Short Handed Temple to Play On, Faces ECU on Saturday

November 16, 2020 –

The Temple Owls have been missing players due to injury and the COVID Protocol. Last week at UCF the Owls had but 45 scholarship players that would be ready to take the field.

Still unavailable are quarterback Anthony Russo who is eligible to return form the protocol a week from today. Cornerback Linwood Crump will probably be unavailable. Wide Receiver Randle Jones is out. Trad Beatty is out.

Coach Rod Carey revealed in his press conference today that quarterback Re-al Mitchell is out for the year due to injury. The Owls will start true freshman Matt Duncan at the position with walk-on Kamal Gray as the backup.

In this type of situation it may not be in the best interest for the team to play in terms of a competitive situation as well as a safety concern. Carey would have preferred the games over the past three weeks were rescheduled. But the decision was made to play to play on. Temple, coming off a loss at UCF, will face the ECU Pirates at the Linc despite the new city restriction that no fans would be allowed in the stadium.

“When safety comes into question which it has over the last three weeks, that’s when it becomes a negative to play,” said Carey.

So, Temple will be taking the field.

From a football perspective the Owls will rely on the running game headed by Tayvon Ruley. He is coming off a 90-yard performance at UCF and had 66 against SMU the week before.

“The backs ran especially hard, all of them, and leading they way was Tayvon,” Carey said about the ground game. “You still want to see improvement, but the more you give him the ball, the better he seems to get.”

The Pirates have a 1 – 5 record, and are coming off a 55 – 13 loss at #7 Cincinnati. The team averages 27.4 points per game while giving up 39.7.

“ECU is a good team,” said Carey abut the upcoming opponent. “Their record is similar to ours at this point conference wise. They’ve been in some games as well.”

“They have their quarterback back and the running backs are good players. Their defense is a blitzing, aggressive style of defense.”

Rahjai Harris is the lead runner averaging 80 yards per game with 4 total touchdowns. Quarterback Holton Ahlers has completed 61.5% of his passes for an average of 240 yards per game. He has 12 scoring tosses.

“You can see he is way more comfortable in running this offense,” Carey said about Ahlers. “He has a big time arm and moves well. He is a big challenge for us.”

The Cherry and White will end the season on November 28 hosting Cincinnati.

That’s the situation as of now.

Written By: Glenn Papazian


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