Final Act

The Temple football team will conclude a spring which started with the excitement of immediate membership in the Big East Conference on Saturday in the Cherry and White Game at Lincoln Financial Field. The move from the Owls' practice facility, which typically hosts the game, to their regular-season home, was precipitated by ongoing construction at Edberg-Olson Hall. The game will begin at 11 a.m.

The Temple football team will conclude a spring which started with the excitement of immediate membership in the Big East Conference on Saturday in the Cherry and White Game at Lincoln Financial Field.

The move from the Owls' practice facility, which typically hosts the game, to their regular-season home, was precipitated by ongoing construction at Edberg-Olson Hall. But the move will also give a few young players who haven't had the chance to play at Lincoln Financial Field a forum to show their stuff.

The game will begin at 11 a.m.

"It's great, I think it's terrific, that's our home field, it's a better venue," said head coach Steve Addazio. "We have so much construction (at Edberg-Olson), normally we'd fill this place. I like it here, but nobody can be here. We have a big recruiting day and parents. … It will be nice over there. (The turnout) doesn't concern me, but our fans, alumni and recruits deserve a nice setting."

Among the players with little to no experience who have a chance to shine Saturday are junior quarterback Clinton "Juice" Granger, freshman linebacker Nate Smith, sophomore running back/wide receiver Jalen Fitzpatrick, sophomore running back Kenny Harper, sophomore defensive back Daquan Cooper, freshman linebacker Tyler Matakevich and freshman running back Spencer Reid.

"I'm pretty excited, for the first time it's going to be there, everybody is going to be there and I just can't wait to get out there and do my thing," said Smith, a New Jersey native who is trying to earn the starting middle linebacker job. "I'm going to be pretty amped for that, to get on the field with my teammates finally and get a victory."

Smith will be part of the White squad which mostly consists of members of the first-team defense and backup offensive players. The Cherry squad carries mostly first-team offense and reserve defensive players.

Rosters tend to get blurred during the game as veteran starters often see little or no action and players sometimes trade sides, particularly after halftime. Addazio, heading into his second year as head coach, said he won't spend much time evaluating the contest.

"It's all about spring practice, just go have some fun in the game, that's the way it's supposed to be," said Addazio.

The stars of last year's spring game were tight end Alex Jackson and running back Myron Myles. Jackson didn't catch a ball last season as he battled a back injury, and Myles left the team early in the season.

So while performance Saturday might not be an indication of much, it will be interesting to see some of the young players perform in front of a few thousand people.

Granger, who projects as Chris Coyer's backup, played in just one game last year and didn't attempt a pass. The George Washington High School product who came to Temple from Pierce (Calif.) Junior College will have a chance to show off his true skills for the first time at the FBS level.

"I'm looking forward to it a lot," admitted Granger. "I'm looking forward to the team being successful and having a sense of identity of what we're going to be during the season and just having fun with the guys."

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