PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Temple heads into Saturday's game against Georgia Tech and former coach Geoff Collins looking for a much faster start.
The Owls trailed 24-7 at halftime last week at Buffalo and a comeback bid fell short in a 38-22 loss. Anthony Russo finished 25 of 51 for 258 yards and three touchdowns, but he also three interceptions and had one returned for a score.
"I told them it won't happen again, and I told them I won't let them down like I did on Saturday and want to do everything in my power to make sure I won't let them down like I did," Russo said after Tuesday's practice.
The Owls (2-1) boast the nation's No. 9 passing offense, averaging 347 yards per game. Georgia Tech (1-2) only allows 140 per game, though the Yellow Jackets have seen a heavy dose of the run because their run defense is next-to-last among FBS schools (274.3 ypg allowed).
Collins spent the past two seasons at Temple and he will see plenty of players he knows well across the sideline. He is more interested in continuing the transition at Georgia Tech, where he is running a pro-style offense at a school that had spent 11 years running the triple-option.
Georgia Tech was blown out by No. 1 Clemson in the opener, managed to beat South Florida and then lost at home to The Citadel, an FCS school.
"We don't panic," Collins said Tuesday. "We know we're going to get better."
Temple was the first head coaching job for the 48-year-old Collins, who left for a job at what is essentially his hometown school.
Five assistant coaches at Georgia Tech were with Collins at Temple. Russo also said he has talked with Temple defensive players about what Collins and former defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker like to do.
Georgia Tech is in its 127th season and Temple is in its 121st but it is the first meeting between the two schools in football.
KEY PASS CATCHERS
Temple's Branden Mack finished the Buffalo game with four catches for 72 yards and the two touchdowns while fellow WR Jadan Blue led all receivers with eight catches for 87 yards. ... Georgia Tech wide receiver Jalen Camp had a breakout performance against The Citadel with three receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown, all career highs.