Ready For Teddy

The Temple football team knows it could easily be 2-2 or 3-1 if a play or a break went its way in losses to Houston, Fordham and Idaho. It will take a lot of plays and a lot of breaks for the 0-4 Owls to snap out of their funk in Saturday's noon game at Lincoln Financial Field against No. 7 Louisville (4-0) and Heisman Trophy candidate Teddy Bridgewater, the Cardinals' quarterback.

The Temple football team knows it could easily be 2-2 or 3-1 if a play or a break went its way in losses to Houston, Fordham and Idaho.

It will take a lot of plays and a lot of breaks for the 0-4 Owls to snap out of their funk in Saturday's noon game at Lincoln Financial Field against No. 7 Louisville (4-0) and Heisman Trophy candidate Teddy Bridgewater, the Cardinals' quarterback.

"We can sit here and say what if, but you can't think like that," said sophomore linebacker Tyler Matakevich. "We have to keep building and keep getting better and getting ready for who our opponent is. If we were playing Alabama, we'd game-plan for them. ... We have to cut down on the mental mistakes, and if we do we'll be good.

"We played against (Bridgewater) last year and we know what he's capable of. They're a legitimate Top 10 team and they have athletes all over the place, and it's definitely going to be a challenge."

Bridgewater is completing 71 percent of his passes for 1,214 yards with 14 touchdowns and one interception. DeVante Parker is his leading receiver with 331 yards and six scores on 19 catches, though he's hardly the only weapon. Senorise Perry has carried 44 times for 245 yards — a 5.6 average — and four scores.

"The hard thing against Bridgewater is he'll sling the rock to everybody," said safety Abdul Smith. "He doesn't have a favorite target. He's really intelligent. ... He was calling out our plays last year, you could tell he was in the film room.

"You see what Peyton Manning does, that's what he does. We're going to treat this like another game, but we know who we're playing. They're a Top 10 team, national-championship contenders, we know the athletes they possess and they have a good coach in Charlie Strong."

Temple quarterback Connor Reilly has gone good game, bad game through his first four appearances, which could be a good sign this week. Reilly struggled with the deep ball in the loss to Idaho and was devastated after, knowing if he could have hit on one or two more throws, the Owls would have captured their first win.

For Temple to pull off a shocking win Saturday, Reilly knows he's going to have to keep the Owls' offense on the field and Bridgewater off it.

"Whenever you have the control button and can pause and rewind. .. a few plays here and there and our record could be different," agreed Reilly. "I missed throws no quarterback should miss.

"We can't afford to go three-and-out. We have to be on the field this week and keep them off the field and score on any given opportunity. Their offense is so potent, they're going to score points and it puts pressure on the other offense to score points when they can."

Smith believes the Owls have a chance to put win No. 1 on the board this week, no matter the competition.

"You think about the last three games, we basically lost by five points (taking away a last-minute touchdown by Houston)," said Smith. "If everybody does their job every play, we have a chance to beat this team. Every game we've had opportunities. We haven't been executing. We're killing ourselves."

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