Temple tries to snap five-game skid, ruin Tulsa’s senior day

National Sports

Temple will hope to avoid a sixth consecutive loss when it battles host Tulsa on Saturday.

The Owls (3-7, 1-5 American Athletic Conference) last won 34-31 against Memphis on Oct. 2. Since then, they’ve been outscored by a whopping 217-35.

Temple has been besieged by injuries and has continued to play a bevy of freshmen.

“I feel like we have a good, young nucleus,” Temple head coach Rod Carey said. “They’re on their way to being experienced.”

The Owls’ most recent defeat came against No. 24 Houston, falling 37-8 last Saturday.

Once again, they will have some uncertainty at quarterback going into this road matchup. D’Wan Mathis has been struggling with a couple of nagging injuries and it’s unclear whether he’ll start. Justin Lynch is also a strong possibility.

“I know there’s improvement,” Carey said of Mathis’ health. “I don’t know the extent of that improvement.”

The Owls don’t have much to play for except to carry positive momentum over into the offseason. But don’t tell that to Carey with all the hard work the senior leaders have put in to the program.

“We have a good group of seniors that are fully engaged and competing,” he said.

Tulsa will look to keep its postseason bowl hopes alive with a win over Temple. Tulsa also has one final regular-season game against Southern Methodist and could finish 6-6 to potentially qualify for a bowl.

The Golden Hurricane (4-6, 3-3) put themselves in position to inch closer to bowl contention with a thrilling 20-13 win in overtime over Tulane last Saturday.

Justin Wright played a large role in the victory with 12 tackles on his way to being named AAC Defensive Player of the Week.

While Tulsa looks to be favored over the reeling Owls, nothing is guaranteed.

“It’s college football,” Tulsa’s Jaxon Player said. “You can’t base (an opinion of) anybody off their record. Everybody shows up on Saturday.”

Tulsa will be facing Temple for the first time since 2018.

Since this will be the final home game for the Golden Hurricane, especially their 23 seniors, they hope to come out with extra intensity. Especially if they want to keep their bowl hopes alive.

“We’ve been in a lot of tight ballgames. We’ve won a few. We’ve lost a few,” Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery said. “All of our intentions are on the next game. All of our focus is on Temple. To have control of our destiny is a good thing.”

–Field Level Media

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