Will power: A walk-on for Temple in 2017, Mobley kicks three PATs in debut

By on September 12, 2018
Warwick grad Will Mobley (16), a redshirt freshman on the Temple University football team, lines up to kick one of his three extra points against the University at Buffalo last Saturday. Photo by Zamani Feelings

Warwick grad Will Mobley (16), a redshirt freshman on the Temple University football team, lines up to kick one of his three extra points against the University at Buffalo last Saturday.  (Photo by Zamani Feelings)

Being an Eagle Scout and all, Will Mobley knows the value of being prepared.

And the 2017 Warwick grad was certainly that last Saturday.

A redshirt freshman kicker on the Temple University football team, Mobley made his collegiate debut at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field and went 3-for-3 in extra-point attempts.

“It was an awesome experience, a real dream come true to be able to contribute to my team and play on the field in a meaningful game,” he said.

Unfortunately for Mobley and the Owls, the end result was a 36-29 loss to the University at Buffalo in a non-conference game.

But the former Warrior star, who joined Temple as a walk-on in 2017, proved very dependable.

With junior kicker Aaron Boumerhi bothered by an injury, Owls’ head coach Geoff Collins told Mobley in practice last Thursday to be prepared for possible kickoff duty.

Then late in the second quarter against Buffalo, when Boumerhi missed a field goal and returned to the Owls’ sideline in a lot of pain, Mobley got a visit from special teams coaches Ed Foley and Brian Fallon.

“They came over to me and told me, next kick, whatever it is — kickoff, field goal, extra point — I’m taking it,” recalled Mobley, who worked his way up to second on the depth chart in the fourth week last season. “I immediately started to warm up and prepare for any kick to come my way.”

That kick, a PAT, split the uprights with no time left on the clock at the end of the first half, following a Frank Nutile-to-Branden Mack 39-yard TD pass which cut the Bulls’ lead to 12-7.

“I was more excited nervous, I think, than scared, fortunately,” Mobley said. “I was a little nervous, but that’s not always a bad thing. But I was just confident, I was saying some prayers to make sure I could calm myself down and stay focused on what I needed to do. I can’t get too high or too low.”

The game was back-and-forth the rest of the way, with Mobley adding another PAT in the third to put the Owls up 14-12 and then converting again with 4:53 left in the fourth — following Futile’s 3-yard TD pass to Mack — to tie it 29-29.

“I didn’t hit them as solid as I would have liked. A couple times, I hit the ground with my foot, but that’s part of the challenge of grass sometimes that it’s not even like turf,” Mobley said. “But I was fairly confident and I’m glad they went through.”

A crowd of 25,511 came through the Linc’s turnstiles for Temple’s game, but Mobley was unfazed.

“It becomes tunnel vision,” he said. “When you’re out there, I’m just trying to focus on my job and really trying to block out all the noise and all the extra stuff around me so I can focus on accomplishing my goal.”

Mobley was also effective at kickoff duties against UB, forcing the Bulls to start from their own 19 on its final possession.

“I was able to hit the kickoffs where they wanted them and how they wanted,” he said. “They were very happy, so that was good to hear.”

Before Buffalo scored the go-ahead touchdown with just 59 seconds left on the clock, Mobley was thinking about the possibility of the Owls’ defense making a stop and perhaps getting a game-winning field goal try in the final minutes.

“Touchdowns are always better than field goals, but if the opportunity presented itself, I wanted to have an opportunity, for sure,” Mobley said. “I feel confident about 50 (yards) and in, but I can probably stretch out to 55 or so.”

Only time will tell what opportunities might be available for Mobley this Saturday when Temple travels to College Park, Md. to face the Maryland Terrapins in a 12 p.m. kickoff.

In Sunday’s practice, Mobley took first-team reps, but Boumerhi isn’t ruled out for this Saturday.

“He’s still capable of kicking, but it’s just really painful,” Mobley said. “He’s still working through it and we’ll see if he’s able to play this week or not.”

Regardless of who the Owls are sending out to kick, Temple remains confident about its prospects in the American Athletic Conference, despite starting the season with an 0-2 record.

The loss to Buffalo was Temple’s second straight by seven points or less, including a 19-17 defeat to Villanova in their season opener on Saturday, Sept. 1.

“We’ve had a slow start,” Mobley said, “but I think the past couple of games, we’ve started to realize what we’re doing wrong, we’re making adjustments and I think this week and the upcoming weeks ahead of us can hopefully turn our season around.”

Mobley is prepared to do his part.

 

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