Temple’s football team will be in the national spotlight when it faces 23rd-ranked and undefeated Memphis on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field. The kickoff will be at 12 p.m. on ESPN2.
The Owls (4-1) will take on the Tigers (5-0) in a American Athletic Conference game.
“Well, we’re certainly excited about the game,” said Temple head coach Rod Carey. “The No. 1 reason is because it’s the next one. I know that’s coach speak and what have you. But we’re back at home and that’s a wonderful thing for us.
“We love playing at the Linc [Lincoln Financial Field], our guys, and in front of our fans and our families. There’s certainly excitement around it. Memphis is a really good ballclub. It’s not just that they’re ranked. You turn on the film and you see really good football players, really well-coached and dynamic and explosive.”
Memphis will come to Philadelphia after an impressive 52-33 win over Louisiana Monroe. The Tigers were led by freshman running back Kenneth Gainwell, who had 14 carries for 209 yards and two touchdowns. Gainwell is the team’s leading rusher with 620 yards and averages a magnificent 8.2 yards a carry. He has also scored six TDs this season.
On the other side of the ledger, Temple secured its fourth win of the season with a 27-17 victory over East Carolina last Thursday night on the road. The Owls’ freshman running back, Re’Mahn Davis, had his second straight 100-yard game. Davis had a career-high 157 yards on 24 rushing attempts with one touchdown. So far, he has 84 carries for 503 yards and four TDs on the season. He averages 6.0 yards a carry.
“Re’Mahn is getting better each week,” Carey said. “You remember he’s just a true freshman. I think the rate of improvement when you get those reps [repetitions] for a true freshman is exponentially higher than other positions probably and guys that are maybe a little older that have been through it a little bit. We’re starting to see that and really the progression that he has to take it through and keep him on that path and keep him going physically, mentally and everything. He’s doing a nice job.”
Temple got its first conference win against East Carolina last week. Now, the team has a challenge facing Memphis that hasn’t lost this season.