USF USF 1-4 , 0-3
Temple TEMPLE 1-1 , 1-0
Game Recap: Football | 10.17.20
PHILADELPHIA – Trailing 31-20 late in the third quarter, Temple scored three touchdowns in just over 11 minutes to retake the lead, 39-31, and then stopped USF on its two-point try in the final minute to secure a 39-37 win in its home opener at Lincoln Financial Field. The Owls evened the record to 1-1 overall and in American Athletic Conference play. USF falls to 1-4 and 0-3 in the AAC.
Temple QBAnthony Russohad another stellar offensive game, completing 30-of-42 passes for 270 yards and four touchdowns. Russo connected with six different receivers withJadan Blue(9 catches, 60 yds, 2 Tds) andRandle Jones(8 catches, 81 yds, 1 Td) leading the way.
It was the Owls’ defense that came up big in the end. DE Arnold Ebiketie (6 tackles) picked up a fumble with just under 10 minutes and ran 11 yards to paydirt to give Temple the lead for good, 32-31. Amir Tyler then kept the Bulls from tying the score with a big tackle on the two-point conversion with 1:03 remaining.
How it happened
After an offensive pass interference on Bulls opening series cut their drive short, Temple received the ball at midfield. Twenty-one total yards from WR Jose Barbon put the Owls outside the redzone and from there, a touchdown pass from Russo to Blue gave the Temple a 7-0 lead. On the ensuing USF drive, a fumble forced by Ebiketie from inside their own 20-yard line gifted the Owls great field possession for their second possession, but Temple could not convert on the opportunity, settling for a field goal to extend its lead. Following a good return on the following kickoff, the Bulls trimmed the deficit after a 10-play, 49-yard drive was capped off by a 13-yard passing touchdown from USF QB Jordan McCloud.
After the two sides shared punts on the ensuing drives, an Adam Barry punt pinned the Bulls at their own five-yard line. The Owls could not get USF off the field, however, as the Bulls marched down the field on 10 plays for a touchdown to take the lead, 14-10. Temple responded with a touchdown of its own on the next drive as the Owls capped off an 11-play, 73-yard drive with their second touchdown of the day with Russo connecting with Blue again, this time for 13 yards. Jones provided the spark for the drive with two catches for 26 yards. After a Russo interception a few drives later, the Bulls took advantage of the short field, scoring a touchdown to retake the lead. A surprise onside kick on the kickoff gave USF the ball once again, but the Owls defense stood tall, forcing a fumble a few plays later to get the ball back with just over a minute left in the half. First down catches by Barbon and Blue put Temple in field goal range, but a blocked 36-yard field goal try sent Temple trailing going into halftime, 21-17.
Temple received the ball to begin the second half and got the scoring underway, moving the ball 66 yards on 15 plays to set up Will Mobley’s second field goal of the game. A long kickoff return to Temple territory set up the Bulls for the following drive. USF took advantage of the short field, driving quickly to set up McCloud’s third passing touchdown of the game, extending the USF lead to 28-20. In the early stages of Temple’s next drive, USF’s Daquan Evans picked off Russo and returned the ball 56 yards to Temple’s 10-yard line, but the Owls defense would stand tall once again, forcing the Bulls to settle for a field goal. After a failed onside kick gave the Owls the ball near midfield, a Branden Mack touchdown catch capped off the seven-play drive to trim the USF lead, however, a failed two-point conversion attempt would keep the score at 31-26.
A punt from both sides to open the fourth quarter pinned USF inside their own five-yard line.. The Owls defense capitalized off of a failed USF handoff exchange, leading to an 11-yard scoop-and-score touchdown for Ebiketie to regain the lead for Temple, 32-31, but Temple’s second failed two-point conversion attempt of the day would keep the lead at one. A three-and-out on the ensuing USF drive gave the Owls the ball on their own 19-yard line. Russo and company would mount another 10+ play touchdown drive with just under five minutes to play in the game. A strong 16-yard run by Ruley got the drive started and Russo’s fourth touchdown pass of the day, this one to Jones, extended the Owls lead to 39-31. The Bulls still had a chance to extend the game, putting together a touchdown drive of their own to cut the lead to two with just over a minute to play, however a USF failed two-point conversion would give the Owls the victory.
Blue: Nine receptions, 60 yards, two touchdowns
Ebiketie: Fumble recovery touchdown, three tackles for loss, forced fumble
Jones: Eight receptions, 81 yards, one touchdown
Yvandy Rigby: Led the team in tackles (11)
Blue moved into 11th all-time in receptions (112)
Jones recorded a career high in receptions (8)
Mack moved into the top-six all-time in receiving touchdowns (14)
Rigby recorded a career high in tackles (11)
The Owls will be back on the road next weekend as they travel to Tennessee to take on the Memphis Tigers on October 24. Kickoff is set for 12:00pm and will air on ESPN+ with radio coverage on 97.5 the Fanatic.
10:10 – TEMPLE – BLUE,Jadan 5 yd pass from RUSSO,Anthony (MOBLEY,Will kick) 8 plays, 50 yards, TOP 2:57
08:26 – TEMPLE – MOBLEY,Will 24 yd field goal 4 plays, 5 yards, TOP 1:10
04:34 – USF – ST. FELIX, R 13 yd pass from McCLOUD, Jordan (SACKETT, Jared kick) 10 plays, 49 yards, TOP 3:44
09:39 – USF – DUKES, DeVontre 28 yd pass from McCLOUD, Jordan (SACKETT, Jared kick) 10 plays, 95 yards, TOP 3:20
05:16 – TEMPLE – BLUE,Jadan 13 yd pass from RUSSO,Anthony (MOBLEY,Will kick) 11 plays, 73 yards, TOP 4:17
01:18 – USF – JOHNSON, Noah 2 yd run (SACKETT, Jared kick), 4 plays, 35 yards, TOP 0:59
08:14 – TEMPLE – MOBLEY,Will 26 yd field goal 16 plays, 66 yards, TOP 6:46
05:39 – USF – FORD, Johnny 13 yd pass from McCLOUD, Jordan (SACKETT, Jared kick) 8 plays, 46 yards, TOP 2:24
03:16 – USF – SACKETT, Jared 29 yd field goal 4 plays, -2 yards, TOP 1:01
01:07 – TEMPLE – MACK,Branden 12 yd pass from RUSSO,Anthony (MACK,Branden pass failed) 7 plays, 57 yards, TOP 2:09
09:52 – TEMPLE – EBIKETIE,Arnold 11 yd fumble recovery (DAVIS,Re’Mahn rush failed)
04:28 – TEMPLE – JONES,Randle 13 yd pass from RUSSO,Anthony (MOBLEY,Will kick) 10 plays, 81 yards, TOP 3:47
01:03 – USF – PARKER, Leonard 1 yd run (JOHNSON, Noah rush failed), 12 plays, 72 yards, TOP 3:21
Passing LeadersRushing LeadersReceiving LeadersDefense Leaders
RB 6′ 0″ 215 lbs Redshirt Senior