The Temple football team suffered a fourth straight double-digit loss, 34-10, to Cincinnati in a…
Steve Addazio opened the starting quarterback competition this week and his comments appear likely that junior Juice Granger will receive his first start as an Owl Saturday against Army, snapping the 13 straight starts by junior Chris Coyer.
Not since Adam DiMichele played his last snap in 2008 has Temple made it through the season without a quarterback controversy – and DiMichele didn't make every start in a season because of injuries.
"At the end of the day, you have to spark the team and you switch the rotation up or make changes in an effort to do that," said Temple coach Steve Addazio. "I'd say Chris is a little frustrated at times, but that guy works really hard. He's a great guy with a great attitude, and he's done some really terrific things.
"It's great that Juice has gotten in there and we've seen what he can do and Kevin (Newsome) has had a smaller opportunity. Every year is a different year. Chris had a great supporting cast last year and we will develop one in the future, but right now we have a young supporting cast. We're looking at getting the right combinations. Last year Chris was a piece, and this year he's been asked to do some extraordinary things."
Granger has played in four straight games, including almost the entire second half last week against Cincinnati where he led a touchdown drive and outplayed the incumbent. Overall, he is 13-for-28 for 166 yards passing and rushed for 60 yards.
"It was a big difference (playing the entire second half)," said Granger. "I got comfortable, kind of knew the defense and made plays."
Said Addazio: "Juice did a nice job (against Cincinnati). I'm all about putting the guy in there who can move the football team, and Juice did a nice job. I really liked what I saw. He went in the game, and to the guy's credit orchestrated a nice drive and looked good doing it. He made a few throws, made some plays, did some things, checked some protections."
It's been a steady rise for Granger, who started last season as the fourth-string quarterback after coming to Temple from Pierce Junior College (Calif.).
"All I can do is go hard in practice and be the best leader I can be, be the best quarterback on the field," said Granger. "I'm not an ‘I' selfish guy, but my journey itself keeps me motivated and helps me get better and be the player I can be."
The George Washington High School graduate admitted he questioned at times whether he would ever receive the opportunity that has been coming his way.
"All the time," said Granger with a smile. "It's just like your inner mind is playing tricks on you. You have to be humble and know what you're here for. … I wanted to come back home. It was a good decision and it's paying off right now."
Granger became Coyer's backup this year but barely saw the field the first five weeks when the Owls were involved in several tight games on the way to a 3-2 start. With four straight double-digit defeats and Coyer struggling with some turnover issues, Granger has received an extended look.
It's an opportunity he'd like to extend to four quarters on Saturday.
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