The Temple Owls (6-3, 4-1, 1st place AAC East) visited the UConn Huskies (3-6, 1-5, 6th place) in a gateway game for both teams – see my preview here – as each needed to win out the season for their own reasons.
This one looked like a blow out early as Temple scored TD’s on each of their first 3 possessions in the 1st qtr, but their own mistakes and good D along w/ an inept Huskies offense kept this to a 21-0 victory.
In an earlier in the week decision, the Huskies gave FR QB Donovan Williams his 1st ever start. Temple would get a 3 and out the first series and then struck quickly on a 5 play, 74 yard, 2:20 drive, that ended with a 23 yd TD pass from Phillip Walker to Jahad Thomas with 11:11 left in the 1st qtr. Walker found Thomas once again on their next possession, 3 plays, 55 yards, 1:16 7:39 left in the 1st qtr. Each of those drives featured a long pass to Ventell Bryant to extend the drive or put them in scoring position, a 44 yarder on the second drive.
UConn’s best play early was a run by Williams for 43 yds to the Owl 21, setting them up nicely for a FG and something positive. Temple put a damper on that, blocking the try. Red-shirt SO Michael Dogbe was credited w/ the block. Once again Temple scored fairly quickly, this time with more runs mixed in. Walker found Romond “Two Way” Deloatch for 18 yds to finish off the 6 play, 77 yd, 3:04. leisurely drive. 21-0 Owls, :20 before the end of the 1st qtr.
That would be the last score of the game for either team as it seemed only Temple could stop themselves. On their next drive Walker threw a bad int just outside of the endzone on 3rd and 2 from the Huskies 15, costing them 3 pts. Later in the 2nd qtr, they botched an easy int deep in UConn territory by basically defending themselves, so the half ended with the score still 21-0.
The 3rd period was pretty uneventful with the teams trading possessions and no scoring.
Even turning the ball over on the next two drives, Temple was able to use up a most of the clock and their defense was good enough to keep the Huskies off the board. Temple went into the bye week off a 21-0 W, and plenty for the players and coaches to work on the next two weeks.
Temple End Notes:
This and That:
Walker’s 1st pass completion of the game gave him 2,010 yards on the season to make him the first QB in school history to reach 2,000 passing yards in four seasons. Only Henry Burriss did this three times ’94-’96. Deloatch’s TD catch was his 1st of the season, 7th of his career. Armstead went over 100 yds for the second game in a row. Temple’s special teams had their 3rd consecutive game with a blocked kick, the last two were on FG’s.
Walker was hot early going 7/7 at one point, but had the two bad interceptions and running the clock late led to a good but not great line of 12/18, 215 yds, 11.9 YPC, 3TDs. His leading receivers were Bryant and Thomas with 4 catches each, and 82 & 73 yds respectively. Thomas had the 2 TD receptions. The leading rusher was Armstead, 20 rushes, 133 yds, 6.7 YPR. Overall five players carried the ball for 46 rushes, 216 yds, 4.7 YPR. This was against the 26th best rushing defense in the country so that was a positive.
Temple finally has a bye next week, and a good chance to get some banged up players back on the field when they travel to Tulane (3-5, 0-4 AAC) on 11/19, Time and TV TBD at this time.