PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS) — Temple has a chance to do something this Saturday that it took the Owls all of last season to achieve—that’s win two games.
But coming off a surprising 37-7 victory over Vanderbilt last Thursday, Temple has that chance, when the Owls host Navy at Lincoln Financial Field at 1 p.m.
Temple’s win over Vanderbilt was the first over a Southeastern Conference team since it beat Florida in 1938.
Now Matt Rhule, whose team went 2-10 overall in his first season, has a chance to change the culture of the program in only his second season.
“We’re ready to close the book [on Vanderbilt] and move on,” said Rhule, who saw his team get three interceptions and kick three field goals, which were Owl season totals in 2013. “There’s not greater challenge for us right now than to play a team like Navy. It’s a team that knows how to win.”
The Owls’ attack begins and ends with sophomore P.J. Walker, one of the nation’s best young talents who completed 23 of 34 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns against Vandy.
After such an emotional victory to start the season, a large concern for Walker is letting down against Navy. In his eight starts for the Owls, Walker had led the Owls to score 30 or more points in five of those games.
“I believe every game is as important as the way we played the first game,” Walker said. “We have to come out here and prepare the way we did last game. We know Navy runs the triple option, and offensively, they’re going to try and keep the ball from us. We have to make sure every play counts.
“We can’t become complacent. We have to come out here each day and keep working. Nothing is going to change. Practice just harder this last week. We’ve been in three days of full pads already and everyone wants to get better.”
Joseph Santoliquito is a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly.
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