Temple football repeated practice on Friday because the team did not perform well during Thursday’s practice ahead of the start of the regular season.
“Today we had to repeat a practice and you guys probably caught wind of that,” coach Rod Carey said. “Yesterday was really good physically but not good mentally, we had a lot of complicated situations that we did not meet the standard for.”
The Owls have until Aug. 31 when they play Bucknell University at Lincoln Financial Field at 3 p.m. to clean up their mistakes.
Carey began practice with a passionate speech about his expectations and he thinks the team responded well, he said.
“They executed very well today and they listened and we got better today,” Carey said.
Redshirt-junior quarterback Anthony Russo did not participate in practice. He threw several passes after practice. Russo has a soft tissue injury in his lower leg and is considered day to day, Carey said.
Junior cornerback Harrison Hand is still held out of practice since transferring from Baylor. Hand was in full pads and doing some light running while the team worked on 11-on-11 drills.
“I’m feeling good,” Hand said. “A little bit better than I have been. I feel healthy. I’m getting healthier by the day, just taking care of my body everyday.”
Redshirt-junior wide receiver Branden Mack participated in some position drills today but did not participate in 11-on-11 or seven-on-seven drills.
In the ongoing battle for Temple’s starting running back role, graduate student Jager Gardner received most of the reps with the first team offense. Freshman running back Re’Mahn Davis and redshirt-freshman Kyle Dobbins split the rest of the workload with the first team.
Redshirt-junior cornerback Freddie Johnson played on the first team defense today opposite senior cornerback Linwood Crump. Johnson converted to playing cornerback from wide receiver in the spring.
“[Johnson] is further than I thought he would be technique wise,” Carey said. “I think if you ask him, he has a way to go technique-wise. The thing that he has that can make up for all the technique stuff is great speed.”
During special teams drills, senior linebacker Sean Bradley played upback on kickoff returns on Friday. Some of The Owls’ starting players are expected to play on special teams this season, Carey added.
Redshirt-sophomore kicker Will Mobley has improved since the spring, adding that the battle between Mobley and graduate-student kicker Jacob Lafree is tight.
Redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Jaden Blue played the slot receiver position on the first team offense on Friday.
Blue made the longest catch of the day with an approximate 35-yard direct pass thrown by Centeio down the right sideline.
Temple participated in 11-on-11 drills for the last hour of practice where the defense dominated most of the period. The Owls’ first team defense allowed zero touchdowns and recorded multiple sacks.
“I love the way the defense has been playing the last two days,” Carey said. “We are playing relentless and no matter if the offense gets a play on us or not, we are coming back and stiffing [sic] it.”
Temple’s defense allowed minimal completions from the offense. The effort was led by Crump, who gave up zero catches while in man-to-man coverage.
Senior linebacker Sam Franklin recorded a sack while rushing off the edge. Franklin expects to get more opportunities to rush the passer this season, he said. The senior spent most of his time playing as the first team slot cornerback, which he played for most of last season.
The only touchdown scored by the offense came in a two-minute drill situation. The first team offense scored on a running play against the second team defense where Centeio handed the ball off to Davis.
Davis ran through a gap created by the right side of the Owls’ offensive line and was untouched all the way to the endzone.
The Owls will practice again on Saturday before their day off on Sunday.