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Backup Temple QB Todd Centeio is making the most of his time on the field

For the second week in a row, Centeio came off the bench to lead the Owls to their first touchdown

Temple quarterback Todd Centeio throws the ball in the second quarter against Tulane.
Temple quarterback Todd Centeio throws the ball in the second quarter against Tulane.Read moreHEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer

For the second week in a row, Temple backup quarterback Todd Centeio led the Owls to a touchdown. Centeio has played at least two series in each of the past six games as a change-of-pace quarterback behind starter and redshirt junior Anthony Russo.

While he is known for his running ability, Centeio completed 4-of-6 passes for 76 yards, which included a 4-yard score to Kenny Yeboah, during Saturday’s 29-21 American Athletic Conference win over Tulane at Lincoln Financial Field.

A redshirt sophomore, Centeio also rushed for 13 yards on four carries.

In last week’s 17-7 win at South Florida, Centeio also found Yeboah for a 1-yard touchdown for the game’s first score.

“The moment is not too big for me,” Centeio said. “I go out there and what I know I can do every time,”

While the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Centeio is known for his running ability, this season he has completed 23 of 31 for 309 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

“It’s not like he is coming in and is a wildcat quarterback, he is coming in to play quarterback,” Temple coach Rod Carey said. “I want him to be him, which he can run the ball, but he is a quarterback.”

Walls return

Carey didn’t really know if senior safety Benny Walls would play against Tulane until Saturday morning. A product of St. Joseph’s Prep, Walls missed the previous four games with an upper body injury that occurred in practice.

Walls indeed returned and was a major factor. Carey said the other safeties did well in his absence but that Walls’s presence is invaluable.

“And he is really smart and he is a good football player,'” said Carey, whose team is 7-3 and 4-2 in the AAC. “He brings a lot of communication skills to the back end of the defense and that eliminates a lot of the miscommunication that we had at times."

On Tuesday, Walls had his first full practice since suffering the injury and he kept progressing each day leading up to the game.

"It felt amazing,” Walls said about being back. “Being on the field with my boys, it just feels good, I was happy.”

A hard hitter, Walls contributed four tackles in his return.

“My adrenaline was pumping,” Walls said. “It was like the first game of the season all over again.”