Defensive tackle Jullian Taylor had mixed emotions in his final college game at Lincoln Financial Field. On senior day, Temple lost to unbeaten Central Florida, 45-19. The Owls (5-6, 3-4 American Athletic Conference) must win Saturday at Tulsa to become bowl-eligible.
While the loss stung, Taylor enjoyed the best game of what has been a career marred by injuries. The 6-foot-5, 280-pound Williamstown High School graduate, had 10 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for losses. To put that in perspective, the redshirt senior entered the game with five career tackles for losses.
“I felt personally I put it all out there. Of course, I wanted to win and was really mad about [losing], but personally it was a good game,” Taylor said. “I told myself I would play my heart out, my family is there, and it was my last game at the Linc as a Temple Owl.”
This has by far been Taylor’s most productive season with 35 tackles and eight tackles for losses.
“He is a really fast player, a great decision maker,” defensive end Sharif Finch said. “I give him all the credit in the world and I think he is one of the best in the conference. He showed that today.”
Starting left guard Jovahn Fair returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering an undisclosed injury in the third game of the season, a 29-21 win over Massachusetts.
Logan Marchi, who hasn’t played quarterback since the seventh game of the season because of an injury, wasn’t used as the holder for the first time. Reserve quarterback Anthony Russo was the holder for the Owls. Coach Geoff Collins said that Marchi would have been the backup quarterback if Temple needed to replace Frank Nutile, but that the team just wanted to see Russo work as the holder.
Wide receiver Ventell Bryant left the game for good in the third quarter with an injury. It appeared the redshirt junior couldn’t put weight on his right leg. Coach Geoff Collins didn’t have an update after the game.
It’s been a tough season for Bryant. He missed one game because of an “internal matter” and began the season less than 100 percent with a hamstring injury. After being Temple’s leading receiver last year with 54 receptions for 895 yards and four touchdowns, he has just 28 receptions for 273 yards and no touchdowns.