A minor setback for a major comeback
Walker’s sophomore year was just a small bump in the road for the quarterback. In 2015, the Owls went 10-4 and were featured on ESPN College Gameday when they lost a close one on Halloween night to No. 9 Notre Dame by a score of 24-20.
In a season that included wins against their in-state rival Penn State and the 21st ranked Memphis Tigers, Temple spent seven weeks ranked in the Top 25.
Walker started all 14 games that season while throwing for 2,972 yards to go along with 19 touchdowns and just eight interceptions, improving significantly from his sophomore campaign.
In Walker’s senior year, he earned a single-digit jersey number, which has been a long-standing tradition at Temple signifying the toughest players on the team.
Things were looking good for Walker’s college finale until the Owls faced some challenges early on. A 3-3 start was not what Rhule expected from his experienced team, and he needed some leaders to step up.
Luckily, Walker did just that in the week following their third loss of the year. With just 41 seconds remaining in the team’s homecoming game that year, the Owls had to go 70 yards facing a 25-20 deficit to avoid falling below .500.
Walker led a four-play drive and elected not to spike the ball with six seconds left, throwing this eight-yard strike to Keith Kirkwood to take the lead with one second left.
Although the overall game wasn’t one of Walker’s prettiest performances, he did get the job done with the season hanging in the balance. Walker would then go on to lead the Owls on a seven-game winning streak, which included a 34-10 victory over 20th ranked Navy in the AAC Championship game to close out his final chapter at Temple.
In his final 14 games, Walker threw for 3,295 yards and 22 touchdowns with 13 interceptions, leading the Owls to a 10-4 record yet again.
Not only did Walker grow as a player under Rhule and the Temple coaching staff, but he also developed as a leader who came through when his team needed it the most.