November 2, 2020 –
The Temple Owls will play the SMU Mustangs on Saturday night, not on the originally scheduled Thursday night. The Owls could use a couple of days more for players to heal from injury and time for the quarantined players to get closer to return.
Quarterback Anthony Russo will not play as he has a shoulder injury that kept him out of last Saturday’s game at Tulane. Coach Rod Carey announced that at his Monday press conference. He plans to continue to use Trad Beatty and Re-al Mitchell at the position. Beatty will start and Mitchell will get snaps, then Carey wants to see who will get hot.
The Owls offense struggled at Tulane. They now have to try to move the ball against a tough SMU defense.
“They’re a physical group from the safeties to the linemen,” Carey said about the Mustangs defense. “Their linebacker (Richard McBryde) is playing really physical and their safeties and corners are set up for the run, and not afraid to stick their nose in there. It’s just a physical, physical group.”
The Owls will look to run the ball which is a major part of what they do.
“The program foundation is being able to run the football,” Carey said.
“Some weeks we may do that more or less depending on those matchups. We’re going to run it even though they know we are going to run it. We’ll always have that element.”
The Owls look to get offensive lineman back from injury, but Re’Mahn Davis will have to improve on the last game where he gained 37 yards. And the Cherry and White have talented receivers in Jadan Blue, Branden Mack, and Randle Jones. If they have a hard time running, the ball has to get to them.
“When you have players like we do on the outside, the matchup may not matter because of the wideouts we have.”
Defensively, the Owls need to contain Mustangs quarterback Shane Buechele, who has passed for 2,226 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. SMU averages just under 40 points per game.
“They’re a really good football team,” Carey said. “The quarterback Shane Buechele makes the whole thing go. It’s a complete team led by the quarterback.”
The game plan summarized by Carey was simply to get the ball to the play makers, and don’t turn it over.
After this game Temple will travel to UCF on Saturday, November 14 at 7:30. The game will be televised by ESPNU.
Written By: Glenn Papazian