What’s Next? #Beat Charlotte
After a Bye week following two heart-stopping wins on the road, the Temple Owls (3-0) travel once again, this time to Charlotte 49ers‘ (2-2) Jerry Richardson Stadium for a non- conference Friday night game. This is their 1st game against Charlotte who are in their 1st year in Conference USA, as well as their inaugural year as an FBS program.
The Owls come off an improbable comeback 25-23 win over UMass (see my recap TEMPLE OWLS PULL ONE OUT AGAIN TO BEAT UMASS 25 – 23 ), and the 49ers lost last week 17 – 7 to Florida Atlantic.
The 49ers feature a stout defense that has given up only 3.1 yds per carry and 345.8 per game, though they did lose 73-14 @ Middle Tennessee State on 9/19. Their top DL 6’3″ 294 lb Larry Ogunjobi leads his conference w/ 7.5 TFLs. Temple’s RB Jahad Thomas only rushed for 67 yds on 37 carries last game so the Owls offensive line knows it needs to do a better job this week. “I wasn’t happy with our play at all,” Center Kyle Friend said Tuesday after practice. “We had a lot of mental errors and just weren’t as physical as we could have been.”
Temple’s D will face junior running back Kalif Phillips who has a 5.4 YPC, totaling 380 yds and two TDs. Charlotte has also used 3 different QB’s this season so it will be hard to gameplan for any one of them, though red-shirt Junior Matt Johnson has the most experience of the bunch.
For Temple on offense one wrinkle is that only Freshman RB Jager Gardner is from N. Carolina and coach Matt Rhule has let it be known that he wants to lessen the load on Thomas and may use him as well as fellow freshman Ryquell Armstead.
As 20 plus favorites this week Temple needs to have learned from the UMass game how every opponent will be playing their hardest to beat a team that is just outside the top 25 and ranked highest among American Athletic Conference members, to help build up their own programs.
TEMPLE-CHARLOTTE KICKOFF INFO
October 2, 2015, 7:00 PM, Jerry Richardson Stadium, Charlotte, NC (15,314)
TV CBS Sports Ben Holden-Play-by-Play, Jay Feely-Color Analyst, John Schriffen-Sidelines
Radio 97.5 The Fanatic Harry Donahue-Play-by-Play, Paul Palmer-Color Analyst, Harry Mayes-Sidelines