 36 assists and a team high 12 digs, giving her yet another double-double.  She had help from redshirt freshman Dana Westfield, who hit .444 and had 13 kills.  Izzy Rapacz had a double-double of her own, with 12 kills, 10 digs, and five blocks.  Tulane could not handle the Owls in this game, but especially in the second set, where the Owls won 25-12.  The Owls hit .500 in the set and Tulane just could not get their game established in the second set. 

With this win, the Owls have won seven straight and move to 14-6 on the season.  The Owls have not lost a game since October 6, and currently sit at 10-2 in AAC play.  With the loss for Tulane, they drop to 13-12 on the season and 2-10 in the conference.

Weekend Star- Kyra Coundourides

Kyra played exceptionally well in both games and truly led the team to the weekend sweep.  She had a double-double in both games and helped get everyone involved, with a total of 78 assists in the weekend.  She has been having a great senior year, and she has been helping this team to victory recently.  Her play has boosted everyones play and she certainly is one of the leaders of this team.  

Looking Ahead

The Owls have two matches coming up that are both on the road.  They travel to Dallas to play SMU on November 9, on a Thursday night, and then they will travel to Tulsa on November 11 for a Saturday afternoon match in Oklahoma.  The Owls have played both of these teams once before.  They beat both of the team’s 3-1.  SMU currently has the same conference record as Temple, so this would be a great point to pull ahead of them.  Tulsa currently is 11-13, and can be an easily won match for the Owls.  Both matches are crucial wins for the team.

Temple Wins a Must-Win Over Navy

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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.  

Will Frank Nutile Be the Starter for the Remainder of the Season?

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The Temple Owls may have found their starting quarterback going forward. During the team’s game against Army, Coach Collins elected to start Frank Nutile over Logan Marchi. In recent weeks, Marchi had been struggling mightily. After starting the first 3 games of the season without an interception, he has thrown 8 in the last 4 games. Marchi seemed to be getting his footing following an impressive showing against East Carolina, but after falling to a previously winless Uconn team and an apparent “lower extremity” injury, Coach Collins made the change.

Insert Frank Nutile. Nutile received his first career start against the Army Black Knights on October 21st. In a game few thought Temple would compete in, Nutile carried the team to a photo finish. The junior QB was solid throughout the entirety of the game. He threw for 290, 1 touchdown and put up an impressive 164.3 rating. He also completed 69% of his passes missing on just 9 throws. The best part of Nutile’s game was his 0 interceptions, which the team has not seen since week 3. Unfortunately, the Owls were unable to secure a victory despite Nutile’s efforts.

Nutile didn’t turn the ball over in his first career start

Now the question becomes, will Nutile be the starter from here on out? Offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude is still unsure. Tom Ignudo of Temple News caught up with Patenaude to ask about the quarterback position.

“You can’t have an honest evaluation on it until you get in there and watch the tape and make an evaluation of where he is and where Logan’s health is.”

Despite what Patenaude says, it seems like it would be wise to roll with Nutile for at least one more game. The Owls will be facing the Midshipmen of Navy next week. Navy is similarly ranked to that of Army with both teams giving up over 350 yards a game. However, Navy is ranked 62nd overall in passing yards allowed. This is a considerable drop-off from Army’s 48th ranking, which could be the making of the perfect storm for Nutile. If he does get the start, he has the opportunity of cashing in on an average pass defense to cement his claim as starting quarterback.

No matter who steps out as starting quarterback this Thursday, they need to ensure Temple does not lose their 3rd consecutive game.