What’s on Tap?

Sam TapperSports Writer

If any student has spent an extensive period of time on campus during the first week, they have probably heard the phrase, “It’s a great time to be an Owl” from somebody at one point or another.

The 2018-19 year showed successful seasons from many of the athletic pro- grams on campus, and the potential among them this year is just as high, if not higher, among some of the teams.

With college football season underway for some schools and right around the corner for others, let’s check in on some of the other Owls taking the field across the country this year.

For starters, let’s go down to Philadelphia, as we begin with the Temple University Owls, a team looking to build from last year’s success. Temple went 8-5 before losing to Daniel Jones’ Duke Blue Devils in the Walk-On’s Independ- ence Bowl in Miami.

This year, Temple opened their season with a 56-12 thrashing of Bucknell, a game that was over practi- cally before it started. Un- der center, they return their redshirt senior quarter- back, Anthony Russo, who threw over 2,500 yards

and 14 touchdowns in 2018. Against Bucknell, Russo would go 25 for 46 passing with 228 passing yards.

Despite being picked to finish fourth in the Amer- ican Athletic Conference’s East Division, there is still a lot of optimism concerning the Temple Owls’ ability to make and win a bowl game.

We now move onto the Owls of Rice University in Texas, who won just two games in 2018. Despite sen- ior running back Nahshon Ellerbe, who missed last year due to injury, rush- ing for 103 yards on nine attempts, the Rice Owls fell to Army, 14-7, on the road in the opener.

Rice University is picked to finish sixth in the West Division of the Conference USA this year, and the Owls of Florida Atlantic Uni- versity, who finished with a 5-7 record last year, are picked to finish fifth in the East Division.

Lastly, we venture back home to our campus. Southern’s Owls open on Sept. 5, despite a 4-6 record (3-6 in NE10) in 2018, the Owls were picked to finish fourth in the NE10 Presea- son Coaches’ Poll.

Even though they lost six All-NE10 picks from a year ago, including running back Eli Parks, last year’s NE10 offensive player of the year, head coach Tom Godek still returns All-NE10 selections, including Julian Chung, the team’s top receiver a year ago.

Matt Sanzaro will return as the Owls’ quarterback this year, after throwing for 833 yards in six starts in 2018. Sanzaro also serves as a dual threat, as he ran for 228 yards with four rushing touchdowns as well.

There is no telling how the Owls of South- ern or other Owls across the country will fare this year. One thing is for sure though—the excitement and energy are high, and it truly is a great time to be an Owl, no matter which Owl you cheer for.

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