All season long, players have been talking about going 1-0 each week. And if they want to become bowl eligible, they’ll have to preach that same motto one more time.
The Temple Owls will have one final chance to reach six wins and become bowl eligible. That chance will come this Saturday when the team travels to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to take on the Golden Hurricane.
Temple (5-6, 3-4), took a loss to nationally ranked UCF last Saturday 45-19, while Tulsa (2-9, 1-6), lost a tough battle with USF, 27-20.
In the Owls’ contest against UCF, QB Frank Nutile had the worst performance of his young starting career. The redshirt junior QB went 17-40
on passing attempts, barely eclipsing 200 yards with 201, throwing for 2 touchdowns and a season-high 4 interceptions. When asked how he shook things off from the shaky performance, Nutile said this,
“I think as a quarterback and a competitor you kind of just have to flush it. You have to learn from those mistakes and flush it. I got to be ready to lead the team and we all got to be ready to go. At the end of the day, you just got to flush it and get ready for Tulsa and that’s it, just get ready for Saturday.”
Although Temple lost, they were able to outgain UCF in total offense yardage, 397-384, almost evenly split between passing and rushing, 201 passing and 196 yards rushing. The team’s rushing total came from a variety of players. Mainly, David Hood (12 rushes, 81 yards), Rob Ritrovato (5-41), and Isaiah Wright (4-32). Other contributors were Ryquell Armstead (7-18), Frank Nutile (6-14) and Travon Williams (1-10).
On the receiving end of things, Adonis Jennings led the way with 88 yards and 1 touchdown on just 2 catches, Keith Kirkwood also caught a touchdown on 1 of his 3 catches for 32 yards. Other contributors were Ventell Bryant (team-high 4 catches, 26 yards), Randle Jones (2-24) and Isaiah Wright (2-16).
Defensively for the Owls, it was tough to make a stand when the majority of the time UCF got the ball in very good field position, though they held the nation’s top scoring offense to less than 400 yards. Leading the way was defensive end, Jullian Taylor, with a team-high 10 tackles on the day and 4.5 tackles for loss. Fellow DE Sharif Finch was a nuisance in the backfield all day with 2 sacks and 4 tackles, 3 of them for a loss.
The player who will wear the No. 1 jersey for the Owls in their final regular season contest will be DE Jullian Taylor. Taylor had the honor once before this season, and due to his performance last Saturday, it earned him the honor once again. On the season, Taylor has 35 total tackles, 8 for loss.
“It’s not very often, I’m just glad to be wearing it again, especially at the end of the season, that means I finished strong,” Taylor said.
For Tulsa, they come in losers of 4 straight games. Their last win came in mid-October when they took on Houston at home and won 45-17. They’ve fared pretty well at home posting a 2-3 record, while on the road they’re 0-6.
Last week against USF, Tulsa’s RB D’Angelo Brewer rushed 33 times for 163 yards, setting the conference career rushing record with 3,662 yards.
This week, Temple’s senior class with once again be looking for their 32nd win to make them the winningest class in school history.
“It definitely means something. I’ve been here for a lot of game-days, the win against Penn State, it has definitely been a fun ride to have a chance to be the winningest team in Temple history, that’s definitely special,” said senior WR Adonis Jennings.
The game is set to kick off from H.A. Chapman Stadium in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at 4:00 PM. The game will be broadcasted on ESPNews and you can listen in on 610 WTEL.