Temple defensive end Quincy Roche finished last season with six sacks, and the redshirt junior has pieced together two games in which he’s recorded 6.5 sacks. The stud pass rusher has a season-high 9.5 sacks and is spearheading a fearsome Temple pass rush. Temple (7-3, 4-2) defeated Tulane (6-4, 3-3) 29-21. Their ability to pressure graduate student quarterback Justin McMillan played into the Green Wave quarterback going just 11-for-27 for 103 yards.
McMillan’s elusiveness helped him evade Temple’s pass rush, at times. However, Roche and the Owls were the main figures in McMillan averaging just 3.8 yards per attempt. Tulane mixed some power football with spread and found relative success in the second half. Even so, they only finished with 333 total yards. Both Roche and safety Amir Tyler (R-Jr.) forced fumbles, while Roche recorded a team-high 12 tackles.
Temple’s Passing Attack
Temple’s quarterback tandem didn’t get sacked once, kudos to the Owls’ offensive line and scheme. Redshirt junior Anthony Russo and redshirt freshman wide receiver Jose Barbon looked to be miscommunicating at times. This led to an interception when Russo threw into coverage in the red zone. Otherwise, though, he had a respectable outing. He threw for 221 yards, going 22-for-38. Russo completed crossing routes, a fade route to tight end Kenny Yeboah (R-Jr.), and a comeback route, among other patterns.
Yeboah finished with a season-high five receptions for 62 yards and two touchdowns. His first touchdown reception came on a rub route at the four-yard line. His second was a great catch in traffic, followed by breaking an arm tackle before heading into the end zone. Yeboah is a mismatch with his size and acceleration. He appears to be Temple’s third receiving option behind wideouts Jadan Blue and Branden Mack.
The redshirt sophomore Blue scored on a pop pass from 17 yards out, which has become a staple in head coach Rod Carey’s offense. The emerging star finished with a team-high 12 receptions for 131 yards. He has a combined 23 receptions for 252 receiving yards over his past two games.
One of Mack’s five receptions extended Todd Centeio’s scoring drive that culminated in Centeio’s crossing/rub route to Yeboah for a touchdown. Centeio went four-for-six for 76 passing yards and added 13 yards on the ground. Centeio successfully constructed Temple’s first touchdown drive and is a great option behind Russo that Carey can insert when necessary.
Encouraging Performances All Around
Freshman running back Re’Mahn Davis broke a couple of chunk rushes and finished with 69 yards on 13 rushes. He’s a shifty tailback who’s poised to contribute for a while in Carey’s offense.
Redshirt junior kicker Will Mobley moves to 11 out of 12 field goals after his 3-for-3 performance Saturday. He has provided a consistency element that’s been sorely lacking from Temple’s punter Adam Barry.
Temple travels to face a ranked Cincinnati (9-1, 6-0) team next Saturday, who features a powerful running back in Michael Warren II.