https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CQW8BIeWIAE28o1.jpg:large Temple Owls Defeat Charlotte 49ers 37-3
The road warrier Temple Owls this week traveled to soggy Jerry Richardson Stadium to face the Charlotte 49ers in their 3rd non-conference game of the season. After two weeks of heart-stopping endings, the Owls took pity on their fans, and advantage of the rainy conditions w/ a renewed running game, and a stingy defense to win this one as befit their 20+ point favorite status coming in.
The teams traded their 1st possessions and then missed FG’s (36 yd attempt was Austin Jones‘ 1st miss of the season) until Temple finally broke thru w/ a good try from 39.
The Owls got a taste of their own trickeration medicine as the 49ers executed a fake punt on 4th and 2 from their own 26, helped by a missed tackle or two, though the players were very slippery in the sideways rain. That sparked a drive that took them to the Temple 11, 2nd and 7, as the period ended w/ the score 3-0…
….but they would go no further as two incompletions by LeeMcNiell, preceded another missed FG, this time from only 28 yds by Blake Brewer.
Finally the Owls O got in gear, helped out by a needless personal foul by Najee Tucker, going 74 yards. Coach Matt Rhule stayed true to his word mixing up his RB’s but it was Jahad Thomas, who got the job done in the red zone for the last two rushes of 14, and then 1 for the TD to make it 10-0 w/ 6:12 left in the half. It would turn out to be the only scoring they needed this night.
On the ensuing drive, mainly on a 39 yd ramble by Kalif Phillips down to the Temple 20, Charlotte got no closer than the 19 as Temple stuffed the run on 3rd and 3, and Brewer finally made one, to cut the lead to 10-3 at the 3:42 mark and that score held ’til half time.
All facets of Temple’s game held sway in the 3rd qtr as successive 3 and outs, giving them great field position, led to another rushing TD for Thomas, a nice touch pass by P. J. Walker to a sliding Robby Anderson in the end zone, and a blocked punt returned all the way, by DB Nate L. Smith that steadily increased the lead. The only miscue was a blocked PAT that kept the score at 30-3 as the drenched 3rd period came to an end.
The 4th was more of the same, though Temple’s next score started on an INT of MacNeill, by Smith as the 49ers were driving, and then on 4th and 8 from the Charlotte 13, Walker found Anderson again, wide open on his feet this time, to pad the score to 37-3 w/ 8:10 left in the game. Charlotte never really threatened after that and the game mercifully sloshed to an end w/ the final score 37-3, Temple.
It was a good night to be a RB. Charlotte’s star Kalif Phillips finished w/125 yards on 19 carries and on a whole Charlotte rushed for 223 yds on 44 attempts, while Temple spread the ball around to 6 different guys, and Walker, for a total of 206 yds on 45 carries, and of course Thomas led the way w/109 on 20 carries and 2 TD’s. Passing, not so much as P. J. Walker had 116 yds, 11 for 23 and 2 TD, but he did not need to throw the ball today like he had to @ UMass, as the Temple’s O-Line was too much for Charlotte, and conditions led to running the ball. McNeill finished 13/27, 131 yds, 1 INT.
Temple goes 4-0 for the 1st time since 1974 when the great Steve Joachim lead the team, and it was also Temple’s 1st sweep ever of three road games in a row.