A big crowd on hand at Lincoln Financial Field for Temple Homecoming 2017 as the Owls faced division rival UConn but lost in a tough battle 28-24.
The game started out excellent for the Temple defense as junior Delvon Randall intercepted Bryant Shirreffs on UConn’s opening drive at Temple’s 22-yard line. Randall’s interception stopped an 8 play drive from the Huskies offense. This is also Randall’s 3rd interception in the last 3 games.
On the ensuing possession for the Owls, they marched down the field 78 yards for a David Hood 1 yard rushing touchdown halfway through the quarter.
The scoring drive consisted of 3 receptions by Keith Kirkwood for 35 yards and an Adonis Jennings rush for 22 yards which helped set up Hood’s one-yard score.
UConn would respond though on a 6-yard touchdown catch by Quayvon Skanes from Shirreffs. That was a 15 play 88-yard drive that ate up 6 mins off the clock.
On the Huskies scoring drive, LB Chapelle Russell, forced a fumble, though it was recovered by Huskies offensive lineman Trey Rutherford. The forced fumble by Russell goes along with 7 total tackles he had in the first half.
Two drives later, Temple QB Logan Marchi completes a pass to WR Brodrick Yancy who turned the ball over on a forced fumble by DB Jordan Swann, recovered by UConn’s Marshe Terry who took the ball all the way down to Temple’s 9-yard line.
The Huskies would score 2 plays later on a 6-yard completion from Shirreffs to WR Hergy Mayala.
Keith Kirkwood led all receivers with 35 yards on 3 catches followed by this weeks No. 1 Isaiah Wright’s 13 yards on 3 catches. David Hood also got in on the receiving action with 2 catches of his own for 16 yards and Ventell Bryant has one catch for 9 yards.
For the Huskies in the first half, QB Bryant Shirreffs went 10-16 for 51 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. RB Kevin Mensah led the rushing attack with 5 attempts for 23 yards, followed by Arkeel Newsome with 9 rushes for 19 yards.
Hergy Mayala led in receptions with 3 for 17 yards and one touchdown, followed by Aaron McLean catching 2 for 20 yards.
The second half provided some quick action as UConn scored on their first possession of the half on a 6-yard pass from Shirreffs to Arkeel Newsome to make it 21-7 UConn with 9 minutes to go in the frame.
On the touchdown play, DL Sharif Finch was ejected for targeting the quarterback, which is a big loss for the Temple defensive front.
Temple would answer back quickly on the very next drive. A 37-yard completion from Marchi to TE Kenny Yeboah helped set up an Isaiah Wright 9 yard touchdown completion. The score brought Temple to within one score at 21-14.
On Temples next drive, QB Logan Marchi threw a big pick six to DB Tyler Coyle who took the pass back 34 yards for the score. Marchi threw that pick six after a major 3 and out for the Temple defense. Coyle’s score made it a 28-14 contest with 6 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter.
After that drive, Temple marched all the way down the field to the UConn 12 only to turn the ball over on downs after a failed 4th down conversion.
Though, on UConn’s first play after the turnover on downs, Chapelle Russell forced another fumble, this time on Huskies WR Tyraiq Beals, recovered by Temple’s Artrel Foster. The Owls would take over at UConn’s 21-yard line.
4 plays later, on the first play of the fourth quarter, RB Ryquell Armstead carried the ball in from 10 yards out. That TD gave Armstead his first touchdown on the season and cut the UConn lead to 28-21.
Temple’s defense continued to make key stands. Which enabled the Owl’s kicker Aaron Boumerhi to hit a 21-yard field goal, to cut the lead again down to 4.
After trading drives no scores, with 4:45 to go in the game, Temple took a gamble on 4th and short from UConn’s 24-yard line. Marchi’s pass was unable to be hauled in by Keith Kirkwood, turning the ball over hoping their defense would yet again make a much-needed stop.
On the ensuing possession, UConn QB Shirreffs scrambles for a 49 yard gain. Setting the Huskies up for a missed 36-yard field goal, giving the Owls one last chance to drive down the field and score a touchdown for the win.
RB David Hood with a big catch and run of 25 yards to help set up one final Hail Mary for QB Logan Marchi that was unsuccessful.
QB Logan Marchi finished the game with 356 yards on 33-54 passing attempts. RB David Hood was the top receiver for the Owls with 91 yards on 8 catches, followed by Kenny Yeboah who caught 4 passes for 73 yards.
Ryquell Armstead found the end zone on one of his 9 carries totaling 33 yards, fellow RB David Hood gained 30 yards on 6 attempts, also scoring a rushing touchdown.
For the Huskies, QB Bryant Shirreffs finished the game going 18-28 for 105 yards with 3 TDs and one INT. Shirreffs was also 2nd in rushing for UConn with 7 attempts for 56 yards, following RB Arkeel Newsome who rushed 18 times for 60 yards.
Hergy Mayala caught 4 passes for 28 yards, Quayvon Skanes caught 3 passes for 18 yards, and Arkeel Newsome had 3 receptions. All three scored receiving touchdowns in the game.
Defensively for the Owls, Chapelle Russell had quite an impressive performance totaling 12 tackles, one sack and two forced fumbles. DB Delvon Randall finished with 5 tackles and one interception.
LB Junior Joseph had 11 tackles for the Huskies to go along with one sack and two passes broken up. DB Tyler Coyle took an interception back to the end zone for a 34-yard score which ultimately was the difference in today’s contest.
With the loss, Temple drops to 3-4 on the season. Next up for the Owls, a trip to face Army on the road next Saturday at noon in the Owls final non-conference game.
Make sure to check back in with the SportsDesk for next week’s coverage.