During training camp, Temple freshman quarterback P.J. Walker surprised both teammates and coaches alike with his meticulous attention to detail and work ethic, both on the field and in studying the playbook.
So it probably comes as no surprise that Walker, who will be Temple’s third starting quarterback this season on Friday when the Owls (0-5) play at Cincinnati, was his own biggest critic following Saturday’s loss to Louisville.
“My performance today was decent, but it wasn’t good enough,” Walker said in the aftermath of the Owls’ 30-7 loss. “I could have played a lot better. I made a few mistakes and knew I should have been playing a lot better than I did.”
Walker replaces Connor Reilly as the team’s starting quarterback. In two series, Reilly was 3 for 7 for 2 yards.
Coach Matt Rhule inserted Walker on Temple’s third series, with the Owls already trailing by 17-0. Walker finished 10 for 19 for 182 yards and one touchdown, completing a 9-yard TD pass to wide receiver Jalen Fitzpatrick with 28 seconds left in the game.
His best moment, though, was a 58-yard pass to wide receiver Robby Anderson. Facing third and 27 from their 40-yard line, Walker found Anderson down the middle for Temple’s longest play of the season.
“I saw the safety sitting out there, and I knew that Robby, with his speed, could run by him. I just threw a pass in a place where he could catch it and make a play.”
Rhule has said that he does not intend to platoon his quarterbacks, so it looks like Walker, named the New Jersey offensive player of the year by the Newark Star-Ledger in his senior season at Elizabeth High School, is going to get a chance to show his skills perhaps a little sooner than some expected.