Temple runs through two-minute drill situations almost every day in practice, coach Geoff Collins said. On Saturday, the team did it for real.
With three minutes, 23 seconds left against Villanova, the Owls started a drive on their own 26-yard line looking to untie the game.
On the second play, redshirt-sophomore quarterback Logan Marchi threw a 29-yard pass to redshirt-junior wide receiver Ventell Bryant, who made a one-handed catch along the right sideline. Temple drew a pass interference call two plays later and kicked the game-winning field goal with one minute left to earn a 16-13 victory at Lincoln Financial Field.
When asked to describe the last time he led a late-game drive in a close game, Marchi recalled the first game during his senior season in high school.
“Going into the spring and camp, I didn’t know who was going to be the quarterback,” Bryant said. “But he’s shown me a lot that he’s ready for this moment and ready for this stage.”
Marchi also led a two-minute-drill drive late in the first half. The Owls had exactly two minutes and two timeouts to travel downfield to add to their three-point lead. He started the drive with a 15-yard completion to Bryant and, after a sack, hit Bryant again for a 13-yard gain.
Marchi found sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Wright running free down the middle of the field for a 32-yard gain to put Temple into the red zone. Four plays later, the Owls scored their only touchdown on a 1-yard run by redshirt-senior fullback Nick Sharga.
Marchi completed five of his six pass attempts for 77 yards on the drive. He finished Saturday’s game 20-for-34 passing for 274 yards. He has yet to have a turnover this season.
“I feel like taking care of the football has been something I’ve honed on these past couple of games and not making those crazy throws and just taking the ones that are there and if they’re not there, throw it away or take off,” Marchi said.
There was one play in the third quarter Marchi made that had offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude sounding hoarse after the game.
Marchi rolled to his right looking to throw to redshirt-senior wideout Keith Kirkwood along the sideline. With tight coverage in the secondary and a defender approaching him, Marchi held onto the ball looking to make a play before throwing it away.
Patenaude said he’d screamed for him to throw the ball away more quickly but felt he played well otherwise.
“He had good numbers,” Patenaude said. “He didn’t turn the ball over. There’s going to be continual things we have to work on. I thought his reads were good. I thought his composure was good. I think he can take off and run it a little bit more. I think he can make some more plays with his feet.”