November 23, 2020 –
The season for the Temple Owls will conclude on Saturday when the undefeated 7th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats visit the Linc. It will be Senior Day for Temple and they are well aware that their opponent is having an outstanding season that is looking for more.
Meanwhile the Owls are coming off a game where they lost players for a myriad of reasons mostly injury and COVID Protocol. The Cherry and White will be short-handed again on the field.
“We are trying to figure out how to piece this thing together and go attack it,” said Temple Coach Rod Carey at his Monday press conference. “I certainly know what we are up against. I know the guys who are going to be out there are going to compete.”
One question not fully answered yet is who will start at quarterback? Anthony Russo began the season as the starter, but has been sidelined due to injury and COVID Protocol. He is out of quarantine starting Tuesday. Will Russo be in game shape is to be determined. If yes, Russo will start. If not Kamal Gray, a freshman walk-on who started against ECU, will take the snaps. Wide Receiver Branden Mack, the team’s leading pass catcher, may also see time at the position. The Cherry and White will also be without wide receiver Jadan Blue in all probability. Carey said as of now he will not be ready. Also out are linebacker Isaiah Graham Mobley, defensive back Amir Tyler, running back Tayvon Ruley, and offensive linemen Adam Klein, Vincent Picozzi, and Joseph Hooper.
All hands on deck for Carey as they face the Bearcats who ranks third in the nation in scoring defense allowing 12.4 points per game.
Offensively, Cincinnati puts up an average of 41.6 points per contest. The Bearcats are led by quarterback Desmond Ridder. He has run for 469 yards and crossed the goal line nine times. Through the air Ridder averages 212 yards per game with 14 scoring tosses. It is a challenge for the defense led by lineman Daniel Archibong, Ifeanyi Maijeh, and linebacker William Kwenkeu.
It is Senior Day for the Cherry and White. It was be a scaled down celebration as no fans are allowed in the stadium. Parents and players will be outside and a picture will be taken.
How will Temple bounces back from a chaotic game last week when they were down players due to injuries and suspensions. Then lost five more to the COVID Protocol just before game time. It was a teaching point to be prepared to give the best effort for both coaches and players. Carey feels they showed character.
“Overall my staff and the team responded well,” Carey said. “Unprecedented things that people never gone through can reveal a lot about people, the good and the bad. The Staff handled it well and the sideline was extremely positive the whole day.”
Kickoff is 4 PM and the game will be shown on ESPNU.
Written By: Glenn Papazian