Temple’s American Athletic Conference football opener, which was originally slated for Sept. 26 at Navy, has been rescheduled for Oct. 10.
This is not a surprise since Temple coach Rod Carey suggested last week that the Owls needed more time to scrimmage in practice. Both Temple and Navy had an open date Oct. 10. The AAC said the game will be at 6 p.m. and televised on CBS Sports Network.
The Owls’ next scheduled game is on Oct. 17 at home against South Florida. Temple’s four nonconference games have been canceled by their opponents because of COVID-19.
Carey made the announcement about the new opening date during Tuesday’s Zoom media call, although he said a decision was made last week.
Carey said last week that the City of Philadelphia recommended that the refrain from scrimmages in practice because of the coronavirus. Carey and receivers coach Thad Ward said last week that the Owls had started having about 10-12 scrimmage plays per week. Carey has maintained isn’t enough to get ready for the season.
“With the restrictions we were under from the city and the guidelines, moving it back, it’s kind of the last chip we had to play as far as getting the team ready to play and getting that time back on our side here,” Carey said Tuesday. “I think we’re all a little frustrated, to be honest with you, but i don’t know who isn’t frustrated at this point with COVID and the new things we have to deal with.”
Navy opened its season Monday with a 55-3 home loss to BYU. The Midshipmen will visit Tulane on Sept. 19 and Air Force on Oct. 3 before meeting Temple.
“It really came down to Navy and us agreeing to it and that was really the mechanism how it all happened,” Carey said.
When asked if scrimmaging would be increasing in practice, Carey said, “It is going to have to and that is part of what I’m working on right now. ... I will share with [the media] when I have more information about what I’m trying to get done here to get that moving forward in a safe [way] and respectful of everybody’s rules and regulations. But the bottom line is the rules and regulations that we’re currently under won’t allow us to get a team prepared the way it needs to be prepared, so we have to look at some alternative things here.
“We have to up that to 50 to 60 scrimmage plays a practice to get a team ready,” Carey added. “Those are the numbers that we’ve always worked off of and we’ve got to get there.”
Redshirt senior safety Amir Tyler says the players are taking the news of the delay in stride.
“It is kind of hard, just watching everybody else, people in our conference play, but then you can’t lose sight of the mission," Tyler said. “Everybody wants to be on the field, but when it is your time to come, you have to be ready.”