Temple Rushes Past Norfolk State 41 – 9

Owls Freshman Running Back Joquez Smith Gains 142 Yards on the Ground

PHILADELPHIA, PA. 9/16/2023 –

Temple won their second game of the year, emerging victorious over the Norfolk State Spartans, an FCS school, in the first meeting between these two schools. Temple used their defense to limit the Norfolk State offense. And it was the running game that powered the offense gaining 290 yards on the ground, with freshman back Joquez Smith leading the way with 142 yards. The running game and Smith was the key.

“He’s tough to see, he has the ability to make you miss,” said Temple Coach Stan Drayton about Smith. “It’s good to start a new beginning for the running back. He’s going to be a special player for us moving along. The other backs, they have to play and I thought they did.”

Joquez Smith Factor

He would get his first career rushing touchdown and scoring reception to get the offense going. He would take a 15-yard pass from Owls quarterback E.J. Warner to give his team a 7 – 0 lead less than four minutes into the game. In the second quarter Smith went 51-yards over the middle and raced to the end zone to extend the lead to 21 – 7 with 9 minutes remaining until halftime. The elusive back carried the ball for 15 of the 41 rushes for the hosts.

Smith is the first freshman to have a rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game wince Re’Mahn Davis did so in 2019 against Bucknell.

“It felt great,” said Smith. “Our players ran up to me. I was happy. I couldn’t take the smile off my face, but I was ready for that next drive.”

The Running Game

Temple ran the ball 41 times. Darvon Hubbard gained 57 yards on 4 carries and a touchdown. Graduate quarterback Quincy Patterson scored two touchdowns with plunges of one and two yards. The Owls averaged 7.1 yards per rush.

Defense Kept Norfolk State in Check

The Owls kept the Spartans offense well under control. Norfolk State totaled 240 yards, 130 on the ground and 110 through the air. Norfolk State went 4 for 14 in third down conversions and converted one of two fourth down tries. The Spartans did not get a non-penalty first down conversion until late in the first quarter on a 22-yard run by Xzavion Evans. The Temple defense forced five punts.

The defense provided a key sequence in the beginning of the second half. Temple forced a punt, then scored. Another punt allowed the offense to score again for a 38 – 7 advantage. The Owls wanted to keep the momentum in their favor, important, and Drayton wants to see that continue.

“We would like to shorten the game to the best of our ability,” Drayton said keeping control of the game. “Leading up to this game we struggled to do that. To see those players go out there and execute was something good to see. We’ll build off that for sure.”

What the Numbers Say

Warner passed for 238 yards, 79 gained by Amad Anderson, Jr. on 5 catches. 8 players for the Cherry and White caught passes. Temple did not punt the ball. An area of concern would be being penalized 9 times for 70 yards.

Evans led the Spartans with 59 rushing yards. Quarterback Otto Kuhns completed 12 of 21 for 110 yards and a touchdown to Aaron Moore that got the Spartans to within 14 – 7.

Next Up

Nationally ranked Miami comes to the Linc next week to meet 2 – 1 Temple. The Owls focus remains on the next game.

“We get ready the same way Miami gets ready,” said safety Tywan Francis. “I wasn’t looking at them as a ranked opponent, the next opponent.”

Written By: Glenn Papazian

Contact: Glenn@PhillyCollegeSports.com


Joquez Smith – Photographer Zamani Feelings

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.