The game went much like many expected this Saturday for the Temple Owls. Teddy Bridgewater came to Philadelphia and performed like an NFL caliber quarterback. Home field advantage still means nothing for Temple as they have now lost their past six games at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Owls gained only 255 yards this week, which is over a hundred yards less than they have been averaging this year. Not to mention they committed two foolish turnovers. You can't win games when you easily give the ball to the other team.
These things come as no surprise since the Owls lack a solid quarterback. Starting quarterback Connor Reilly got benched in the second quarter after going 3-7 for 25 yards. This left his replacement, freshman PJ Walker, little to do coming into the game with a 17 point deficit. Although Walker was able to average 9.8 yards per pass, his 79.9 quarterback rating isn’t enough to get your team a win against a top ten team in the nation.
Louisville also has a spectacular defense this season that has only allowed 3.7 yards per play and 6.8 points per game. It makes sense why the Owls couldn’t get much going on offense. The only surprising part of this game was that the Cardinals didn’t put more points on the board, especially considering the amount of time their defense allowed them to possess of the ball.
Bridgewater completed 15 of his first 17 attempts and threw for 228 yards during the first half, but he only finished with 348 yards and two TD's. Also the Cardinals were able to put up 24 points in the first half, but only answered with 6 more in the second half. This is not how the number 7th ranked offense should perform against a far less talented defense.
It seemed as though Louisville played to Temple's level and just stopped running their offense at a high intensity. The shoulder injury to DeVante Parker may have also contributed to the lack of production, considering he is Bridgewater’s favorite target. Whatever it may be, Louisville looked flat towards the end of that game.
Temple looked flat throughout the entire game.
The Owls really need to get their quarterback situation figured out. If there is only one dimension to a team’s offense, it makes it easy for the opposing team to defend you. Take away Temple’s run game and the offense is useless. They will continue to struggle putting points on the board until they can generate a balanced offensive attack.
It will be interesting to see who gets the majority of the snaps from here on out: Reilly or Walker. If they can find a better leader under center, the Owls could bounce back next week against Cincinnati. The Bearcats lost their quarterback, Munchie Legaux, a few weeks prior to a season ending knee injury and their offense has struggled of late.
Hopefully, Temple figures it out. A win against Cincinnati would be a huge confidence booster.