Frank Nutile prides himself on not varying his routine. Whether he is a starter or a backup, the Temple quarterback insists that his routine and preparation don't change.
The redshirt junior will be starting for the second straight week, the second time in his career, when Temple hosts Navy on Thursday in an American Athletic Conference game at Lincoln Financial Field.
Even Nutile will admit that the opportunity, not his preparation, is slightly different for him. The Owls (3-5, 1-3 AAC) will face Navy (5-2, 3-2) in a game in which both teams are looking to end two-game losing streaks.
The game will also be televised on ESPN and it's a chance for Nutile to show that he is the man for the job. He is replacing the injured Logan Marchi, who started the Owls' first seven games.
When asked after Tuesday's practice if he sees this as a chance for him to showcase his ability, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound product of New Jersey power Don Bosco Prep relied, "I guess it's hard not to."
Then he went back into team mode.
"At the end of the day it is about winning and I just want to win," he said.
Temple has been idle since a 31-28 overtime loss at Army on Oct. 21, which was Nutile's first career start. Before that game, he had attempted 19 career passes.
Nutile more than held his own, completing 20 of 29 passes for 290 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.
Marchi has an unspecified injury. Coach Geoff Collins said that he could probably play in an emergency but that redshirt freshman Anthony Russo was taking all the second-team reps.
When asked after practice if he could play, Marchi said, "I am always going to say 'yes I can,' but it is a doctor's decision."
Marchi, who will still be the holder on PATs and field goals, says that it is difficult sitting out but that he supports Nutile. It's the same way Nutile supported Marchi over the first seven games.
"You have to put the best player on the field to get the job done and Frank did a good job [against Army] and has carried it over to this week in practice," Marchi said.
Nutile is known for his game preparation, whether as a backup or starter, and he has as good a grasp of the offense as anybody on the team. "There isn't much different than the first seven to eight weeks, but I think it is a great opportunity to play a great game on ESPN," Nutile said.
He isn't a flashy player, but he has great toughness and his teammates respect his thorough knowledge of the offense.
"Frank came in like a psychic, he knew everything that was going to happen, he knew where he was throwing and knew if the safety was [at a certain spot] where he was going," said offensive tackle Leon Johnson. "Frank did a heck of a job, coming in and doing what he did."