Temple Dismantles Charlotte 37-3 to Move to 4-0

Temple Football is 4-0Matt Rhule needed to say something in the locker room at halftime to fire his team up. Whatever he said did the trick. A wet, sloppy night in Charlotte left the heavily favored Owls with only a seven-point lead at intermission. Running back Khaliff Phillips was tearing them apart, receivers were dropping passes, and the Temple team looked to be just hanging on.

The second half was a different story.

The Cherry and White starting firing on all cylinders, scoring 27 unanswered points on their way to a 37-3 trouncing of the 49ers. The win pushed Temple to 4-0, a feat the program has not accomplished since 1974.

Temple opened the second half by allowing Charlotte to have the ball for a mere 17 seconds before forcing a punt. They turned that stellar defense into offense, as Jahad Thomas capped off the 47-yard drive with a 1 yard touchdown plunge. Thomas finished the night with 157 total yards and two rushing touchdowns.

The Temple defense locked in again, forcing another three and out. A shanked punt gave the Owls great field position at the Charlotte 39, and P.J. Walker took advantage. He found a sliding Robby Anderson, who had gotten behind his defender, in the back of the endzone to push the lead to 24-3. Anderson, after two ugly drops early in the game, came back strong to finish with 35 yards and two touchdowns.

The defense was not done. On the ensuing position, Nate L. Smith recovered a blocked punt and ran into the endzone untouched. The score put the Owls up 30-3 and essentially sent in the second stringers. Smith later picked off Lee McNeill at the goal line and ran it back 74 yards. That would set up the Owls’ final touchdown to Anderson.

The Owls’ domination in the second half came out of nowhere. From the start, both teams looked unable to deal with the rainy, windy conditions. It showed as P.J. Walker started out 2/10, missing throws but also catching tough breaks on multiple drops. He would later finish 11/23 with 116 and those two touchdowns to Anderson.

Temple finally got into the end zone midway through the 2nd quarter. After a late hit call on reserve corner Najee Tucker extended the drive, Jahad Thomas scampered through a hole for 14 yards down to the 1. He capped it off on the next play with a 1 yard touchdown run to make it 10-0 in favor of the Owls.

Charlotte’s only scoring drive was highlighted by Khaliff Phillips breaking loose down the sideline for a 39 yard run. Phillips was the one bright spot for the 49ers. He finished with 125 yards on the ground and 41 in the air. After missing two field goals early, Blake Brewer converter a 36 yarder to make it a 10-3 game. That was all Charlotte could muster. The Temple defense locked down the rest of night.

After sweeping three straight road games, Temple will head back home to Lincoln Financial Field next Saturday for their homecoming bout with Tulane at 12:00.


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