HOUSTON -- There is one major key for Temple if the Owls are to beat Houston in today's AAC championship game – stopping Cougars quarterback Greg Ward Jr.
This is no secret. Ward has accounted for 33 touchdowns, 17 rushing and 16 passing. His ability to hurt teams with his arm or legs has no doubt kept Temple defensive coordinator Phil Snow and head coach Matt Rhule up late, attempting to devise ways to contain the 5-foot-11, 185-pound junior.
"He hurts us with the quarterback run and more importantly he can scramble and get outside the pocket," Rhule said of Ward during Friday's press conference at TDECU Stadium. "He can put fear in your pass rushers, but he is also a passer."
Last year Ward completed 29 of 33 passes for 268 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in Houston's 31-10 win over the visiting Owls. Long before that, Rhule knew of the problems that Ward posed against opposing offenses.
" I think we saw that in high school and we saw that in our game last year," Rhule said. "We have to do a great job at containing him. We are never going to stop him but we have to find a way to contain him, minimize his impact and just try to take away the big play and make them have to drive the length of the field."