The Owls’ three game homestand came to a close, as they hosted the UMass Minutemen in front of a crowd of over 14,000 at the Linc. The defense carried over their momentum from last week’s close loss to Rutgers, and led the way once again, this time to a win, and a 2-2 record.
On the Minutemen’s opening drive, redshirt sophomore Jordan Magee started the contest with a sack on the first play from scrimmage. UMass quickly recovered, picking up a couple of rushing first downs, but the defense would ultimately force a punt.
On the Owls’ opening offensive drive, they tried to set an aggressive tone. The first play dialed up on the drive was a deep ball on a seam route which wen tin and out of the hands of Jose Barbon.
The Owls were pinned inside their own 10 yard line on their second drive. The drive ended with EJ Warner being sacked at his own 1 yard line for a three & out.
Temple’s defense would force a turnover on downs, setting the Owls up on the faded Eagles logo at midfield. A defensive personal foul would help to set up the Owls in UMass territory.
However, on 3rd & 8, EJ Warner forced a bad throw under pressure for his second career interception. The first quarter would end scoreless.
UMass could not do anything with the takeaway, with the Owls forcing another punt. On that punt however, WR Ian Stewart inadvertently touched the ball, allowing UMass to recover and have a new possession. The defense would immediately right this mistake, with a 3rd down interception.
Sophomore safety Alex Odom got the pick, the first of his collegiate career. The Owls’ momentum got snuffed out immediately after, with another EJ Warner interception, off the hand of Ian Stewart and into the hands of DB Noah Boykin.
After three consecutive drives with a turnover, the Minutemen would get an opportunity to score. Cameron Carson would attempt and miss a 48 yard field goal. The Owls’ offense needed to get something going on their next drive, and they would.
A 34 yard deep ball from Warner to WR Adonicas Sanders would spark the first scoring drive of the day for Temple. Just a couple of plays later, from eleven yards out, Warner found Ian Stewart for a touchdown, the second of the season for Stewart.
The score at the half is 7-0. The Owls could only muster up 86 total yards at the half, with just eight of those on the ground.
The offense would get things clicking after the break, going down to score on their opening drive of the half. The drive was set up on a 30 yard connection on 4th down from EJ Warner to TE David Martin-Robinson.
Quincy Patterson would cash in on a direct snap run from two yards out for a touchdown. It is now the second consecutive week in which Patterson scored from inside the 10 yard line. That scoring drive went 10 plays for 80 yards, chewing up over 5 minutes of game clock.
The Owls turned the ball over on downs on their second drive of the half. However on the very next play, Layton Jordan would come up with an incredible one handed interception, the first of his career. The redshirt junior also returned it for a pick six, putting the Owls up 21-0.
That score would remain the same going into the 4th quarter, and the Owls would continue to roll.
The Owls started the final frame with a bang. Thanks to a personal foul on UMass, the Owls were set up right at the 50. Warner once again found Adonicas Sanders, this time on a 50 yard bomb to essentially put the game away.
Now up 28-0, the Owls would look for insurance. After driving down to UMass territory, Rory Bell would attempt and miss a 39 yarder. Bell is now 0/2 on field goal attempts this season. On the other end, Cameron Carson would miss his second field goal of the game, a 37 yarder this time.
The Minutemen tried whatever they could to generate some kind of offense. All three of their quarterbacks would see playing time, but nothing worked. The game would end with the Owls’ defense completing another turnover on downs, followed by a kneel down.
“Tell you what, it feels good to get a win. They don’t come easy, that’s for sure. Despite all the turnovers and the ups and downs, the battle of field position….I’m just proud of our guys, to show the capabilities of overcoming some adversity and finding a way to put it all together and come out in the second half and win that ballgame.”Temple Football Head Coach Stan Drayton
Saturday’s shutout of UMass is the first shutout for Temple since 2016, when they blanked Tulane, 31-0.
The Owls entered Saturday with the 10th most sacks in the country and the 11th best pass defense. On offense, they are a perfect 7/7 when trying to score in the red zone this season.
In the second half, EJ Warner shared snaps with QB Quincy Patterson. The Owls wanted to try out different looks with the Minutemen. Coach Drayton stated after the game that the shared snaps was simply a halftime adjustment, and may not carry into next week.
Patterson also led the Owls in rushing, on 10 carries with 52 yards.
“I think a lot of people kinda assume that in a QB competition room [we’re] not really good friends or we’re tough to be around, but that’s not the case at all. We’ve all been super close. Me and Quincy especially do everything together, we’re roommates. It’s just awesome to have him there to teach me how to get through college, on and off the field.”Temple Football Quarterback EJ Warner
The non-conference schedule is now complete, as Stan Drayton will see his first action in the AAC. After a 2-1 homestand, the Owls are back on the road for consecutive games, starting with the Memphis Tigers. Kickoff is set for noon.