Coming off a difficult loss to cross-town rival Villanova, the Temple Owls are gearing up to face the Buffalo Bulls at Lincoln Financial Field this Saturday at 3:30pm.
This is the first time since 2011 that the two schools will meet. The Owls have beaten the Bulls three-straight times dating back to 2009, and Buffalo has been held scoreless over the last eight quarters between them.
The Owls have a lot to work on following Saturday’s loss.
Head coach Geoff Collins addressed the media at Edberg-Olson Hall on Tuesday and spoke on what elements the team has to improve upon as well as bright spots from the loss. He said that the Owls have historically started slowly, and that was apparent for him during the first quarter of the game on Saturday.
“You have to get out of your feelings,” Collins said. “Nobody cares about the excuses or the reasons, they just care about getting everything fixed and that’s what we’re doing.”
Temple’s special teams were on full display, with players like Quincy Roche and Kimere Brown having outstanding performances. Roche had two blocked kicks; the first was returned 74 yards by Brown for a touchdown.
Branden Mack led the team with seven catches for 78-yards on Saturday and is on Collins’ “players to watch” for the week two matchup. Mack impressed Collins and the coaching staff this week after breaking on to the scene last season.
The key for all players and coaches going into week two is to be able to overcome this pattern of slow starts and use momentum to not get “relaxed” with a good team like they did against Villanova.
“Buffalo is a legitimate team,” Collins said about their upcoming opponents. “They’re big, physical, and fast.”
Collins explained that when looking at the tape, Buffalo is similar to Temple in its playing style, specifically defensively and schematically.
In its week one opener against Delaware State, Buffalo showed that they can compete on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Tyree Johnson threw for a career-high six touchdowns in a 48-10 win. Temple’s secondary will aim to shutdown Johnson’s passing ability this week.
The Owls have a special motivation going into this game as highly regarded and beloved equipment manager Kane Ivers-Osthus has been battling an illness. Ivers-Osthus has been working with Collins since he was his student assistant for two years and was one of his first hires when coming to Temple.
Going into week two, it will be important for the Owls to focus on what is in front of them with Buffalo and to fine tune the mistakes that may have been made in week one.
Players to Watch in Week Two
Frank Nutile, QB – Nutile will start again in week two. It will be his second start of the season and eighth overall. Nutile completed 18 of 32 passes against Villanova and looks to prove what he can do as the starting quarterback for this team moving forward.
Sam Franklin, LB – Franklin recorded his first career interception against Villanova and has been a key part of this team’s defense for several years.
Ventell Bryant, WR – Bryant caught five passes for 56 yards. He’ll be looking to prove that he deserves the “number one” jersey after struggling both on and off the field a season ago.