Bristol Connecticut native Logan Marchi looked to continue his emergence as the Temple Owls (3-3, 1-2, 3rd Place AAC East) starting QB against the team he almost committed to, the UConn Huskies (1-4,0-3 Last Place).
Temple was very welcoming to UConn basically giving the game to the Huskies 28-24.
After a Temple three and out to start the game, UConn put together what looked like was going to be a good drive but DB Delvon Randall, showing why he earned a Temple Tuff single digit #2, intercepted Bryant Sherriffs at their own 22. They capitalized by going 78 yards on 10 plays, 3:44, culminating in a one yard dive by David Hood, which would be the only score of the qtr.
On the wrap-around drive though, abetted by two Temple personal foul penalties, UConn tied the game on a TD pass to Quayvon Skanes, ending a 15 play 88 yd, 5:57 drive with 10:44 left ’til the break.
UConn took the lead on a 6 yd catch by Hergy Mayala on a 2 play, 9 yd drive set up by a fumble by Brodrick Yancy after a reception 2 yds behind the line of scrimmage, for the final score of the half.
UConn took the opening drive 11 plays 63 yards 5:30, after an OOB kickoff gave them ball on 37, to make it 21-7.
Temple did respond this time when a 9 yd pass by Marchi to Isaiah Wright, given the rotating Temple Tuff #1 for this game, also gave him his first TD of the season, cutting the deficit to 21-14, 6 plays 75 yards 1:36. 7:54 left 3rd pd. The big play of the drive was a TE Kenny Yeboah catch and run for 37 yds. He was advertised as a “big play” guy and this may be the first time this season we saw it. He also had a 21 yd catch as well as an 11 yd reception on the final drive.
But after a perfect SDI, Marchi gave the seven points right back to UConn on the first play of the ensuing drive, in the form of a 34 yd Pick6 with 6:37 left in pd.
On the next drive Temple got to the UConn 12 where instead taking the 3 Pts, they failed on a 4th and 2. The defense covered for that though, via a forced fumble by LB Chapelle Russell, recovered by the Owls at UConn’s 21. They took it all the way to the UConn 10…
…where Ryquell Armstead scampered in for the TD, 4 plays 21 yards 1:44 to cut the Huskie lead to 7 points.
After another great defensive series, featuring a 10 yd sack by Sam Franklin, Temple got the ball back on UConn 48. The Owls would have to settle for a 21 yd Aaron Boumerhi FG after getting down to the 3 to make it 28-24 with still 11:14 left in regulation.
The rest of the game the teams traded possessions without scoring. The Owls gave up their second chance for a FG this one from 24 yds out which would have put them within 1 point of the lead, and a possession change later the game was over as Temple ran out of time and downs.
Stats and Final Thoughts:
Few stats mean anything in this game except maybe Penalties. The Owls average 62.3 yds a game, but today had 12 for 117 yds, including the last and maybe the worst, an offsides on 3rd and 7 when they had stopped UConn with 1:29 left. They stopped them and UConn missed the FG, but Temple lost a precious 0:30 on the extra Huskies play. In contrast UConn had 6 penalties for 51 yds.
Another telling stat was that they were 5/15 on 3rd down, and 0-3 on 4th down, where they could have put up 6 points on the first two, the last being the final Hail Stella.
Marchi seems to be falling back into the bad habit of throwing balls to well covered receivers. He will have more interceptions if he keeps that up. That being said he still went his second game in a row over 300 yards passing, 33 of 54 ,for 356 yds.
Hood and Armstead’s rushing TD’s are the first on the ground for Temple this season.
The defense did shut UConn out after the first drive of the second half, but they contributed the most to the drive extending penalties that helped did too big a hole for this still inconsistent offense. They held the potent Huskies offense to less than 30 points, under their average, which should have been enough to win the game.
Now Temple has the daunting task of winning three out of the last 5 games to be bowl eligible. Two are against top 25 Navy, and now 2nd place UCF, both undefeated as of this posting.
Temple Next Ups:
Next Saturday, Temple plays their final non-conference game on the road at Army Black Knights (5-2, Independent) 12:00 Noon CBSSN