Temple looks to bounce back at home vs. Wagner

NCAA Football

After a pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Temple came back to campus with high expectations this season.

But the Owls (1-2) have struggled, most recently falling 28-3 to Boston College last Saturday. Their offense was especially inefficient with just 84 net passing yards and a 32-yard fourth-quarter field goal by Rory Bell.

Temple, however, will look to get back to .500 with a nonconference home matchup against FCS foe Wagner on Saturday.

“Everybody played bad on offense,” Temple coach Rod Carey said. “We get really good execution at high, high levels and then really bad execution. It’s not a talent issue. We’ve got to coach them better and we’ve got to get them going better because you can’t have that good and that low.”

The Owls’ defense held up for a while before appearing to wear down on some long drives. M.J. Griffin led the defense with 10 tackles.

“We had a lot of stops on defense,” Griffin said. “We held them to 21 for a while, actually. I think we did an all right job, but obviously we could have done better.”

Wagner (0-3) will be hoping to avoid a fourth consecutive loss.

The Seahawks opened the season with a 69-7 loss to Buffalo followed by a 21-19 loss to Central Connecticut and 39-24 at Saint Francis last Saturday.

Wagner’s offense was effective at times thanks in large part to quarterback Jaalon Frazier, who accounted for three touchdowns — two passing and one rushing. Frazier threw for 216 yards.

Wagner coach Tom Masella was fully aware of the challenge of trying to resurrect the program.

Despite the slow start, he remains steadfast in his commitment.

“I think losing breeds losing,” Masella said. “The culture here was just not very good. Not conducive to winning. I made decisions that I was going to change the culture.”

Wagner is likely going to be an underdog every game. That won’t change against Temple.

“Go play and compete,” Masella said. “We talk about that a lot. We want to be a competitive team — every snap. Everybody says that. But I believe that.”

–Field Level Media

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