Overtime loss to Army still stings Temple coach Geoff Collins

OWLSFB06-A 09-05-2017 .(AKIRA SUWA / For The Inquirer).Temple OWLs are practicing at their FB Field. Head Coach, Geoff Collins is watching practice.

Nearly 48 hours after a 31-28 overtime defeat at Army, Temple football coach Geoff Collins still had trouble digesting the results.

The Owls allowed a game-tying touchdown with one second left in regulation and missed a 27-yard field goal that would have sent the game into a second overtime.

“I have had some sleepless nights,” said Collins during Monday’s AAC call with the media.

Collins said it is a good time for a break. The Owls (3-5) won’t resume action until hosting Navy on Thursday, Nov. 2.

Temple would have to go 3-1 in the final four games to become bowl eligible.

The first-year coach said seven starters were out of the lineup due to injury. Included in that group was redshirt sophomore quarterback Logan Marchi, who was replaced by redshirt junior Frank Nutile.

Making his first collegiate start, Nutile completed 20 of 29 passes for 290 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.

After looking at the film, Collins gave Nutile passing grades.

“He maybe had a little slow start but I thought he did a nice job,” Collins said. “He was 20 for 29 and we only had two drops, and he got us in the right plays and protections.”

Collins also said there was a reason that receiver Keith Kirkwood, who also serves as a pass rushing specialist, wasn’t in on Army’s final drive in regulation. The Black Knights drove 79 yards on 14 plays in one minute and 31 seconds before scoring on a 16-yard pass with one second left.

“Keith Kirkwood is nursing a shoulder [injury] and was playing through it most of the day on offense,” Collins said, “It started to really bother him and we didn’t have access to him on that last drive.”

The most sleep was lost over that final drive in regulation.

“[Temple needed] one more pressure or different coverage in that last drive,” Collins said.

Collins said he hopes the time off will be good for his banged-up team that will look to snap a two-game losing streak.

Temple’s regulars and key reserves didn’t practice on Monday, where a workout was held for mainly redshirt and walk-on players. The team has off Tuesday and Wednesday and returns Thursday to prepare for Navy.

It’s a Navy team that is 5-2 and coming off a 31-21 loss to No. 18 Central Florida (6-0). The Midshipmen also have a bye before returning to action against Temple.