After a sloppy intrasquad scrimmage on Aug. 15, coach Matt Rhule wanted a better performance from his team Saturday.
Despite some turnovers and penalties, Rhule was please with his team’s play in Temple’s final intrasquad of the summer..
“It was a really good day,” Rhule said. “The defense didn’t pressure [the offense]. Offensively, we were missing a few guys. Defensively, we didn’t scrimmage everyone … it was much cleaner than last week. The first team looked way better than they did last week.”
With key players like senior lineman Kyle Friend and redshirt-junior defensive lineman Praise Martin-Oguike not participating in the scrimmage, backups were able to get more repetitions.
“Other guys got the opportunity to get in there and get work,” Rhule said. “Gordon Thomas, our third center and Benson Israel, our third guard, got a lot of reps with the [first team] today. We are preparing for catastrophe.”
With the Owls playing 12 games in 13 weeks, Rhule said it is crucial for the backups to get as many repetitions as possible.
“We only have one bye week,” Rhule said. “So we are going to need a lot of guys. Some guys are going to start the year off in a role they don’t really love and they will end the year as a starter. So it comes down to who’s mentally tough enough.”
With the season opener two weeks away, Rhule said the coaching staff will soon begin to prepare for the Penn State.
“[Aug. 27] , we’ll sit down and see who’s playing against Penn State,” Rhule said. “But we still
have to bring enough guys along.”
With junior P.J. Walker entrenched as the starting quarterback for the Owls, the coaching staff is searching for his backup and redshirt freshman Frank Nutile has impressed.
“Frank Nutile went in there with the [second team] today,” Rhule said. “He’s a real competitive kid and throws the ball well. He’s coming off an ACL [injury], so you think he would be jittery in the pocket. But he’s solid in the pocket and smart.”
Rhule said Nutile has distinguished himself from the rest of the backup quarterbacks.
“I wouldn’t go as far to say he had a great camp because he is a young kid,” Rhule said. “But he’s probably the furthest ahead going into today.”
Michael Guise can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Michael_Guise
Freshman defensive lineman Josiah Bronson broke his ankle and is out for the season…Other players who were limited or did not participate on Saturday: redshirt-junior offensive lineman Brendan McGowan, redshirt-sophomore offensive lineman Adrian Sullivan, redshirt-senior wide receiver Robby Anderson, redshirt-freshman wide receiver Ventell Bryant, senior defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis, freshman running back T.J. Simmons.