Coming off of a 31-24 loss to Navy, the Owls entered their first bye week and prepared for their next affair against Delaware State.
DSU currently is in the FCS, Football Championship Subdivision, and has started the 2014 season 0-3 losing to Monmouth, in-state rival Delaware and Towson. The Hornets have managed a paltry 37 points through their first three games but will look to shock the fans at the Linc come Saturday.
Temple hasn’t exactly been a powerhouse against FCS teams. The Owls are 14-11 all time against schools in DSU’s division. Last season, the Fordham Rams stampeded the Owls 31-28 in the Owls’ only FCS game of the season.
Breaking down both teams, the Cherry and White lead every major statistical category on both offense and defense and should look to open the contest developing a dependable run game.
Rhule talked about the deficiencies. “In order for us to win we have to run the football and we’re not running the football right now. We are not moving people on the offensive line. We are protecting people really well but we’re not moving people on the offensive line.”
RBs Kenneth Harper and Zaire Williams have yet to form the tandem fans expected them to be. However, junior Jamie Gilmore has provided a jolt in replace of Williams and is second on the team in rushing behind QB P.J. Walker. With the run game a non-factor throughout the first two games, the Owls can ill-afford to start slow and give the Hornets confidence early.
In addition to the questionable play calling, Walker attempted a robust 49 passes against the Midshipmen last week. With the Owls approaching conference play, Walker’s use should be limited in the second half if need be.
“We don’t want to say hey P.J. win the game for us every week. We want the other guys to go play. Up front we just want to surge. If we can run the football then that will make everything P.J. and the receivers are doing go at a much higher level,” said Rhule.
No game is a given in college football, but the Owls have to address their issues early and the Hornets can capitalize by swarming to the ball early and often.