Temple quarterback Phillip Walker is the most even-keeled player on the team, never one to get too high or too low, but even he gets nostalgic when thinking about what's next for the Owls.

For Temple that is senior night on Saturday when the Owls host East Carolina at Lincoln Financial Field.

Before the American Athletic Conference game, the senior will be introduced one final time before a matchup with league championship implications.

"It means a lot," Walker said earlier this week, speaking about senior night. "There is so much I have been through here and it will be exciting to me. . . . I will try to control my emotions, try to relax and get back to it being a regular game."

Yet this isn't just any game. Temple (8-3, 6-1 AAC) can clinch the East Division title with a win over the Pirates (3-8, 1-6). (The Owls can also clinch if South Florida loses to Central Florida in their noon matchup on Saturday.)

The Owls have won five in a row and are vying for their second straight division title. Walker, a starter since midway through his freshman year, saw the program go from 2-10 to 6-6 as a sophomore to 10-4 last year.

Now this.

Walker owns several school records, including 26 wins by a starting quarterback.

"If we go out and play our best football, we will be OK," Walker said.

Senior linebacker Avery Williams, one of the team's leaders on and off the field, understands the emotions of senior night, and like Walker will look to keep his emotions in check.

"It hasn't hit me yet," Williams said. "It probably will hit me when the day comes, but right now I am just preparing for East Carolina."

The players have had so many big memories at the Linc.

There was last year's opening 27-10 victory over Penn State, the first win over the Nittany Lions since 1941. And during last year's 24-20 loss to Notre Dame, despite the outcome, the Owls played out of their minds in front of a national television audience and record crowd of 69,280 at the Linc before Notre Dame salvaged the win with a fourth-quarter comeback.

Then there was last year's senior night, when the Owls clinched the East Division title with a 27-3 win over UConn.

And this year, nobody will forget the 46-30 home victory over South Florida, the preseason favorite to win the division title.

The one person who will truly look to keep his emotions in check is fourth-year coach Matt Rhule, who started together with this senior class.

"I am really grateful to these kids, and if you are grateful, I want to make sure I do my job and give them every opportunity to win this game," Rhule said. "It is the last time they will walk off this field playing here and I want them to walk off as winners."

If West Division champion Navy loses on Saturday to SMU and Temple beats ECU, the Owls will host the AAC title game at the Linc.

Still, it is likely the last game in Philadelphia for a group of seniors who have created a deep and lasting bond with one another.

"This has probably been the best five years of my life," said Temple redshirt senior center Brendan McGowan. "It is really a blessing to go out there and have fun one last time with my brothers at the Linc."

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