Temple Volleyball Falls to Nova, Owls Look to Bounce Back vs. Wichita State

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By: Ben Medland 

Last Game: September 15, 2017 at Villanova

The Owls fell to a record of 4-4 on the season as they lost an away match last Friday night. The Owls fought hard and managed to steal one set from the Villanova Wildcats.  Stellar performances were turned in by Irem Asci, who kept the sets close, with 19 kills and 3 aces. Iva Deak also scored double digits in kills with 10, along with 5 blocks.  Asci and Deak played hard and helped the team dominate the court against the Wildcats.  However, their performances were not enough to carry the team to their fifth victory of the season, as they fell 3-1.  Temple has dropped from no. 8 to no.12 in the nation in blocks per set.

Standout Star: Irem Asci

Irem Asci has been putting in great performances in recent games.  She, stuffed the stat sheet against Villanova and in their game against Boston College, where she had 10 kills and 10 digs.  The outside hitter looks to increase her total of kills, as she sits second on the team for kills with 64.  Some other season totals for Asci include, 47 digs, 10 blocks and 5 assists.  She currently leads the team in kills per set, averaging 2.91 kills per set.  Asci is looking to get back to her dominate role, like she had in 2015, where she lead the team in kills per set with 3.68.  

Next Game: Friday, September 22, 2017, against #24 Wichita State, 7 pm

The Owls face off against the Wichita State Shockers, for the first time in the school’s history.  The Shockers joined the AAC for the 2017-18 school year, and have been playing outstanding thus far in the new conference.  The team currently sits at a record of 8-3 and is ranked at 24th in the nation, the second time this season that the team has been ranked.  The Shockers are coming off of a huge weekend where they went 1-1 against two tough nationally ranked teams.  The team won a crucial game against #8 Creighton, 3-1, but fell in the second game when they could not manage to steal a set from #19, Iowa State.  The Shockers look to continue their recent success, with a win tonight in Philadelphia.  However, the Temple Owls, are desperate for a win as they look to start another win-streak tonight. So far this season, the Owls are 1-0 at home, and look to stay undefeated tonight on their home court. The Owls need to shut down Wichita State’s Tabitha Brown, and Abbie Lehman who both have a lot of kills this season.  If the Owls can continue with their “block party” and shut down key players for the Shockers, then they should have no problem jumping to 5-4  this season.  The Owls may have a little trouble if they can’t eliminate the early successful hitting by the Shockers.

 

Owls Dominated On National Stage, Still Finding Identity

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A 43-7 loss to the USF Bulls sets Temple back to 2-2 heading into week 5, and this was certainly not the way the unit wanted to open up conference play. The best thing about this game for the Owls was that time expired.

QB Logan Marchi entered the game without one interception, that quickly ended when he threw one in each of the first three quarters. Absolutely nothing doing for Marchi, as he simply couldn’t get it going tonight passing for only 32 yards going 3-13 with 3 INT’s. His two rushing attempts were even more unsuccessful resulting in a total loss of 24 yards. He was also sacked twice.

Logan Marchi came into the game leading the AAC in pass yards. // Credit: Tampabay.com

Kyle Gauss from OwlScoop noted Marchi’s -2.4 passer rating is the worst by a Temple QB with at least 10 pass attempts in the last 18 years.

So, in came junior QB Frank Nutile who was able to gain some garbage time yardage passing 4-12 for 57 yards and 1 INT. Nutile also contributed to the negative run game with 3 carries for -7 yards. Also getting some time under center was freshman QB Todd Centio, although he did not attempt a pass, Centio rushed twice for -12 yards and was sacked twice.

Yes, there was some rushers who gained positive yards in tonight’s affair. Majority coming from junior FB Rob Ritrovato (5 carries for 24 yards), and junior RB David Hood (5 carries for 13 yards). The starting backfield had little to no impact on the run game tonight with RB Ryquell Armstead carrying 11 times for 3 yards and FB Nick Sharga carrying twice for 2 yards.

Even with the positive yards from the backfield, it wasn’t enough to keep the rushing numbers positive, totaling out to -4 rushing yards on the night.

Given the lack of consistency at QB, the receiving core as a whole totaled 7 receptions for 89 yards. A big chunk of that coming from this week’s No. 1 Adonis Jennings, who caught 2 passes for 33 yards. The only other receiver with more than one catch was junior Ventell Bryant (2 catches, 13 yards). Also catching passes were sophomores Randle Jones (1-17), Isaiah Wright (1-14) and freshman Freddie Johnson (1-12).

The only score for the Owls came on a Jacob Martin strip sack return for a touchdown at the end of the first half that brought the score to 20-7. There was life heading into the locker room. However, Temple’s offense simply could not get going, posting just 85 total yards, opposed to USF’s 408 total yards coming from a multitude of places, starting with their senior QB Quinton Flowers.

Temple’s woes on offense took a lot of pressure off what many believe to be the best athlete in the conference. // Credit: NY Daily News

Temple’s defense was able to slow Flowers down for the most part and contain him from having an extraordinary game, though his numbers were still impressive. Flowers went 8-20 passing for 96 yards, 0 TD’s, and 0 INT’s, though he rushed 16 times for 59 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the sidelines, you could tell Flowers was not pleased with his game due to his poor passing.

Doing the most damage were the Bulls two big senior RB’s Darius Tice (15-117, 2 TD’s) and D’Ernest Johnson (24-106). Tice’s longest carry of the day came on the opening play of the second quarter on a 47 yard touchdown run for the game’s first touchdown.

The Owls secondary did a good job on shutting down the Bull’s receivers only allowing a total of 8 receptions for 96 yards. Most of that number coming from seniors D’Ernest Johnson (2-29), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (2-26) and junior Tyre McCants (2-29).

The Owls defense did all they could to stop this high powered offense, sophomore LB Chapelle Russell had 13 total tackles including 9 solo, and 1.5 for loss. Every time they would get off the field, it seemed as though they were right back on it. It wasn’t until about 2 minutes to go in the first half, when senior defensive lineman Jacob Martin gave the Owls some life when he strip sacked Quinton Flowers and took the fumble 44 yards to the endzone to make it a 20-7 game going into halftime. Though that would be it for the visiting Owls.

Turnovers hurt Temple badly tonight, 6 turnovers led to 19 points for the opposition. Four interceptions, and two fumbles lost, to compare to USF’s 2 fumbles lost. 

It’s back to the drawing board for Head Coach Geoff Collins as he tries to salvage what he can from this loss. Next Saturday, the Owls will continue their conference play against Houston at home in hopes of their first conference win and improve to 3-2.

Keep up with @TU_SportsDesk this week for more analysis on the game, and the coming week’s matchup.

SportsDesk Weekly Profile: Logan Marchi

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One of the biggest questions coming into the 2017 season for the Temple Owls football program was “who’s going to lead the offense and take over the starting quarterback position?” For the past four years, Temple fans were used to seeing Phillip Walker under center.

After a long quarterback battle at summer camp, Logan Marchi stepped up and answered the question that everyone waited the entire off-season for an answer for. A redshirt sophomore, Marchi earned the nod at starting quarterback days before the opening game against Notre Dame. Last season, he was the number 2 quarterback on depth chart sitting behind Walker.

So far Marchi is off to solid start in his new role for the Owls. He has a 2-1 record as a starter, leads the AAC in passing yards with 767 yards to go along with 5 passing touchdowns. Not to mention he’s thrown 0 interceptions.

Marchi leads the AAC in passing, with 767 yards (Cred:// Zamani Feelings)

Born in Bristol, Conn, Marchi played quarterback at St. Paul Catholic high school in Bristol. In both his junior and senior years, he threw for 38 touchdowns. His senior year he threw for 3,220 yards. He was an ironman athlete in high school as he played both sides of the ball. He accumulated 38 tackles and 4 interceptions on defense. A two-star pro-style quarterback coming out of high school, Marchi received offers from Temple University and his hometown school, University of Connecticut. Marchi committed to Temple as part of the 2015 recruiting class.

As the 2017 season goes on, Marchi is showing signs of improvement in the new offense as the starting quarterback and showing growth as a leader. The Owls have a young offensive core and with Marchi as the starting quarterback leading the charge, the future’s very bright for Temple.

Even with the impressive stats through the first three weeks of the season, Marchi knows he still has room to improve.

“For me, just staying consistent, can’t have one big play and then a couple bad plays,” said Marchi after practice on Tuesday. “Converting on third downs, and scoring in the red zone is  probably on two biggest things right now that we gotta work on offensively.”

Marchi received AAC Weekly Honor Roll for his efforts against UMass, after throwing for 248 yards and three touchdowns. Marchi, a first year starter, has impressed his first year head coach Geoff Collins to this point in the season.

“The way he studies film, the way he takes every advantage vs. the scout team. I’ve been really proud of him.”

Marchi has already etched his name into the Temple record books, as he has thrown for the most yards in Temple history of any quarterback in their first three career starts.

One aspect of his game that was missing until the UMass game was Marchi’s ability to run the ball. He showed glimpses of his running ability against the minutemen, but will look to get more opportunities on the ground to keep the defense honest.

“He was banged up early in camp,” said offensive Coordinator Dave Patenaude. “He ran the ball pretty well the other night. In the plays where he had a read, as part of it, he was 100%.”

True Freshman Todd Centeio made his Temple debut against UMass, but according to Patenaude, it’s of no fault to Marchi. He alluded to the fact that Marchi is playing at an all league level as to why fans should not expect a quarterback change in the near future, even with the talent the Owls have at the position.

Marchi will look to use his legs as the season progresses to keep the defense honest (Cred:// Zamani Feelings)

With all the confidence surrounding Marchi coming from the locker room, and the coaching staff, the team will look to compete against USF Tomorrow night. The key for Marchi, is starting fast, and staying on the field.

“Trying to stay on the field, for the defense, to get them some rest, is key this week,” said Marchi. “It’s definitely something we’re trying to do. Go out, start early, have a good first series, and put the ball in the endzone.”

The Owls enter as a 19.5 point underdog a year after beating the Bulls at home 46-30. The play of Marchi will be key if the Owls want to keep pace in the division, and return to their third straight AAC championship appearance.

Owls Rebound From Three Game Lose Streak

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After losing three straight games in a row, the Temple men’s soccer team topped Duquesne 4-1 Tuesday afternoon. Sophomore, Thiabault Candia, led the team to their victory scoring 2 out of Temple’s 4 goals. This puts the Owls at 2-4-1 on the season.

Right out of the gate, Divin Fula Luzolo connected with Thiabault Candia to score Candia’s first goal of the game in the 43rd second of the game. This gave the Owls the momentum from the beginning. Temple had several opportunities to score on goal in the first half, and they actually had 9 shots on goal compared to Duquesne 2 shots on goal in the first half.

Going into the 50th minute of the game, Thiabault Candia was able to score his second goal of the game on a one on one play and was able to shoot the ball straight to the back of the net to make the score 2-0. Sophomore, Zach Brown, was able to score his first goal of the season off a deflection in the 76th minute of the game, and the last goal of the game was scored by sophomore, Lukas Fernades, to secure the win for the Owls.

Temple was able to outshoot Duquesne 23 to 6 with the Owls having 9 shots on goal in the first half and 14 in the second half. Goalkeeper, Alex Cagle, had only 1 save during the game while the Duquesne goalie had 8 saves on the game. Temple also had 8 corner kicks to help setup the offense while Duquesne only had 1 corner kick.

Courtesy of OwlSports

Candia said, “It was a great game for the whole team. Everyone played very well. When I got that first goal of the game, my first career goal, it gave us a lot of confidence and made us more comfortable. Hopefully we can keep the momentum up for the remainder of the season.”

Coach David MacWilliams was excited about the win and said, “Today’s win feels great. The guys played really well today. We have a clean slate in the conference in terms of records so I am looking forward to what we can do over the next few weeks. We will head into conference play on Saturday with a home-field advantage and today’s win under our belt which should help us build a momentum.”

See the Owls play next Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Temple Sports Complex vs. UConn.

SportsDesk Preview: Temple vs. USF

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Week four is very quickly upon us as the Owls will depart for Tampa, Florida tomorrow afternoon to take on the 21st ranked South Florida Bulls.

Temple is fresh off its 29-21 victory over UMass last Friday night. In doing so, it improved to 2-1 overall and winners of their last two contests. Though the Owls face a tough task Thursday night when they open up conference play and visit their 3-0 conference foe. The Bulls have won their 3 games thus far by an average of 19 points.

In Friday’s game, sophomore QB Logan Marchi continued his impressive start to his season, completing 22 of 37 passing attempts for 248 yards and a season best 3 touchdowns, and still has yet to turn the ball over.

QB Logan Marchi leads the AAC in passing yards, and has not turned the ball over in his first three starts (Cred:// Zamani Feelings)

Marchi made the AAC Honor Roll this week for his performance Friday night. In his first three games, he leads the AAC in passing yards with 767, and has thrown the ball a total of 107 times without an interception. He is one of 3 FBS QB’s with 100+ passing attempts with no INT’s.

Though he still sees some cracks in his offensive game,

“I’d say we need to work on staying on the field and converting on third downs, also scoring in the red zone are our two biggest things that we got to work on offensively,” Marchi said. “For me, just staying consistent, I can’t have one big play and a couple bad plays, so we got to stay consistent on offense.”

Also getting conference honors this week, is freshman defensive lineman Quincy Roche. Roche made 8 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. With that performance he took home Co-Defensive Player of the Week in the AAC. But he’s concerned about this week’s opposing QB Quinton Flowers.

“I think the biggest thing is keeping him in the pocket. He has the ability to make you pinch inside while he cuts outside, so it’s big to make sure we don’t buy into that and keep [Flowers] contained,” Roche said.

Roche’s 3 sacks contributed to a team total of 9, which is the highest total since September of 2015 when the Owls sacked Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg 10 times. DE Sharif Finch and LB Sam Franklin each had two sacks Friday.

Junior RB Ryquell Armstead finally broke out in a big way on Friday night. He led the rushing game by carrying the ball 17 times for a season high 91 yards. He started early, gaining 60 yards on the first drive of the game. Also contributing was senior FB Nick Sharga, who carried 4 times for 12 yards and made some crucial plays on special teams, recovering a fumble, and making a tackle on a blocked kick.  

The Owls WR corps played a big role in the team’s success Friday night. Sophomore Isaiah Wright led the way with 4 catches for 69 yards and a one handed touchdown to seal the win. Following Wright, is senior Keith Kirkwood who also hauled in 4 catches for 64 yards and a TD. Also breaking the plane was senior WR Adonis Jennings, who caught 3 passes for 41 yards including one large gain on 30 yards.

Because of his performance in games, practices and his all around leadership, Jennings has earned the right to wear the No. 1 jersey this week. Coach Geoff Collins talked about his character today when describing this weeks No. 1.

“Everybody sees what he does on Saturday’s and the big plays he makes. What you don’t see is the prep work he goes through every single day to get his body ready for practice, not just games, to get his body ready for practice. He’s in here an hour before practice, stretching, rolling, to get himself ready to practice at a high level.”

Jennings was humbled to have his number called.

“It’s special that I got number one, I know I’m respected by my teammates and my coaches. I’m very ready to go out and play…I worked hard, I put in the work and I’m glad my teammates and coaches know that. So I’m ready to go out and prove I deserve it.”

As for South Florida, the Bulls rely very heavily on their senior QB Quinton Flowers. This season, Flowers is on Heisman watch, throwing 45-81 for 678 yards and 8 touchdowns with only two interceptions. On the ground, he’s rushed 61 times for a total of 243 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Last season, Flowers won the AAC Offensive Player of the Year and CFPA National Performer of the Year, joining Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson as only players in the FBS to pass for 2,000+ and run for 1,500+ yards in 2016.

Helping out Flowers in the backfield are senior RB’s D’Ernest Johnson (2nd Team All-AAC) and Darius Tice. So far on the season, Johnson has 52 carries raking up 215 yards and 2 touchdowns, also catching 2 passes for 37 yards and 1 touchdown. Darius Tice has totaled 48 carries for 256 yards and 4 touchdowns. Both of these RB’s are coming off 100+ yard performances last week vs. Illinois.

Temple’s defense ranks ninth in the AAC in pass defense (Cred:// Zamani Feelings)

“They like to spread people out and run the ball, obviously they have a very explosive QB, so it’s going to be a tough game, everybody has to be locked in and focused when it comes time,” co-Defensive Player of the Week Quincy Roche said.

Also making plays for the Bulls are their WR’s, senior Marquez Valdes-Scantling who has 14 catches for 202 yards and 2 TD’s thus far, along with junior Tyre McCants who caught only 5 passes thus far totaling 131 yards and 2 touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball for the Bulls, leading the way for their secondary is junior CB Ronnie Hoggins. Hoggins has 18 total tackles on the season, 17 solo, 4 passes broken up and 1 interception. Also helping out at CB is Deatrick Nichols who has 13 total tackles, 11                                                                                         solo, also with 4 passes broken up.

Leading the front seven, is senior DT Bruce Hector, who leads the team in sacks (2) and tackles for loss (5) thus far. He’s got 11 total tackles, 10 have been solo. Helping out Hector, is senior MLB Auggie Sanchez who has 16 tackles thus far, 1 for a loss, and 1 pass broken up.

“We got a lot of players from Florida that I know are excited. Any time you can play on a national stage, everybody’s game in some way, shape or form, elevates. So I know our guys are excited and they have a worthy opponent to play against as well,” Coach Collins said on the opportunity to play primetime on national television.

The Owls look to extend their winning streak to 3 games Thursday night, and get their first conference win this season. Kickoff is set for 7:30PM from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The game will be nationally broadcasted on ESPN and you can listen in on 610 WTEL Radio.

Follow @TU_SportsDesk for all gameday coverage

Women’s Soccer Shuts Out Delaware State

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PHILADELPHIA-

 

When senior midfielder Elana Falcone scored off of a deflection at the 4:10 mark to start the match, it seemed as though the Owl’s had already won.

 

Temple played the winless Delaware State University (DSU) Hornets Sunday at the Temple Sports Complex. The game went the Owl’s way, as they ended up winning 8-0 with seven different players scoring. This was Temple’s third win in the past four games and their third straight shutout as well.

 

“This game was important for us, we knew that we had the upper hand in this game,” Falcone commented. “We knew that we wanted to just stick to our own game plan and not play their game at all.”

 

Even before the match began it felt like DSU was overmatched. They were 0-8 coming into the match and have only scored one goal all year and have only taken 44 shots all year, including the shots taken in their matchup against the Owls. Temple on the other hand has scored 17 goals all year and has taken 133 shots.

 

The Owls had no trouble creating chances for themselves as the ball was always on the Hornet’s end. Of the 24 shots taken, a staggering 18 of those shots were on net, that’s a 75%.

 

“I think today that was the demand, I didn’t give them any scout on anybody,” coach Seamus O’Connor said. “I just told them you’ve got to focus on yourself and do your job and once we did that then the opportunities and goals came.”

 

Temple scored its first three goals within the first 15 minutes and was up 5-0 at halftime. Almost every player got into the game for the Owls and junior goalkeeper Jordan Nash played the second half while sophomore goalkeeper Morgan Basileo played in the first half. Neither goalie was challenged.

Graduate student and forward, Morgan Glassford, added on, “How we started out was so important. Sometimes we’ll be in a 0-0 game and not a lot of subs will come in, so just knowing that we have so many players who can score off the bench is vital. It was awesome today.”

This is also the third straight game where the Owl’s have not given up a goal. The amount of shots that their opponents have had during this streak has declined each game as well. Basileo had the first two shutouts while she and Nash split the game today. “This streak has given us more confidence in what we are doing. Knowing that we are hard to score on has made us a very difficult team to play against,” O’Connor said. “Teams who play us know they will have to work hard to try to score on us and that usually leaves them open to one of our quick counter attacks where we can take advantage of our speed to get a shot on goal.”

 

The Owls will look to continue their hot streak Saturday  September 23rd, when they travel to New Britain to face off against the 3-5 Central Connecticut State Blue Devils.

Slippery Slope for Men’s Soccer Continues

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FAIRFIELD, CONN-

Temple Men’s Soccer fell to Fairfield 2-0 on Saturday night in a tough, defensive-minded matchup. Both teams were very aware on defense throughout, and that is why neither team could amount to any scoring in the first half. The game was rather even in the first half, as the Owls managed two shots on goal, while the Stags had one shot. The game remained scoreless going into the second half up until the 56th minute mark. Fairfield’s Don Junior-Bobe broke the stalemate to put the Stags up 1-0. After Fairfield’s first goal, they broke the game open and in the second half of the game, and they proceeded to outshoot the Owls five shots to one. The Owls could not get anything going offensively after that.

Fairfield’s defense was up to the task and completely shut down any opportunities that the Owls had to come back. Temple’s stout defense from their backline and terrific goalkeeping from goalie Alex Cagle could only carry them so far as Fairfield’s scoring opportunities and lack thereof for the Owls was too powerful to overcome. Over the course of six games the Owls have only managed to score three goals and have relied heavily on the presence of their defense and Cagle to carry the team. In the 85th minute, Fairfield’s, Ben Wignall scored to make it 2-0 and put the game out of reach for good. This marks three straight losses for the Owls to put the overall team record at 1-4-1. The Owls will look to bounce back from their recent struggles as they have two games this week at home, September 19 vs. Duquesne and September 23 vs. UConn.

 

Owls Pass Defense Needs Work Before USF

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As Temple football sits at 2-1 through three games, that’s where most fans had the team before a week 4 matchup at South Florida. It seems Owl fans are still uneasy. The unit has struggled in each of their first three games, including the most lopsided loss in the last nine seasons to Notre Dame in the opener. This past week, Temple took on the University of Massachusetts- an 0-3 team fresh out of an ugly loss against FCS school Old Dominion. To be blunt, UMass is not a good football team and Temple was only able to beat them by 8 points.

As I wrote in my previous article, there are many things contributing to the Owls lack of production. After the game against UMass, quarterback problems can be ruled out. Logan Marchi finally looked to be comfortable in the pocket passing for 248 yards and 2 touchdowns. Sure, there were some moments he would like to have back, but it’s encouraging to see his improvement, and he was never necessarily a detriment to the offense.

The Owls secondary came into this season with high expectations and have disappointed so far. Safeties Sean Chandler (left) and Delvon Randall (right) face a big test on Thursday. // Credit: USA Today

If the Owls have any hope of winning going forward, they will need to improve their pass defense. It’s been ugly for a Temple secondary laden with NFL talent so far this year. Quarterbacks have had their way with the team’s secondary. Through 3 games, these are the stats opposing QB’s have been able to put up: UMass- Andrew Ford 377 yards, 2 TD’s; Villanova- Zack Bednarczyk 382 yards, 1 TD; Notre Dame, Brian Wimbush 184 yards, 2 TD’s.

Obviously, it hasn’t been pretty. If the Owls can’t shape up ASAP they will be in for an unpleasant Week 4 against USF. The Bulls is ranked 22nd in the nation. One of the big reasons for that is their QB, Quinton Flowers.

Flowers is well-known throughout the nation as a Heisman sleeper. So far, he’s proven he deserves to be considered. Through 3 games Flowers has lead his offense to average 40 points per game. He’s thrown for 616 yards, 8 TD’s and ran for 243 yards with 2 scores.

Bleacher Report released this pre season top-10 Heisman watch article, listing Flowers at #10 on the list.

For the Owls to contain him, they will need their secondary to step up. If they can take away either his ability to run or to pass, the chance of pulling an upset drastically increases.

Hopefully the Temple football team can steal a win in Florida this Tuesday night.

Owls Show Positive Flashes in 29-21 Victory Over UMass

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In a game where Temple needed to make a statement against an 0-3 UMass Minutemen team, the Owls started slow but eventually found a groove en route to 29-21 win. Standout performers Quincy Roche, Isaiah Wright and Sam Franklin left no doubt the Owls would reign victorious on Friday night.
Logan Marchi threw 3 touchdowns to all different receivers. Isaiah Wright, Keith Kirkwood and Adonis Jennings all were on the receiving end. Final stat line for Marchi: 22/37 for 248 yards. // Credit: Zamani Feelings

Prior to the final minute of the first half, Temple’s offense managed just 118 yards on 29 plays, continuing their woes from the first two games. Even further, 58 of those yards came on one carry from Ryquell Armstead. It wasn’t until 1:04 left in the first half when Logan Marchi connected with Adonis Jennings for a 30 yard score that put the Owls up 10-7. On the opening play of UMass’ ensuing possession, Quincy Roche stripped Minutemen QB Andrew Ford and landed on the football to secure an Owls possession inside the red zone.

With 10 seconds left in the second quarter Marchi delivered again, this time to Keith Kirkwood for an 11 yard strike. Aaron Boumerhi missed the PAT and the Owls headed into halftime leading 16-7. 13 points in 54 seconds gave the Owls breathing room for the first time in the game.
The first half also featured the debut of true freshman QB Todd Centeio, who played 7 snaps, amassing 30 total yards. Logan Marchi had been missing throws leading up to the final minute, which likely had to do with the change up.
The Owls defense stayed poised for the second straight week, although Minutemen tallied 438 total yards. More than 100 of those came in the final 6 minutes of play when Temple had a lead secured. Leading tacklers Delvon Randall, Quincy Roche, and Sam Franklin all came to play in their respective positions. On the other end Temple’s offense racked up 387 yards.

Something to be excited about as an Owl fan was the resurgence of Ryquell Armstead. Even if the Owls run game

Todd Centeio was efficient in his 7 plays under center for the Owls. // Credit: Philly.com

wasn’t necessarily dominant, big bursts for the junior halfback resulted in a favorable stat line of 17 carries for 91 yards. The Owls 119 rush yards were the highest so far this season.

The Minutemen continued to stick around, as an 0-4 start to the season is something no one on the UMass staff had in mind. QB Andrew Ford finished the game 23/37 for 377 yards and his leading receiver Sadiq Palmer caught 7 of them for 117 yards. The Minutemen kept it within one possession for a large portion of the 4th quarter trailing 22-14, and weren’t able to capitalize. The Owls drove down on the ensuing possession where Isaiah Wright’s highlight reel catch in the end zone extended the Owl’s lead to 29-14. A UMass score in garbage time resulted in the 29-21 final.
Conference play opens next Thursday in another short week at No. 22 South Florida. Keep with @TU_Sportsdesk throughout the week for analysis on the Owls opening AAC matchup.

 

SportsDesk Preview: UMass vs Temple

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Week three is upon us and the Owls (1-1) will host the UMass Minutemen (0-3) this Friday night. This will be the last non-conference game for Temple until late October, as next week, they open up their inter-conference play.

The last time these two teams squared off was back in the 2015 season at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The Owls won the matchup 25-23. It was quite the nail biter as it came down to a game winning field goal by now senior, Austin Jones with 12 seconds remaining.

Temple will look to jump ahead early this time and not have to worry about it coming down to the final 12 seconds.

“We respect every team we play, of course we respect UMass from our past play with them. It’s going to be a good game,” said senior DE Julian Taylor. “I don’t expect them to bow down and be like oh they’re Temple they’re conference champs, I expect them to come at us like we are any other team. So I’m excited to play,” said senior DE Julian Taylor.

The Matchups 

The Temple offense will look to put more points on the board after their first two games putting up 16 in both. QB Logan Marchi comes off another impressive start against Villanova throwing for 274 yards on 20-34 passing attempts and still with zero interceptions. Though he remains critical of his game, and offensive production.

“It’s got to be better, hands down. 16 points back to back is not okay. We should definitely be putting up more points than that.”

Ryquell Armstead rushed for just 19 yards against Villanova. (Credit: WBZW)

Marchi also wishes to get the running game going after just 79 rushing yards vs Villanova, and 85 yards in week one vs ND.

“We got to have the run game there, [vs] Villanova it wasn’t where we wanted it to be, we got a great running back and a great o-line, so we have to make sure we execute the running game.

Sure enough if they are able to get RB Ryquell Armstead and the running game active, it will take some pressure off Marchi and the WR core to make big plays.

In the game against Villanova, Armstead was limited to just 19 rushing yards due to some minor injuries. He looks to start this Friday and give the offense an electrifying jump that they need.

The play of the Owl’s receivers though, cannot go unnoticed. Redshirt junior WR Ventell Bryant made his return to the field last Saturday in a big way after a week one absence. He hauled in 7 catches totaling 79 yards, including a one-handed 29 yard reception that led to the game winning field goal.

Also with a big day was senior WR Adonis Jennings, who caught 3 passes for 75 yards, including one for 43 yards. Redshirt Senior Keith Kirkwood caught 4 passes totaling 61 yards.

As for the Minutemen, they have some talent of their own at WR and TE. Senior TE Adam Breneman leads the way for UMass in receiving with 21 receptions on the year totaling 323 yards. Junior WR Andy Isabella has caught 16 passes for 246 yards and 3 TD’s, including one catch for 60 yards and a touchdown in a 17-7 loss to Old Dominion.

UMass’ passing offense is led by star wideout Andy Isabella, and former Penn State tight end Adam Breneman (Cred:// Daily Hampshire Gazette)

“They’re athletic, they’re quick, we just got to come, watch and keep studying them and by the time Friday comes we’ll have a game plan for them,” said junior safety Delvon Randall. “They’ll go across the middle, they’ll go deep, it doesn’t matter, they’re great players.”

In the backfield for UMass, is junior RB Marquis Young. Young has produced big in his first two seasons, totaling 1,858 yards and 11 touchdowns. So far this season he’s already produced 148 yards and 4 touchdowns, matching his number of TD’s from a season ago.

Under center is junior QB Andrew Ford. This season, Ford has totaled 827 yards on 63-103 passing attempts, 4 touchdowns and only one interception. This is Ford’s second season as starting QB for the Minutemen, last season he threw 26 touchdowns and 14 INT’s, while being sacked 32 times. Only three games into this season, Ford has almost been sacked half as many times as last season, at 14. Temple looks to take advantage of that visible weakness this week, starting with this week’s No. 1 jersey, DE Julian Taylor.

When asked if batting the ball down at the line and not going for the sack would be suffice against Ford who likes to get the ball out quick, he said, “Oh yeah, of course, I would love that too, that would be just like a sack, but I like sacks though.”

On the defensive side of the football for UMass, leading the way is LB Bryton Barr who has 32 total tackles, 14 solo, 1.5 fumble recoveries and one sack. The leader of the defensive line  is senior Ali Ali-Musa who has 21 total tackles, 1.5 fumble recoveries and one sack.

For their secondary, sophomore CB Isaiah Rodgers has been excellent, totaling 16 tackles, one interception and two passes broken up. Rodgers also serves as the kick returner for the Minutemen, totaling 209 yards thus far.

The Owls look to get a winning streak going with their second consecutive win at home this Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:00PM at Lincoln Financial Field. The game is being broadcasted on ESPNU, and you can listen on 97.5 The Fanatic.

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