Written By: Ajay Patel
Photo Courtesy: Gil Rosen
20,179 fans witnessed Temple’s first home win of the season, as they took down the Wagner Seahawks without two of their biggest offensive threats.
The Owls beat the Seahawks 41-7, even though Randle Jones and Jaden Blue did not suit up. Hence, putting the pressure on Jose Barbon. The sophomore let the spotlight shine on him, catching eight balls for 130 yards, shattering his previous production record of 48 yards at Rutgers.
Carey utilized Barbon in every facet of the offense, the receiver ran the ball for 22 yards on one carry as well.
The offensive drought the Owls suffered, producing only three points on 245 yards last week against Boston College, ended in the second quarter with Kyle Dobbin’s rushing touchdown. This would be his first of three rushing touchdowns of the game and the first scores of his career.
“He really just attacked the week,” said head coach Rod Carey. “He played Tuesday, Wednesday like it was a game.”
Dobbins took the driver’s seat against Wagner, rushing for 61 yards on 13 carries. Usually, the running back game has been centered around Edward Saydee thus far, who entered the contest as the Owls lead rusher with 106 yards and a touchdown.
But Dobbins made history. The last time an Owl’s running back completed a hat trick was on November 10, 2018, when Ryquell Armstead rushed for 6 TDs in a victory over the Houston Cougars.
“I already knew that I gotta stay 100% dialed in the whole time, and push through,” Dobbins said about his approach to the game, a mentality his whole offensive unit shared.
Especially an injured D’Wan Mathis, who returns to the team after missing the past 2 games.
“At the end of the day anything can happen, I can get hurt again, I could have gotten hurt last week doing the same thing. So when I go out there, I am just playing as hard as I can,” Mathis said. “Because I know they are trying to kill me, I’m trying to kill them too.”
Anxious to get back on the field, Mathis’ presence adds a different dynamic to the offense, compared to true freshman Justin Lynch. Carey’s comfortability with Mathis under center was displayed through the difference in play calls, especially with the attempted deep passing attempts. Mathis showcased his football IQ with the utilization of the hard count, throwing on the run, and attacking soft spots in zone defenses through the aerial attack.
“Good comfort out there, and then comfortable with the ball in his hands after the snap too,” Carey said about his quarterback’s performance.
That same comfortability with the playbook is what allowed Mathis to record his first throwing touchdown as an Owl. A 44-yard reception to Kadas Reams up the right hash mark is a part of the field D’Wan targeted all game. He completed three passes for over 25 yards in that location.
Even with an injured receiving core, Temple’s game plan did not change.
“Being hurt is a part of the game, there are a lot of dudes out there banged up right now,” Mathis said. “We are still battling.
The Owls look to keep this newfound offensive production going next week as they host the Memphis Tigers in their first AAC matchup of the year. The game can be streamed on ESPNU.