Temple lost, 44-10, to Tulsa on Saturday in the Owls’ first game since quarterback D’Wan Mathis informed coach Rod Carey and his teammates that he intends to enter the transfer portal.
Mathis, who had transferred to Temple from Georgia less than a year ago, was not seen with the team in Tulsa, and the Owls (3-8) turned to freshman Justin Lynch for his fourth start this season.
“[Mathis] is still on the roster at this point,” Carey said. “As far as further discussions about him, in the new world of college football, it is really up to him.”
Lynch didn’t throw for a single touchdown and had two interceptions in the 37-8 loss against Houston on Nov. 13, one of the games he started when Mathis was out with an injury. His performance was similar against the Golden Hurricane (5-6).
“Improvement is what I saw from [Lynch],” Carey said. “Then some things we need to get better at, like fourth-down situational awareness, what we’re trying to do. Trying to put him in situations where he has to make decisions.”
The Owls trailed, 27-0, at halftime. Lynch threw for 48 yards and one interception in the half. On the interception, in the first quarter, Lynch intended to throw long to receiver Jose Barbon, but the pass was short and Tulsa safety TieNeal Martin snagged it.
The first half featured multiple three-and-outs for the Owls. Lynch struggled to hit receivers on screen passes, and there were minimal gains on jet sweeps.
While Carey has praised Lynch’s running ability, it was not much in evidence, with the quarterback totaling just 11 rushing yards.
Temple was also without Jadan Blue, its second-all-time-leading receiver, who also announced he is entering the transfer portal.
Blue’s starting spot in the slot was filled by Barbon and Amad Anderson Jr., with Randle Jones on the outside.
Lynch connected with seven different players in the first half, but the Owls couldn’t get into the end zone. In the third quarter, the quarterback hit Anderson with a 23-yard touchdown pass.
Temple’s offense showed some life in the second half, but inconsistency and miscues showed Lynch is a young player who has a lot to learn.
With Mathis intending to leave, Lynch will likely start again for the Owls’ last game of the season, against Navy on Nov. 27.
“We want to send these guys off the right way, so we’re trying to get back on the field and improve the things we can improve on and get a win,” Carey said.