Temple Owls QB Logan Marchi throws another errant pass during 43-7 defeat by USF Bulls  CHRIS O'MEARA / AP

Temple Owls QB Logan Marchi throws another errant pass during 43-7 defeat by USF Bulls CHRIS O'MEARA / AP

USF Bulls Ground Temple Owls 43-7

In the conference opener for both the Temple Owls (2-1, 0-0 AAC East) and the USF Bulls (3-0,0-0), it was all Bulls in a decisive 43-7 grounding of the Owls. The Temple offense never got on track, turning it over 6 times, giving USF too many easy scoring opportunities.

1st Half:

1st Qtr:

The first quarter featured bad special teams play by both squads, a slew of penalties on USF’s offense, as well as Logan Marchi‘s 1st interception of the season after 108 attempts.

Out of all that mess, 49 total yds of combined offense, USF emerged with a 3-Nil lead going into the

2nd Qtr:

which opened with a 47 yd TD run by Darius Tice

The two best plays of the period for Temple both came courtesy of the defense. Midway through the qtr they had a big stop on 4th and goal at the 2, after a Marchi interception gave USF ball on Temple’s 6. Then with 2:06 to go, DL Jacob Martin forced a fumble and recovered it for a touchdown. That made the score a more manageable 20-7.

The other USF scores came on a Quinton Flowers 22 yd scamper to the end zone after a rare poor Alex Starzyk punt gave them the ball at the 25 to make it  USF 17-0. 6:55 left ’til the break. After Temple fumbled the first play of the next possession, the Bulls added a FG with 4:45 left in the half. Temple was lucky it was as close as 20-7, with how badly they have played, except for the defense. USF helped that with a lot of penalties and Flowers being inaccurate missing a few open WR’s on long balls.

2nd Half:

3rd Qtr:

The 3rd pd continued the trends of the first half, as in the first eight minutes three Temple turnovers led to short field scores, a TD and two FGs to make it 33-7 USF, 7:23 left. #PutATentOverThisCircus

4th Qtr:

The final qtr in this game saw the Owls offense continue to go nowhere, and the defense get inevitably worn down as the Bulls added a FG and another Flowers rushing TD to make the final embarrassing score 43-7.

Stats Stuff:

The one stat below is enough to give you as the individual ones have little meaning in this far less than “Spaulding Guide” game.

Temple’s -22 1st half rushing yards are tied for the fewest by any team in a 1st half this season.

It did not get much better after that since they abandoned the run as they fell farther and farther behind.

Final thoughts:

Very disappointed in the poor showing by the Owls offense in the fourth game of the season. They showed no originality and the situational play calling put Marchi and the other QB’s that played in poor positions, and never gave them or the run game a chance to get any rhythm. Yes the USF defense is much improved, but Temple helped them out often with bad calls and bad decisions by the QB’s. On the positive side only one USF drive was longer than 39 yards thru 3 qtrs, so the defense played very well considering all the time they were on the field. TOP ended up 32:44 – 27:16. Hard to win a game with the other team having that big an advantage.

Temple Next Ups:

The Owls return to the Linc the first day of October, for a noon Intra Divisional matchup with the Houston Cougars (2-0,0-0 AAC West). I will be at the Linc to cover that one, keeping my mind off of fasting for Yom Kippur.