Last Saturday, Temple was struggling early on against Tulane. Down 3-0 after fumbling and getting flagged for penalty after penalty, the offense needed a spark. Robby Anderson’s focus and agility sparked a 6 play, 80 yard drive that awoke the Owls on homecoming.
On that drive, he hauled in 3 passes for 60 yards. One electrifying reception involved Anderson hurdling a Tulane defender to come down with a deflected pass for 23 yards and a key first down. He capped it by reeling in a 22-yard touchdown reception in the back corner of the end zone. The Owls stayed wide-eyed throughout the rest of the game. Temple had never beaten a team by a larger margin (39), nor scored as much points (49) on any homecoming game since the stat has been kept for the program, dating back to 1989.
“I love to contribute” said Anderson following his 74 yard, one touchdown performance against Tulane. “The first couple of games, I was getting back into the flow of things. Now I really feel back to myself and I’m excited.”
Anderson isn’t the only one excited to be getting back into the flow of things. Coach Rhule added his two cents after the game, noting, “To have a deep play threat like him and have a guy that can win is nice when you need it.”
The road to get to this 5-0 record for the redshirt senior receiver was a long one, requiring dedication and persistence to play the game he loves. After being redshirted his freshman year, Anderson played in six games, the brunt of his work coming on special teams.
As a redshirt sophomore, Anderson was getting reps at second team cornerback during spring practice and began to have second thoughts about the situation. He had felt wide receiver was his primary position and the position switch to cornerback didn’t fit his mold.
Anderson returned home to Florida. He maintained contact with Coach Rhule in hopes of being able to return to the team as a non-scholarship athlete. That hope became a reality for the 2013 season, as Anderson returned to his bread and butter: wide receiver, the position he played in high school. That season he managed to solidify himself as a dynamic wideout for the Cherry and White, despite having to fight for the starting job until Week 5. Anderson finished the year with 791 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns, and penciled himself in the Temple Football’s history books. Anderson accounted for 239 receiving yards, the most in program history, in a Week 9 matchup against conference rival SMU. Temple ended up losing a shootout that game by a score of 59-49.
The 2014 Temple Football roster did not bear the name Robby Anderson due to complications in the classroom. It comes as no surprise he is excited to be back on the field.
Robby Anderson is heating up at the perfect time for this Temple offensive unit. While 4 touchdowns and 220 receiving yards thus far is no small feat, Anderson is just warming up. Feeling “back to himself” following the Tulane game, watch out for number 19 to pile on his production, as Temple heads into a relentless stretch of competition, including #14 Notre Dame (5-1) , Memphis (5-0) and East Carolina (3-3). Temple will need sparks from Anderson, such as the late first quarter touchdown drive against Tulane, to fuel victories over such talented opposition ahead.