Freshman running back Re’Mahan Davis had a memorable debut during Temple’s 56-12 opening win over Bucknell on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.
Not bad for a ‘scared’ running back.
After rushing for 60 yards and a touchdown on nine carries and catching two passes for 78 yards and an electrifying 51-yard score, Davis admitted to having serious pre-game jitters.
“I was a little scared,” Davis admitted afterwards.
How can that be?
The 5-foot-9, 205-pound Davis has been the talk of training camp with several impressive runs.
“I was a little scared at first because at practice you are not getting tackled -- in this game, you are getting tackled,” he said. “You have to see how the hits are going to be low and high, but my defense prepared me very well.”
Temple doesn’t fully tackle at practice, but it may not matter because few people have been able to catch Davis during the preseason.
He credits losing 25 pounds from the beginning of the spring for his quickness.
Davis, who shared time on Saturday with graduate student Jager Gardner, got into the groove pretty quickly.
“Just like in high school -- even in Pop Warner -- the first time I got hit, I was fine and ready and ready to play the game,” he said.
Redshirt junior Freddie Johnson, who was moved in the summer from receiver to cornerback, got the start for Temple. It was his first career start at any position. Johnson played well at his new position, recording four tackles.
“Did you see him run out there? That dude is fast,” Temple coach Rod Carey said. “I have to see the film more, but he settled in quite nicely in what he was doing and his closing speed, that was impressive.”
Temple’s win was the largest margin of victory in an opener since the Owls won, 47-3, at Rhode Island in 1969.
As expected, tight end Kenny Yeboah didn’t play due to injury. Graduate student linebacker Chapelle Russell, who coach Rod Carey said he wouldn’t know would be available until late in the week, did play. Russell had two tackles, including one tackle for loss.
Fifth-year Bucknell senior punter Alex Pechin, a product of Unionville High, had a busy homecoming. Pechin averaged 51.6 yards on eight punts. He is considered an NFL prospect.