By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Temple Owls continue to take care of business in 2015. They will look to stay hot on Saturday when they play their first home game in more than a month against Tulane.
This past Friday, the Owls improved to 4-0 on the season as they beat Charlotte down in the driving rain in North Carolina, 37-3.
“I told our team,” Temple head coach Matt Rhule tells KYW Newsradio, “to think that we’ve been on the road three straight games, went down to Charlotte, played in the rain, played against an opponent we really don’t have much familiarity with, but we found a way to come away with a win. We played, I felt like, a complete game as a total team and I was proud of those guys to get to 4-0.”
Listen to the entire interview with Temple’s Matt Rhule…
Junior running back Jahad Thomas continued his fine season with another quality performance against the 49ers. Thomas rushed for 109 yards and two scores in the win, while adding three receptions for an additional 48 yards. Thomas has now rushed for 503 yards and six touchdowns this season.
The impressive start for the Owls has them knocking on the door of the Top 25 in both polls and every win is gaining them more and more attention. But Rhule says they are working hard to stay focused on the task at hand:
“It’s really been our message since we first got here, just really, what’s next,” he says. “Handling what’s in front of you. Each day brings great new opportunities to succeed, to be the best that you can be, to reach your potential. So we’ll play on Saturday, that game’s there, but more importantly is practice today, classes today. Just focusing on what’s next and eventually if you do that enough, you’ll have a lot of success.”
On Saturday, the Owls will host a Green Wave squad that is 2-2. Tulane opened the season with losses to Duke and Georgia Tech. But since then they have beaten Maine and Central Florida.
“They play really good defense,” Rhule says. “They have one of the best defensive players in the league in Nico Marley, a (junior) linebacker who is just a dynamic, dynamic player. They have a really good defensive line, they’ll challenge us defensively. Then on offense they have a really good young quarterback in (redshirt sophomore) Tanner Lee, he’s a complete pro-style quarterback. Makes all the right decisions, throws the ball all around the field. So we’ll have to play really well to have a chance.”
Lee has thrown for 878 yards and seven touchdowns this season for Tulane. Temple is also getting quality play from the quarterback position as junior P.J. Walker has completed 60.4% of his passes for 731 yards and five scores. Each quarterback has only thrown two interceptions this season.
Last season these two teams met to wrap up the regular season down in New Orleans, the Owls picking up a 10-3 win.
Saturday’s game at the Linc will kickoff at noon.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.