Temple was a little short at safety, but the Owls worked though the injuries to defeat No. 23 Memphis, 30-28, in Saturday’s American Athletic Conference game at Lincoln Financial Field.
Starting safety Benny Walls, who is one of the defensive leaders, hurt himself in practice on Thursday and was unable to play.
In addition, redshirt junior Keyvone Bruton, who was slated to start in place of Walls, was ruled out, coach Rod Carey said after the game.
“Bru [Bruton] was going to start but got ruled out in pregame,” Carey said. “He had something come up and couldn’t go.”
That moved sophomore DaeSean Winston into the starting lineup alongside Ayron Monroe, the Penn State transfer who has started all six games for the Owls. Winston saw sufficient time in each of the first five games, so it wasn’t as though he were coming in cold.
Temple doesn’t go with just two safeties the entire game, however, so redshirt junior Amir Tyler got more playing time.
Tyler had seen his playing time increase, but not to the level it was on Saturday.
He entered the game with six tackles and had three against Memphis. Tyler also recovered a key fourth-quarter fumble that led to Temple’s final touchdown.
“It was a little crazy, I couldn’t let the team down,” Tyler said. “I felt like I had to do everything I had to do.”
Temple’s motto is: Next man up.
“We played DaeSean in there, Amir in there, guys who are normally in the mix and have gotten time,' Carey said, "but certainly Amir got a ton of time today, and Monroe had to play the whole game, and I am proud of those guys.”
As for Walls, Carey said he was hurt in a noncontact situation and will be back, but he gave no timeline.