Temple will face Memphis Friday night, Nov. 7 at Lincoln Financial Field in what could be another tough league game in the American Athletic Conference. Of course, the Owls (5-2 overall, 3-2 AAC) posted a big upset last week in defeating then No. 21 ranked East Carolina, 21-10, at home on a cold and rainy day.
The Tigers (5-3 overall, 3-1 AAC) are coming off an impressive 40-20 win over Tulsa. Matt Rhule, Temple’s head coach, knows the Owls will be battling one of the best teams in the conference.
“Memphis is a team that is tied for first place in our conference,” Rhule said. “They have an outstanding team. They’re really well coached. Coach [Justin] Fuentes [Memphis head coach] is a guy I like to pattern myself after a little bit. He’s been doing it a little bit longer than I have, but does a great job with that program.
“They are extremely talented. They’re first in the conference in scoring offense. They’re first in the conference in rushing offense. They’re third in the conference in scoring defense.
“They beat you up on both sides of the ball. There’s a really good team coming to play here Friday night. They’re in first place for a reason.”
The Owls are just one win away from being eligible for a postseason bowl. Rhule knows this would be a great achievement for his team. But he wants to keep his players focused on the job at hand.
“I think about it because I like to get to six wins,” he said. “I would like to beat Memphis on Friday night. I know how hard that’s going to be. Would it be an accomplishment for these kids to be bowl eligible? Absolutely. I think that’s going to be the accomplishment for every team every year.”
Temple and Memphis will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
NOTES: Temple junior defensive end Praise Martin-Oguike was named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week. Martin-Oguike was the key to Temple’s defensive effort, which forced five turnovers in the Owls’ win over East Carolina. It was Temple’s first win against a top-25 opponent since 1998. Martin-Oguike finished the game with four tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and a blocked field goal. Martin-Oguike was also selected as the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week.