Temple readies for Saturday AAC battle with ECU

Matt Leon
October 02, 2018 - 12:24 pm
Temple Owls running back Ryquell Armstead (7) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field.

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It is all American Athletic Conference action from here on out for the Temple Owls, starting with Saturday's home game at the Linc against the East Carolina Pirates.

The Owls fell to 2-3 on the season (1-0 AAC) this past weekend as they lost on the road to Boston College in their final non-conference game, 45-35.

The Owls started strong against the Eagles but then ran into some trouble before halftime.

"The last five minutes of the first half, we're up 21-13, had an unfortunate turnover that led to a touchdown and a two-point conversion," Temple head coach Geoff Collins remembers. "Then the very next drive had another turnover that converted to another touchdown. So we went from being up 21-13 with five minutes left and having the ball to down going into halftime."

Boston College would lead by as many at 17 in the second half. The Owls got as close as three, but couldn't get over the hump.

Senior running back Ryquell Armstead put together a magnificent performance in defeat for Temple. He finished with 171 yards rushing and four touchdowns, one of which went for 75 yards.

"Tremendous job by Ryquell," Collins said. "He means so much to this team, so much to this organization. How hard he plays in every phase of the game. I think that's arguably one of the most talented defensive fronts in college football and I thought our offensive line, even though we didn't have a lot of depth, we had two true freshmen playing a ton of snaps, did a really good job opening up some holes, creating movement for Ryquell. Then (Ryquell) is such a talented runner, runs with so much passion, so much heart, he was able to put up some good numbers."

East Carolina will bring a 2-2 record into the Linc. Last week, the Pirates beat Old Dominion, 37-35. ECU needs just one more win to equal their total from 2017 when the Pirates finished 3-9.

"The first thing that jumps out is how improved they are defensively," Collins said. "Very talented on that side of the ball. They're playing with a lot of confidence, playing really, really hard and tackling very well.

"They are always going to be a dynamic offense," Collins added. "They spread the ball around, they spread you from sideline to sideline. Very talented athletes on the perimeter, big, physical offensive line."

Last season, Temple beat ECU down in Greenville, 34-10.

Saturday's game at the Linc kicks off at noon.

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