PHILADELPHIA, PA. 10/30/2021 –
UCF Capitalizes on Temple Mistakes in a 49 – 7 Win
When the Temple Owls hosted the Golden Knights of UCF, they were hoping to get back to winning ways at the Linc. The last win for Temple was a home game against Memphis. But the downward trend continues as the Owls lost their third straight falling 49 – 7 to the Knights. The Cherry and White stayed in contention in the first half, but mistakes aided the Black and Gold who pulled away in the second half. And added to the Owls frustration over this streak.
“Yes, there is no question,” said Temple Coach Rod Carey. “Winning breeds winning and losing breeds frustration. There was frustration, but we are fighting through the frustration. This team is a together team, but it is being tested. But they are fighting for each other.”
Temple took the opening kickoff and drove to the UCF 29 yard line. Going for it on 4th and 2, Owls quarterback D’Wan Mathis was sacked. Later in the second quarter Temple trailed 14 – 0, but went on the march again driving 26 yards away from the UCF goal line. Mathis completed a pass to tight end Jordan Smith, who fumbled away the football. UCF recovered at their 12 yard line.
“I felt like it was right there,” Carey said. “We had the ball in the red zone getting a first down. Then we fumbled.”
“We executed and went down there, then something went wrong, penalties, turnovers,” said Mathis. “some little things shot us in the foot again.”
In that drive UCF quarterback Mikey Keene from his 41 yard line threw an interception to Owls safety Jalen Ware who tried to make a return. Pedaling back 7 yards Ware fumbled at the Temple 23 recovered by UCF wide receiver Brandon Johnson. Three plays later Keene rewarded Johnson by throwing an 18-yard touchdown pass to him for a 21 – 0 lead with 33 seconds until halftime.
The Owls had turnovers that resulted in two touchdowns for the Knights at intermission. In that half the Cherry and White committed 5 penalties for 40 yards. Tough situation to overcome.
In the second half UCF returned the opening kickoff to their 41 yard line. The Owls were determined to make a comeback, but the Knights snuffed those hopes with 21 third quarter points. Keene connected with tight end Alec Hollar on a 33-yard scoring toss. The next possession for Temple ended with a lost fumble by running back Edward Saydee. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Temple set up the visitors 13 yards from a score. UCF needed one-play to cover that distance in one play. Keene passed the ball to wide receiver Ryan O’Keefe for a touchdown and a 35 – 0 lead. That combination worked again for a touchdown later in the quarter.
Meanwhile the Owls offense was limited to just 27 yards in the third quarter.
“When you beat yourself against a good football team like that, the score is going to reflect what it did today,” Carey said. “Penalties, turnovers and bad situational football certainly put the score where it was today.”
In the final 28 seconds Temple got on the scoreboard. Backup quarterback Justin Lynch threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jose Barbon capping a 10-play, 74-yard drive covering 3:27.
After giving up too many rushing yards to USF last week, Temple focused on limiting rushing yardage. The Owls gave up 199 with Isaiah Bowser getting 89 yards. Keene threw for 229 yards completing 15. He had 5 touchdown passes and one interception. O’Keefe gained 72 yards on 6 catches. Hollar snared 4 for 87 yards. Both players scored twice. UCF had 6 visits to the Red Zone and scored a touchdown 5 times.
Temple ran for 130 yards on 33 carries. Mathis and Lynch combined for 167 yards. Randle Jones and Jadan Blue both caught 4 balls for 26 yards each. They were penalized 8 times losing 63 yards.
The Owls fall to 3 – 4 and are 1 – 2 in the American. Temple hopes to reverse the trend next week at East Carolina.
“We’ve got to stick together and keep working every week like we do,” said Reid.
Written By: Glenn Papazian