football Edit

Temple relying on youth to make it through the season

Eight of Temple’s 22 combined offensive and defensive starters were underclassmen in Saturday’s 49-7 loss to UCF. With what third-year head coach Rod Carey is calling a “bumped and bruised” roster, the Owls will continue to lean on their young players for the upcoming matchup at ECU Saturday.

Aside from the starters, 29 other underclassmen saw playing time for the Owls last Saturday.

Redshirt junior running back Ra’Von Bonner, who received a season-high nine touches against UCF, described the team during Wednesday's media availability as a group with “a lot of transfers and a good amount of freshmen. It’s just a lot of guys that aren't used to playing together… It just takes some getting used to.”

One of those guys was freshman linebacker Muheem McCargo, who saw increased action for a second week in a row.

“I wound up being a starter from hard work and dedication,” McCargo said. “I feel like I could’ve done better in these past couple of weeks. ... You’re going to mess up sometimes. You're not 100 percent perfect.”

That was a sentiment echoed by redshirt junior cornerback Ty Mason.

“Everybody has to have that next play mentality," Mason said. "Sometimes, we get into our own heads. We have a lot of young guys on the team."

A problem the Owls have had through the first three quarters of this season has been missed tackles, something Mason said Carey is emphasizing in practice.

More specifically, Mason added that Carey is aiming for his team to allow three yards per carry or less, something Mason doesn’t think should be a problem.

“We’re all D-I athletes here,” Mason said. “That’s something we should be able to do.”

The Owls and every other team around the country, unless they were granted a waiver by the NCAA, had one less day to practice this week. Tuesday was an off-day nationwide for Election Day.

To make up for the lost reps, Mason said Carey has emphasized “bringing a good attitude and making sure we come out ready to work.”

Not to be forgotten was the news of Carey saying he planned to potentially give backup freshman quarterback Justin Lynch 10-15 snaps per game, saying Lynch has “an element of his legs that’s a little different than D’Wan [Mathis’] elements.

When asked about the differences he sees between Mathis and Lynch, Bonner likened Lynch to Buffalo Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen.

“He’s mean and nasty,” Bonner said. “Not to say that D’Wan’s not. They’re two completely different types of guys. They both bring something different to the table.”

If that's the direction Carey ops to take, the Owls will have Thursday and a morning practice Friday to have it ready to go.