Owls use dominant rushing attack to defeat Cincinnati 34-13.

Isaiah Wright looks for running room (Credit:// cincinnati.com
Isaiah Wright looks for running room (Credit:// cincinnati.com)

Temple’s rushing game was the difference maker for the second straight week as the Owls took down Cincinnati 34-13 to remain atop the standings in the American Conference East division.

As a team, the Owls rushed for 275 yards, led by Jahad Thomas who ran for 151 yards on 17 carries, for an average of 8.9 yards per carry. Redshirt Sophomore Ryquell Armstead followed up his career performance against USF with two touchdowns and 61 yards on the ground. Temple is now 6-0 on the season when rushing for more than 150 yards.

The Owls opened up the scoring with a 26 yard field goal by Boumehri. After forcing a fumble by Gunner Kiel, The Owls drove down the field on a four play 55 yard drive capped off by a 40 yard touchdown pass from Walker to Adonis Jennings. It was Jennings’ second touchdown of the season.

On the ensuing kickoff, Cincinnati running back Mike Boone returned it for 60 yards to the Temple 32 yard line. The Bearcats scored five plays later on a touchdown pass by Kiel to wide receiver Devin Gray to make the score 10-6.

The Owls responded on a 28 yard touchdown pass by Walker to Ventell Bryant to make it a 17-6 game. Jahad Thomas set the Owls up in the red zone with a 56 yard run. He rushed for 63 yards on seven carries in the first half.

Gunner Kiel moved the Cincinnati offense down the field, throwing for 56 yards on the drive leading to a 10 yard touchdown pass to Devin Gray to bring the Bearcats within four at 17-13 heading into halftime.

Temple scored 17 unanswered points in the second half, including two touchdowns by Armstead in the span of 2:04, and a 26 yard field goal by Boumehri.

The Owl’s defense held Cincinnati quarterback Gunner Kiel to -3 passing yards in the second half. The defense was led by Avery Williams who totaled seven tackles, along with one tackle for loss. They held Cincinnati’s last ranked rushing attack to just 67 yards, and Gunner Kiel to only 119 passing yards. Delvon Randall continued to make plays, recovering a fumble in the first half and recording three tackles.

Phillip Walker threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns on the game, and did not throw an interception for the second straight week. Ventell Bryant continued his fine play catching three passes for 66 yards, an average of 22 yards per reception.

Freshman kicker Aaron Boumehri is now 7-7 on field goal attempts this season, and has yet to miss an extra point.

The Owls are now bowl eligible for the third consecutive season. They travel to Uconn next week to take on the Huskies (3-6) in the final road game of the regular season. The game will be played friday night at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

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