Temple’s defense looks to key in on Cowboy QB

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.– Less than 24 hours before the football teams concludes its season against Wyoming in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, the Owls said they are more prepared for postseason play than they were two years ago when they played the UCLA Bruins in the EagleBank Bowl.

“We’re doing a lot more than what we did last time and we’re basically living in the film room right now and we’re committed to playing a great game,” senior linebacker Tahir Whitehead said. “Two years ago was the first time we went to a bowl game in a long time and this year we know how to whether the storm and manage bowl games with practice and get ready for the game.”

Senior linebacker Tahir Whitehead KATE MCCANN TTN

For Whitehead and the rest of the Owls’ defense, the majority of that time spent in the film room has been focused on Cowboys’ freshman quarterback Brett Smith. Smith is a two-way threat for the Cowboys as he averaged 250 passing yards and 50 rushing yards a game.

“I would say he’s similar to [Ohio sophomore quarterback Tyler Tettleton], he’s young but it seems like he knows what he’s doing, he has really good lineman that can really get after our defensive line,” senior defensive end Adrian Robinson said.

Wyoming employs a spread attack that averages nearly 400 yards a game of total and boasts an offensive line that is very stingy when it comes giving up sacks and this season, the Cowboys average less than one sack a game.

“They keep you on your toes, they can come at you in any way possible, they spread you out and they get all their receivers involved the passing game, they use screens, draws and the quarterback runs,” Whitehead said. “It’s going to be a tough game and we have to be locked in and ready to go.”

The Owls will look to win their first bowl game since 1979 tomorrow at 2 p.m.

“A win tomorrow would mean a lot, in the past couple of years, we haven’t finished the season the way we wanted to and a win would change that all around for us because it would send the younger guys into the next season with a good feeling, that’s all it about.” Whitehead said.

“This is a big game for us, this is like our championship, we want our legacy to be that we won our last game,” Robinson said.

Senior defensive end Adrian Robinson KATE MCCANN TTN

Stewart to start for Owls at QB

Coach Steve Addazio announced at a press conference today that redshirt-senior quarterback Chester Stewart will make his first start of the season for the team’s Saturday road game against Maryland.

“We’ve got two quality quarterbacks, both played a lot of football for us.  We decided to start Chester Stewart,” Addazio said.  “That doesn’t mean Mike Gerardi won’t play, all playing time is based on how our players perform in the game.  That’s how it is at every position.”

The change in the starting lineup will leave redshirt-junior quarterback Mike Gerardi on the bench, at least for the start of the game.  Gerardi has thrown 30-59 for 423 yards and three touchdowns in his first three starts of the season.

The Owls posted a 2-1 record with Gerardi at center.  Last Saturday in the 14-10 Penn State loss, Gerardi went 9-22 for 95 passing yards and threw two fourth quarter interceptions. Stewart came off the sidelines late in the second quarter, and was used in the Owls’ next five offensive drives before Gerardi spelled him, with the score 10-7 in favor of the Owls, to start the fourth quarter.

Although both Stewart and Gerardi saw significant playing time in the last game, Addazio said he does not expect to run a two-quarterback system.

“It’s not a two-quarterback system in any way, shape, or form,” Addazio said.  “It’s just the simple fact that we have two quarterbacks that have played a lot of football here.  We’re giving the opportunity to one to take it and run with it.”

“A two-quarterback system is usually for when you have two different guys and you’re trying to do two different things,” Addazio added.  “Our intent is to get the right guy in there [who] is going to consistently go.”

PSU defensive tackles live up to hype

On Tuesday, Sept. 13 coach Steve Addazio told the media during a press conference that he was impressed by what he saw of the Penn State defensive front on film.

“Their defensive front is one of the best defensive fronts I’ve seen,” Addazio said.  “I look at Devin Still and Jordan Hill and those tackles are outstanding, they’re disruptive, big, athletic.”

“I think they’re a legitimate defense,” Addazio added.

So come game day, it was no surprise to Temple’s coaching staff or redshirt junior quarterback Mike Gerardi that the Nittany Lions’ defensive line made an impact on the game’s outcome. 

Gerardi also stated on Tuesday during the press conference that he thought the tackles had talent.

“Their defensive tackles are pretty good,” Gerardi said.  “You really got to understand that you have to get the ball out of your hands.  You got to understand that they’re going to get pressure on you, only rushing three or four, leaving seven guys in coverage.  So just got to go through progressions and execute and just take what they give you.”

By the end of a 14-10 loss for the Owls yesterday, the running game generated a total of 74 yards, the lowest of the season.  Penn State defensive tackles junior Jordan Hill and senior Devon Still played a factor, as Hill recorded three total tackles and Still posted six tackles with one sack.

Free PSU vs. Temple football tickets available tonight

The first 1,000 students to attend the Owls volleyball game tonight at 7 p.m. in McGonigle Hall will receive free student tickets to the Penn State football game on Sept. 17.  The volleyball team will face Rider in a non-conference game after competing at the Big 5 Tournament last weekend.  The Owls posted a 1-2 record at the tournament, which brought their overall season record to 2-3.
You must have a Temple student ID to claim a ticket, one ticket per student.

For coverage of the game, check back with www.temple-news.com for an online web exclusive by volleyball beat writer, Jake Adams.

Football captains announced

The football team announced its captains for the 2011 season today.  Three of four seniors named to the leadership role start for the Owls’ defense: offensive lineman John Palumbo, linebacker Tahir Whitehead, defensive ends Morkeith Brown and Adrian Robinson.

“I think from spring ball going into camp, we looked very good out there,” Brown said of the team at the media press conference on Monday.  “Everybody’s ready to play.”

The Owls are just three hours from kicking off their season opener at 7 p.m. against Villanova at Lincoln Financial Field.

Adios @TUCoachAlGolden

For those of you on Twitter instead of studying for finals, there’s one less person you’ll find in the Twitter-sphere: Al Golden. After an announcement that Temple’s head coach has accepted a deal to become the head coach of the University of Miami’s football team, it seems @TUCoachAlGolden no longer exists (Don’t believe us? http://twitter/tucoachalgolden). In other news: @BillCosby is only following five people on Twitter now.

Peanut Joseph suffers season-ending injury

Elijah “Peanut” Joseph, the football team’s starting middle linebacker, has played his last game for the Owls.

The 6-foot-2-inch Connecticut native suffered an injury to his right knee in the team’s loss to Ohio last Tuesday. Joseph was carted off the field.

The senior appeared in all 10 games this year while making seven starts. Joseph was named a First Team All-MAC selection last season. He finished his career with 27 career starts.

According to a press release from the team, Joseph is expected to be ready for spring drills and any NFL Draft workouts.

Former football player arrested for DUI

Raheem Brock, a defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks and Temple alumnus, was arrested for driving under the influence on Saturday morning.

Brock, who played for the Owls from 1997 to 2001, was released from jail pending charges. Brock would go on to play in Seattle’s game against Arizona on Sunday.

Brock was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2002 but was released before the season started.

The 6-foot-4-inch end would then sign with the Indianapolis Colts. After eight season with the team, Brock signed with the Tennessee Titans before finding his way to Seattle.

According to NFL.com, the Washington State Patrol confirmed the arrest.