It’s homecoming week for the Temple Owls and they head into this weekend’s game 4-3 on the season and 3-0 in conference play. In order to maintain that perfect conference record, they’ll need to beat their opponent, the undefeated Cincinnati Bearcats. The Bearcats are 6-0 and are ranked 20th in the country.
Coming off their win over the weekend at Navy, the team is pretty optimistic heading into this weekend. Quarterback Anthony Russo had another great game throwing for 300 yards and the go-ahead touchdown to Ventell Bryant in the fourth quarter. Russo connected with nine different receivers in the game, showing he has faith in his teammates.
He certainly showed faith in Ventell Bryant who had a season-high eight catches and 147 yards with the go-ahead touchdown. For his performance, Bryant was named to the weekly honor roll by the American Athletic Conference.
The running back crew filled in nicely for the absent Ryquell Armstead who was out with injury. Jager Gardner, Rob Ritrovato and Tyliek Raynor all played well and were key contributors to the team coming out victorious.
Raynor scored the first touchdown of his career on a 15-yard rush to open the scoring for the Owls. Later, Rob Ritrovato found the end-zone on fourth and goal from the Navy one-yard line to tie the game up at 17 a piece.
Coach Collins mentioned in his press conference today that Ryquell Armstead is getting better and healthier each day and that he is hopefully looking forward to him playing on Saturday. He also mentioned that DT Freddie Booth-Lloyd did not practice today after his injury against Navy early in the third quarter.
Collins said that, “Freddie Love” as his teammates and coaches call him, got taped up after his injury and insisted on going back out onto the field to finish the game with his brothers. He went back into the game and made arguably the two biggest defensive plays on back-to-back downs, forcing a Navy turnover, leading to a Temple score.
The players aren’t letting the fact that Cincinnati is 6-0 and ranked 20th in the country effect how they view the game or how the prepare for it. They think of it just as any other conference game, which it is. In fact, Temple has beaten Cincinnati three straight times before this season and have outscored them 103-63 in those three matchups. But the players will also be the first to tell you that those games were in the past and that it’s a new season and new teams. They’ll have to lock in and prepare the same way they’d prepare against any other team.
This game will be important for Temple as they’re heading into a bye week after Saturday’s game. It will be important for the Owls to enter on a high note and get the extra preparation for their next game against #10 UCF in Florida.
As for this week, the game is set to kick off from Lincoln Financial Field at 12:00 PM and will be broadcasted on ESPNU and you can listen in on WTEL 610 ESPN Radio. You can also listen in to WHIP Student Radio accessible through the iHeart Radio app and listen to the SportsDesk’s very own Vince Coll analyze the game.
Be sure to follow the SportsDesk on Twitter @TU_SportsDesk for coverage leading up to game day.