Last week did not go according to plan for the Owls. Temple football dropped their season opener against FCS Villanova 19-17, despite being favored by 15.5 points.
“You just move on,” said Temple linebacker Shaun Bradley, “We’re trying to get back on this field and prove something.”
This week, the Owls will look to make a statement against Buffalo. The Bulls are no push over, though.
Following their Week 1 thrashing of Delaware State to the tune of 48-10, Buffalo is looking to start the season 2-0 for the first time as an FBS program. Tyree Jackson, Buffalo’s starting quarterback, is fresh off of throwing a career-high 6 touchdown passes last game. Jackson was chosen to be on the Davey O’Brien and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award preseason watch lists. It may bode difficult for the Owls to extend their streak of holding the Bulls scoreless in the last 8 quarters they faced off.
The Owls should also be wary of Buffalo’s defense. During their game against Delaware State, the Bulls forced a total of 4 turnovers (3 fumbles and 1 interception).
Temple quarterback Frank Nutile will surely be careful with the ball after throwing 2 interceptions against the Wildcats.
Look for Nutile’s performance to be a key storyline to follow this game. He only completed 18-32 of his passes for 185 yards, a touchdown and 2 interceptions.
Following last game, Nutile was critical of his performance. “Between missing all those throws and throwing 2 picks, I put our team in a bad position to win the game and that’s why we lost.”
Despite the loss, the Owls did have some bright spots to build from. Brandan Mack had a team-high 7 receptions for 78 yards and Isaiah Wright scored the team’s only offensive touchdown. Perhaps the most impressive performance came from the special teams unit where Quincy Roche blocked two punts, one of which was taken back by Kimere Brown for a touchdown.
If the last time Temple and Buffalo clashed is any indication of things to come, the Owls look to be in good shape. In October of 2011, Temple pounded Buffalo to the score of 34-0.
Kickoff for the game is set for Saturday, Sept 8th at 3:30pm and can be watched on ESPN3.