Coach Geoff Collins’ favorite play of the game wasn’t one of Temple University’s three interceptions, two fumble recoveries or four touchdowns.
Instead, it was a sack at the end of the third quarter. The special part for Collins wasn’t that the sack came on third down and forced Tulsa to punt, it was that senior running back Ryquell Armstead made it.
“You don’t see many starting tailbacks in America cover kickoffs, cover punts and protect on punts, and then get out there on defense and rush the quarterback and get sacks,” Collins said.
The Owls beat Tulsa 31-17 at Lincoln Financial Field Thursday night – the team’s first conference win this season against the American Athletic Conference opponent.
For Armstead, Thursday was a night of milestones that moved him up on several university all-time bests lists. In addition to the first sack of his career, one of Temple’s six, Armstead also scored a touchdown and rushed for 108 yards.
Armstead is the first player to rush for 100 or more yards in three consecutive games since running back Bernard Pierce did twice in 2011.
“Milestones are great, you know, but the most important thing is just getting a great team win tonight,” Armstead said. “I know what I’m capable of doing and I just do it at a very high level.”
Armstead’s 22-yard touchdown run in the second quarter moved him to fourth on Temple’s all-time rushing touchdown list.
He also moved to 9th in all-time rushing yards for the university. Armstead now has 2,084 career rushing yards.
“I’m really proud of Ryquell Armstead,” Collins said. “A great performance by him and just an overall team effort.”
Armstead recorded 24 carries and averaged 4.5 yards per rush, with his longest of the game being his touchdown run.
He picked up 15 receiving yards. The senior played many different roles for the Owls, like special teams and defense, where he recorded a sack.
“I haven’t played special teams in the four years since I’ve been here and this year, I’ve focused solely on being on something,” Armstead said. “I’m just taking advantage of my opportunities and just trying to help the team win.”
Armstead’s success on the field Thursday night comes after he battled several injuries last season.
“Injuries are just part of the game, you’ve got to learn to adapt to them,” Armstead said. “This is the healthiest I’ve been in a while. It’s week four and my body feels great, so like I said, I’m just trying to contribute to my team and do whatever we’ve got to do to win.”