Temple Football: Can the Owls bounce back vs Buffalo after Week 1?

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

After a disastrous outing against FCS city rivals Villanova, can the Temple Owls actually bounce back and play some quality football against Buffalo?

I, like many fans of the Temple Owls‘ football program eagerly tuned in last Saturday morning to watch my (almost) alma mater square off against Villanova in what should have been a cakewalk win to start off Geoff Collins‘ third season as the team’s head coach in style.

Boy, could we have collectively been any more wrong?

Now granted, it’s not like the Owls got blown out, as Nova only won by two points, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt to watch Frank Nutile, who played very well last year, throw a pair of absolutely inexcusable interceptions on the final two drives of the game to essentially icing out any chance of a comeback victory at the Linc.

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If Temple is going to move past this embarrassing loss and actually make a serious push for the postseason, these self-inflicted wounds have to stop.

Fortunately for the Cherry and White, Buffalo may be just what the doctor ordered.

Though on paper Buffalo should be a tougher match-up than a FCS opponent like Villanova, this is shaping up to be a game that heavily favors Temples strengths, as the Bulls have two major deficiencies: general offensive efficiency, and run defense.

Boasting an anemic offense that didn’t have a single position player record at least 100 yards from scrimmage in a 48-10 blow out victory over the Delaware State Hornets, 6-foot-7 junior quarterback Tyree Jackson may actually be a downgrade from last weeks opponent Zach Bednarczyk, which should allow the Owls to keep their defense fresh, and Collins to dictate the time of position,

And speaking of time of position, what’s the best way to control the clock in any football game, regardless of division, level, or league? Running the ball.

Fortunately for Temple, Buffalo’s run defense is terrible.

While the Bulls easily blew past the Hornets in Week 1, Delaware State had two rushers, Brycen Alleyne, and Mike Waters, who rushed for at least 90 yards on 20-plus carries. By contrast, last week, Temples’ senior running back Ryquell Armstead, arguably the team’s best offensive weapon, only rushed for 31 yards on 15 carries. His longest run of the night? 11 yards.

If Temple is going to bounce back, Armstead needs to get things going.

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So, with the game fast approaching, can the Temple Owl pick up the pieces and prove that their Week 1 loss to Villanova was just a fluke while remaining in the driver’s seat for another December bowl game? Sure they can, but after watching the team completely fall apart last week, that may be easier said than done.