"There was penalty after penalty after penalty," said Temple coach Steve Addazio after his squad improved to 3-2, 2-0 in conference. "And that's got to go away. That's my job. I have to make that go away. We can't afford that."
The Owls, who have won consecutive Big East games for the first time in school history, definitely can't afford that this Saturday when the Owls play No. 19 Rutgers at Lincoln Financial Field at noon.
The Scarlet Knights (6-0, 3-0) boast the nation's second-ranked rushing defense (60.8 yards per game) and third-ranked scoring defense (11.5 points per game), so points may be hard to produce. Committing costly penalties against Rutgers could lead to a lopsided loss.
At times, it appeared that penalties would stand in the way of Temple's come-from-behind victory over UConn.
"We had a chance, I felt, in the second half that we were going to open this thing up," Addazio said. "But we kept getting pinned with penalties down on the [7-yard line] and on the ."
The Owls were forced to start the opening possession of the second half at their 9-yard line because Daquan Copper committed a holding penalty on the kickoff return.
Temple's next series started at its 27 after Gary Onuekwusi was called for an illegal block on a punt return.
The Owls began their following drive at the 9 due to Rob Anderson's being called for an illegal block on a punt return. And Ahkeem Smith committed a personal foul the next time UConn punted, forcing Temple to start at its 7.
"We are not the kind of team that we can consistently drive the length of the field," Addazio said.
For the game, the Owls began four offensive drives inside their 15-yard line and were forced to punt on all of them.
"We can't play the long field against a defense like that," Addazio said of the Huskies. "You [aren't] going to come out with too many of these."
Contact Keith Pompey at 215-854-2939 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @pompeysgridlock. Read his blog, "Owls Inq," at www.philly.com/OwlsInq