The Orange are looking to win back-to-back road games for the first time this season. The Temple…
Temple takes a 4-6 record into its regular-season finale at Lincoln Financial Field, an interesting though sometimes frustrating year that became a lot more challenging when the program got its ultimate goal of a return to the Big East Conference.
Of course, that return came with only six months of preparation time and with an inexperienced group already as it stepped up its level of competition. The Owls had lost four in a row before finally breaking through in a big way last week, dispatching Army 63-32 behind 351 yards and seven touchdowns from Montel Harris.
"We came off playing four pretty good football teams," said Addazio. "A lot of great things happened in the game, we needed a little bit of a statement game. It's a game we had an opportunity to win and we won it in the most impressive fashion anybody has played them all season long."
The Owls will need an equally impressive performance against the Orange, who are led by quarterback Ryan Nassib, a West Chester native. Nassib has thrown for 3,404 yards and 23 touchdowns this season and will be a challenge for the Owls' inconsistent secondary. Syracuse (6-5) has won four out of five and just became bowl eligible after back-to-back wins over Louisville and Missouri.
"The quarterback is a first-round pick, probably the best in our league," said Addazio. "He's got a lightning-quick release, throws no bad balls. He's the most accurate guy I've ever seen. He's a decision-maker who's smart, tough with all the intangibles and has a pro arm."
Temple made a change at quarterback last game, replacing Chris Coyer with Juice Granger, who ran for 85 yards but threw the ball just four times against the Black Knights. He'll probably have to drop back a few more times this week.
"We want to control the ball and play well enough on defense to not to get out of whack, but we're going to have to throw the ball," said Addazio. "We understand that."
The Owls are hoping they can still find their way into a bowl if they win this Friday even if they will fall just short of the .500 record necessary to qualify. Only 61 teams are bowl eligible and if nine more don't make the mark, a sub-.500 team would be able to play in a bowl.
"Coach Addazio kept us in tune, said there's still a possibility to get there, something to fight for," said Harris. "We know we have an opportunity to make it to a bowl game. We have to bring everything we can to Syracuse."
But Addazio — who's son Louie is a sophomore tight end for Syracuse, but is injured — knows that won't be easy.
"It's as big a task as we've had all season, this team is as good as any team we played and that's just a fact," said Addazio.
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