Temple (2-3) enters week six after dropping their last two contests. Both of which, have been to top conference rivals, USF and more recently, Houston by a score of 20-13. This week, they travel down to Greenville, North Carolina to take on division opponent East Carolina (1-4).
In last weeks loss to Houston, the Owls showed a lot of heart and effort in the second half, scoring all 13 of their points, and shutting Houston out in the fourth quarter is what gave them a chance. However, they fell short after not being able to convert on fourth down with a little over a minute to go.
Through an up and down 2-3 season, junior safety Delvon Randall remains confident.
“We respond well, we don’t come in and pout. We get back in, we know we have to go to work, watch film, prepare e
xtra and try to come out [of the week] 1-0,” said Randall.
QB Logan Marchi had a much better day completing passes, going 20-41 for 182 yards. A big step up from the night he had against USF. Though his turnover issue carried over, Marchi for the second game in a row threw 3 interceptions, making that 6 in the last two games. Thar stat makes it clear what he needs to work on, going into Saturday’s tilt with the Pirates.
“Anytime you turn the ball over you decrease your chances to win the game, so we have to take care of the football to give ourselves the best possible chance. [I have to] get in the film room more, identify coverages better, make better decisions when the pocket breaks down, that’s on me,” Marchi said.
The Owls running game picked up in the second half due to the exit of Houston’s star defensive tackle Ed Oliver. That allowed RB Ryquell Armstead to break some of the rust off from last week’s defeat. Armstead rushed 14 times for 63 yards. Following Armstead was fellow junior RB David Hood rushing 8 times for 53 yards.
Mike Jones, the Owl’s redshirt senior CB from Baltimore, Maryland is the recipient of this week’s jersey No. 1. Jones is a transfer from North Carolina Central and has made a big impact on the team thus far. He serves as kick returner and has racked up a total of 448 yards on 21 returns. As a cornerback, he has 20 total tackles on the season, 18 were solo, 2 were for a loss. He also has one interception and one pass broken up.
“It’s an honor. I’m blessed to have Coach Collins even consider me for the number. I’m thankful,” said Jones.
“[Jones] has an unbelievable attitude, really bought into this culture, he’s dove in with two feet. He’s become a tremendous leader and competitor. He is a dominant force on special teams and played a great game at cornerback last week,” Coach Collins said about Mike Jones.
Last time the Owls and Pirates went head to head was last season when Temple won by a score of 37-10. In doing so, Temple won its sixth straight game and claimed the East Division title for the second year in a row.
This time around it’s a different story. Temple is trying to end their losing streak, get back to .500 and get their first conference win of the season.
The game will kick off from Bagwell Field at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, N.C. this Saturday at noon. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and you can listen in on 97.5 The Fanatic.
Check back in with the SportsDesk later this week for our pregame preview.