Call it a short week or the Friday night spotlight being too hot for the Owls, the team from Philly looked lost against the Houston Cougars.
One of lone bright spots from the Owls came from newly implemented Hawaii transfer Keith Kirkwood. The sophomore wideout caught a 39 yard bomb from sophomore QB P.J. Walker. Speaking of Walker, the signal caller was a train wreck in the lone star state.
On Temple’s second drive in the 1st, coming off a three-and-out, corner Trevon Stewart picked off the struggling QB 29 yards for pay dirt adding to a previous field goal by kicker Kyle Bullard putting the cougs up 10-0. Ironically Bullard would miss a field goal later in the quarter and Walker would make him pay with a 72 yard screen pass to emerging RB Jahad Thomas.
Kicker Austin Jones tacked on three to cap off the drive with the Owls down seven heading into the second. Houston would answer, however, with former WR turned QB Greg Ward Jr. hooking up with a host of receivers before RB Kenneth Farrow capped off the drive with a 4 yard score.
Walker would connect to Kirkwood for a score as the lead was cut in half before reaching halftime.
The Owls’ special teams have been unspectacular and their woes would cost them in the third. Starzyk botched the snap and recovered the loose ball setting up Houston in Temple territory.
WR Deontay Greenberry is one of the top wideouts in the AAC and cemented his status with a seven yard TD from Ward. Walker once again was picked off, this time by freshman Howard Wilson. Ward found RB Ryan Jackson for a 30 yard TD as the Cougars were starting the romp early.
The Owls were nothing short of a disaster in the red zone with Walker fumbling in the end zone on a QB keeper and Thomas getting stopped on 4th and one inside the five. They also had to abandon the run game early which led to Walker’s struggles. The sophomore went 12/29 for 259 yards with a TD and three picks. After being ranked in the top ten in turnover differential, the Owls are inching closer to being even and relinquishing national recognition.
Temple (4-2, 2-1) continues it’s road trip down south when the face the defending AAC champs, UCF, Saturday.
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