Temple Owls tie South Florida Bulls in American East with convincing 46-30 win
Philadelphia – The Temple Owls (5-2, 3-1) bested American Athletic Conference East Division foe South Florida (6-2, 3-1) in an exciting win at the Linc in Philly to end up in first place with a 46-30 victory. The Owls were led by Soph RB Ryquell Armstead who rushed for 210 yards on 20 carries and two TDs of 46 and 72 yards. Marlon Macks’ 30-yard TD run for the Bulls in the final period closed the score to 37-30 in favor of the Owls, but a drive ending in a three-yard TD by Jahad Thomas and a safety put the game away in the end for Temple. By virtue of the win over South Florida, the Temple Owls lead the division based on head to head competition. Five weeks of regular season play remain to determine who will play in the AAC title game at a site of one of the division champs. Collegefootballfan.com has a great interest in the outcomes for both divisions.
The teams played nip and tuck during the first half as the lead changed five times until the Owls extended their 17-13 lead on Adam Boumheri’s 35-yard FG with five seconds remaining in the first half. It was a very interesting game already by the end of the first half with the score at 20-13 in favor of the Temple Owls .
USF opened the scoring in the third period with Emilio Nadelman’s 42-yard FG to narrow the margin, 20-16. The Bulls forced a punt and took over from their 16-yard line. They drove the length of the field and QB Quinton Flowers (11 of 19 passes, 187 yards, 2 TDs / 14 carries for 90 yards and one TD) ran a quarterback draw up the middle for the final three yards to retake a 23-20 lead for the Bulls. The Owls bounced back immediately finishing off a 78-yard drive with Armstead’s 42-yard burst down the right sideline. They recaptured the lead, 27-23. The Bulls’ next possession ended with their punt getting blocked and returned by Keith Kirkwood to the USF 20. Two carries later by Jahad Thomas (Elizabeth, NJ: 16 carries for 56 yards and two TDs) at the nine, Temple enjoyed their largest lead of the evening, 34-23.
In the fourth, Boumheri added another FG from 41 to make the Temple lead even bigger. However, Malcolm Mack’s (13 carries for 67, one TD) 30-yard TD run capped a 75-yard drive to bring USF back to within one score. The Bull defense shut down TU and forced a punt. The USF offense stumbled backwards due to tackles for losses and a few penalties that backed them up with a third and 23 at their one-yard line. QB Brett Kean filled in now for the injured Quinton Flowers at QB. Safety Delvon Randall picked off his pass and returned it near the goal line. A penalty against the Bulls for a foul after the play put the Owls on the USF three. Thomas took it in on the first play for his second TD and increased to a 44-30 lead. Starting back at the five because of another Bull penalty on the kick return, TU’s Romond DeLoatch sacked Kean in the end zone for a safety.
As the clock waned during the Owls final possession, I enjoyed watching the Sun Dolls smile and cheer in the light rain that had begun to fall. Then they regretfully started to pack all their props up. I could have stayed longer. It was an enjoyable game to watch this evening in Philly as the Temple Owls gained first place in the AAC East. We hope to see them win the East and Navy to win the West. It will guarantee us a conference championship game to attend on December 3 within driving distance to either home site. Only six more weeks to go. One TU fan was heard to say on the way out that this had been the most fun he had had at an Owls’ game since last season when the Owls defeated Penn State in their home opener. It was a fun and competitive game to watch throughout as the game was close. It went back and forth until late in the game.
Speaking of Navy, the Bulls return to Tampa to face the 22nd ranked Mids at home next Friday night. We watched the Mids (5-1, 4-0) defeat them in Annapolis last season, 29-17. We look for Navy’s discipline in running the triple option to outscore the Bulls. Temple (4-3, 1-3) hosts Cincinnati this Saturday. I stayed in Philly that night looking forward to my drive to State College to see No. 2 Ohio State visit Penn State. Read on!