9/2/2014 – The Temple Owls football team took a big step forward with their season opening 37 – 7 win at Vanderbilt on August 28. It is important for the Cherry and White to keep moving in a forward direction as they meet the Midshipmen of Navy in the home opener at The Linc on Saturday, September 6 at 1 PM. Temple Coach Matt Rhule wants his team to be ready to not have a letdown.
“That is always going to be an issue,” said Rhule. “Everyone told us we did a nice job, but the biggest issue is going to be Navy. They (Temple players) know that this is a really good team, might be the best team we face all year. Whether we are up or down for it, you’ve got to execute and play at a high level against them. You’ve got to be tough. That will be the part that gets us over that. We have to fight tooth and nail against Navy.”
Navy is coming off a 34 – 17 home loss against #5 Ohio State M & T Stadium in Baltimore, a game the Midshipmen led in the third quarter. This game will be the 11th meeting between the schools. The series record is 5 – 5 with Temple winning the last contest 27 – 24 in 2009. The Owls have turned the page from the season opening victory, and are focused on Navy.
“You can’t be complacent,” Temple quarterback P.J. Walker said. “Everybody is coming out here and working as hard as they can, and want to get better each day.”
“No matter who lines up in front of us, we are going to play.”
To keep on winning the Cherry and White defense will have to contain Midshipmen quarterback Keenan Reynolds who scored 31 rushing touchdowns in 2013, the most by a quarterback in NCAA history. The Owls defense had seven takeaways in their previous game, and look forward to the challenge of playing against Reynolds.
“Very excited,” said Owls defensive back Tavon Young who was the AAC Defensive Player of the Week. “I hear a lot about him. Our defensive line, front seven are going to do what they have to do, and our safeties have to hold up on the outside and the corners.”
Temple will pose a challenge to Navy in quarterback P.J. Walker who completed 23 of 34 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns. Walker also scored a rushing touchdown in Nashville.
It is the home opener for the Owls who have won 3 of the last 4 home openers. More importantly it gives Temple the chance to keep moving ahead.
“It is that way every day with us,” Rhule said. “I enjoyed last year, not the losing, but I enjoyed that the kids came out every day and tried to get better. That’s all you want, to be better at the end of the year than you were at the beginning of the year and we were. That is what I want from this team. If they look back at the end of the year and are still talking about the Vanderbilt win, then we didn’t get better. I want them to get better. You get that through work.”
This is a non-conference game for both schools. Next season Navy joins the American Athletic Conference.
Written By: Glenn Papazian