Written By: Mike Cornaglia
Photo Courtesy of: Tyger Williams
Rod Carey spoke to the media on Monday for his weekly availability. He started this week’s session off by describing Saturday’s 49-7 loss to UCF as “self-inflicted wounds against a good team.”
Carey pointed to an eight-minute stretch that included two lost fumbles from Temple, including a Jalen Ware interception that was then fumbled and recovered by UCF on the return.
“That eight-minute game stretch right there really cost us the balance of the game, we did fight, get a goal-line stand. I’m disappointed with it, we’ve moved on to ECU.”
A big issue the Owls have had this season is scoring early. Throughout its eight games this season, Temple has only scored seven total points in the 1st quarter of games this season.
He also said the Owls are not scoring consistently, citing penalties, sacks, and turnovers as the reason for these struggles.
“We’re constantly trying to fix that issue between penalties and different things that set us back on opening drives.”
“We have not gotten in the endzone consistently enough in the first quarter. That’s something we are continuing to emphasize situationally and we’re going to keep at it”.
With Tuesday being Election Day, all NCAA schools, unless they applied for a waiver, will be off. The Owls used Monday for weight-lifting and will resume practice on Wednesday.
Carey sees the off day as a chance for the “bumped and bruised” Owls to recover with four games left in the season.
“It’s not a bad thing at this point in the season with four games left. We’re certainly bumped and bruised.”
Carey acknowledged the reduction in preparation time, saying, “We won’t get as many practice reps as we normally like going into a game, but we will certainly get all the work and be prepared the way we need to be prepared to go out and have success in this game”
Also, starting defensive end Will Rodgers was absent from the team last week, including Saturday’s game. Rodgers has accumulated 16 tackles and a sack so far this season, tied for third-best on the team in both categories..
When asked about Rodgers’ status on the team, Carey said he’s “not going to answer that right now because I haven’t made a decision on that.”
In injury news, safety DaeSean Winston is out of his walking boot. Carey said the Junior is “ getting better. This is something that needs time.”
During Saturday’s postgame presser, Carey mentioned wanting to give backup quarterback Justin Lynch “10-15 snaps per game” moving forward. Carey doubled down on this Monday saying that it’s to “take some hits off D’Wan.”
Also coming out of Saturday’s presser was quarterback D’Wan Mathis’ mentioning of not always having the luxury of checking out of plays at the line of scrimmage. That itself is common in college football. However, Mathis’ responses to follow-up questions were worth noting.
When asked about play-calling, Mathis said, “ not my job to call plays, it’s my job to go out there and execute the plays that are called.” He was then asked about his communication with Carey and offensive coordinator Mike Uremovich in terms of pointing out things he notices on the field, to which he also said, “I really don’t have that luxury.” Mathis went on to say the same thing about checking out of plays at the line of scrimmage.
“It’s only certain plays where we got checks and certain plays we don’t,” something Carey echoed on Monday.
“Every offense has situations where you cannot check out, and when you can.”
He also added that he, Mathis, Uremovich, and quarterbacks coach Jake Landry are “in communication” all the time.
“I talk to D’Wan every day, Mike talks to him every day, Jake does, and D’wan talks to us every day. That’s what we do all the time,” Carey said. “There shouldn’t be any gray area.”
The Owls will try to end their three-game losing streak this upcoming Saturday when they travel to East Carolina.