Temple Owls looks to bounce back Saturday against Buffalo

Matt Leon
September 04, 2018 - 3:31 pm
Temple Owls running back Ryquell Armstead (7) is tackled by Villanova Wildcats defensive lineman Malik Fisher (92) during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field, Sep 1, 2018; Philadelphia.

© Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Temple Owls will return to game action on Saturday when they welcome Buffalo to Lincoln Financial Field.

The Owls will be looking to bounce back after losing their season opener this past Saturday to Villanova, 19-17.

Temple struggled running the ball against the Wildcats, finishing with just 46 yards on the ground. The Owls also had problems getting off the field on defense as Villanova finished eight of 16 on the third down.

"There were times when we were playing really good first- and second-down defense, get them to third down and then we couldn't get them off the field," Temple head coach Geoff Collins said. "Then one of the things that even compounded it worse was when we were able to get a third-down stop, there were three times that they went for it on fourth down and continued the drive or got the game-winning touchdown on fourth and 10."

That game-winning score came about halfway through the fourth quarter for the Wildcats. Temple's final two possessions ended in interceptions.

A bright spot in defeat came on special teams as Temple blocked two kicks — both by defensive end Quincy Roche — a field goal, which was returned for a touchdown, and an extra point. This is something the Owls have done quite well the last few years. They actually lead the Football Bowl Subdivision with 20 blocked kicks since 2014.

"We work on it all the time," Collins added. "There's two things when I  start each week off and I'm watching an opponent. I watch their kickoff team and I watch their PAT/ field goal team. If those two teams either have tremendous effort or they lack effort, then you can kind of tell everything you know about the team. You watch our PAT/ field goal block, it was unbelievable effort. You watch our kickoff coverage unit, unbelievable effort. That's who we are. 

"We've just got to build on that in every phase of what we are and then execute at a high level on every single play in every single situation."

Buffalo will be looking to move to 2-0 on Saturday. The Bulls hammered Delaware State in their opener 48-10 this past weekend.

"We started studying them this summer because we knew what a quality opponent [they would be]," Collins said. "I think they have 90 percent of their starters returning off a really good football team. They have a quarterback who is 6-foot-7-inches and has a rocket of an arm and still throws the intermediate passes, controls the offense, manages the offense. Ton of weapons around him."

That quarterback is Tyree Jackson, and the junior had six touchdown passes in the win over Delaware State.

Temple and Buffalo get underway at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

You can follow Matt Leon on Twitter @Mattleon1060.