The Temple University football team produced a quality opener that was a bit of a shocker on a national level when they went down to Vanderbilt and throttled the Commodores, 37-7, last Thursday night.
The key, though, will be to replicate their success in their home opener against a tough Navy team that had No. 5 Ohio State on the ropes until midway through the fourth quarter.
“It’s always an issue when you have a big win and people are telling them nice job,” said Temple head coach Matt Rhule. “But we watched that (Ohio State) game Saturday as a team, and seeing them play live, they know they’re a really, really good team.
“They have (quarterback) Keenan Reynolds, who is a Heisman Trophy candidate. They have a big strong line, a good defense, an aggressive coach. They’re a team that is committed to precision and execution. They might be the best team we’ve played all year.”
Temple’s defense shined last week, collecting seven turnovers and totaling four sacks. They’ll have a challenge against Navy’s triple-option, though they’ve had experience against a similar approach playing Army the last few years.
The Buckeyes kept Reynolds under wraps, though Ryan Williams-Jenkins ran for 118 yards.
“There’s some familiarity seeing the offense, guys are at least comfortable in terms of this is why we have to do it, but this being a done at a really high level,” said Rhule. “They’re really good at cut-blocking, so you think you have the pitch and then somebody comes and blocks you. They’ll come out four wide sometimes and Reynolds will throw it.
“What Navy does, they do for 365 years and we do it for five, which is why we spent 10-15 minutes a day on Navy throughout camp. We rushed the passer really well last week, but now we have to prove we can do it week in and week out.”
The Owls will get used to seeing the Midshipmen as they will be joining the American Athletic Conference starting in 2015, though will be in separate divisions. A victory for Temple would match its win total from a year ago when it was 2-10.
Safety Alex Wells is expected to miss at least half the season after suffering an injury against Vanderbilt, while wide receivers Jalen Fitzpatrick (shoulder) and John Christopher (ankle) are questionable.
Temple Ready For Navy
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