In a game where Temple needed to make a statement against an 0-3 UMass Minutemen team, the Owls started slow but eventually found a groove en route to 29-21 win. Standout performers Quincy Roche, Isaiah Wright and Sam Franklin left no doubt the Owls would reign victorious on Friday night.
Prior to the final minute of the first half, Temple’s offense managed just 118 yards on 29 plays, continuing their woes from the first two games. Even further, 58 of those yards came on one carry from Ryquell Armstead. It wasn’t until 1:04 left in the first half when Logan Marchi connected with Adonis Jennings for a 30 yard score that put the Owls up 10-7. On the opening play of UMass’ ensuing possession, Quincy Roche stripped Minutemen QB Andrew Ford and landed on the football to secure an Owls possession inside the red zone.
With 10 seconds left in the second quarter Marchi delivered again, this time to Keith Kirkwood for an 11 yard strike. Aaron Boumerhi missed the PAT and the Owls headed into halftime leading 16-7. 13 points in 54 seconds gave the Owls breathing room for the first time in the game.
The first half also featured the debut of true freshman QB Todd Centeio, who played 7 snaps, amassing 30 total yards. Logan Marchi had been missing throws leading up to the final minute, which likely had to do with the change up.
The Owls defense stayed poised for the second straight week, although Minutemen tallied 438 total yards. More than 100 of those came in the final 6 minutes of play when Temple had a lead secured. Leading tacklers Delvon Randall, Quincy Roche, and Sam Franklin all came to play in their respective positions. On the other end Temple’s offense racked up 387 yards.
Something to be excited about as an Owl fan was the resurgence of Ryquell Armstead. Even if the Owls run game
wasn’t necessarily dominant, big bursts for the junior halfback resulted in a favorable stat line of 17 carries for 91 yards. The Owls 119 rush yards were the highest so far this season.
The Minutemen continued to stick around, as an 0-4 start to the season is something no one on the UMass staff had in mind. QB Andrew Ford finished the game 23/37 for 377 yards and his leading receiver Sadiq Palmer caught 7 of them for 117 yards. The Minutemen kept it within one possession for a large portion of the 4th quarter trailing 22-14, and weren’t able to capitalize. The Owls drove down on the ensuing possession where Isaiah Wright’s highlight reel catch in the end zone extended the Owl’s lead to 29-14. A UMass score in garbage time resulted in the 29-21 final.
Conference play opens next Thursday in another short week at No. 22 South Florida. Keep with @TU_Sportsdesk throughout the week for analysis on the Owls opening AAC matchup.