Temple, Akron look to rebound from lopsided losses

National Sports

Following a 47-point thrashing in the season opener at Rutgers, Temple will look to rebound when it travels to Akron for a nonconference game on Saturday afternoon.

The Owls, who lost 61-14 to the Scarlet Knights, will face Akron for the first time since 2011.

Temple (0-1) will need to play a much crisper game if it hopes to even its record. The Owls had 261 total yards and five turnovers against Rutgers.

“It was as bad as we could possibly play,” Temple coach Rod Carey said. “Five turnovers on the day. Spotted them 26 and climbed our way back into it and gave up some more on some easy stuff. Not anything positive out of that in all three phases and got to get back to work and fix them.”

The Owls had high hopes after a 1-6 COVID-shortened season with 11 returning starters and 11 transfers.

Quarterback D’Wan Mathis struggled mightily, going 8 of 24 for 148 yards and one interception. Mathis also suffered a leg injury in the third quarter and his status is unclear for the game against Akron.

“We have a young team,” Carey said following the loss. “We have to know that (losing is) not OK.”

Like Temple, Akron was also crushed in its season opener, 60-10 at Auburn.

The Zips (0-1) fell behind 37-0 at halftime and never recovered.

Quarterback DJ Irons gave Akron a much-needed lift in the second half with a 13-for-13 performance for 129 yards and one touchdown.

“I thought DJ Irons came in and really provided a really great spark for our entire team, especially for our offense,” Akron coach Tom Arth said. “He gave guys the opportunity to make plays. They made some plays and we started getting some explosives.”

The game was decided early in the first half and there wasn’t much positive to take away. If the Zips hope to win their home opener, they’ll have to execute much better in all phases.

“You can just kind of feel the hunger to get back to Akron and to get back out there and practice and get ready for the next game,” Arth said. “That was good for us as a team to go through that, but to know that we’re not just rolling over and letting it happen. We’re going to go fight and we’re going to go compete.”

–Field Level Media

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