With an overcast sky to welcome the fans, the Owls hosted an identical two-win team in the East Carolina University Pirates. With the month of October being breast cancer awareness month, Temple used today as their game to spread awareness for the disease that affects so many. As Temple looked to add a mark to their conference win total, ECU searched for their first win in conference play this season.
Anthony Russo began the game under center, as Temple received the ball. Things started off pretty shaky for the Owls. In the opening possession, miscommunication between Russo and the Owls receivers led to an interception by ECU. The early turnover seemed to be the best thing for club. Following a defensive stop, Temple began to put on an offensive surge.
The scoring onslaught started with an 80-yard drive capped off by a 24-yard pass from Anthony Russo to Sean Ryan. The touchdown marked the first for Ryan in his career and put the Owls up 7-0. East Carolina looked to quickly break Temple’s momentum by going for it on 4th and short early, but that decision backfired with a turnover on downs. On the ensuing possession, the Owls drove the ball 45 yards down field where Anthony Russo found redshirt sophomore Brandon Mack for the score.
Temple started the second quarter up 14-0 as the offense continued to suffocate the Pirates. A quick 44-yard drive was finished off with a one yard rush by Ryquell Armstead to give him his sixth touchdown this season. Up 21-0 with 12:24 left in the second quarter, Isaiah Wright returned a punt 59 yards for Temples 4th touchdown in the first half.
After a field goal by ECU, the Owls scored another touchdown on a reception by Isaiah Wright to end the half up 35-3.
In the second half, Anthony Russo continued his breakout day after letting one go early on. Connecting on his fourth touchdown to four different receivers, Russo went 31 yards to Randall Jones giving the Owls a 39-point lead, 42-3. This marked the first time 4 different receivers scored in a game since 2015, against SMU. D-Lineman Freddie Booth-Lloyd also got in on the scoring action with a 1-yard touchdown rush, (2nd this season), to put Temple up 49-6.
With the game simply out of reach for the Pirates, the final score of 49-6 gave Temple their second win in conference play. Ryquell Armstead had another great outing, rushing for 91 yards to compliment Anthony Russo’s breakout performance. He finished with 254 yards and 4 touchdowns with only 4 incompletions.
The defense from Temple pressured the Pirates all game, limiting them to zero touchdowns on the day. Their 43-point blowout makes it the largest win against an FBS opponent in Temple football history.
Coach Collins talked after the game about his team’s stellar performance throughout,
“Our guys competed, and they battled against a really good opponent. Them changing looks up and doing things they’d never done, our guys were able to take advantage by making really good throws and big plays.”
The Owls now jump to 3-3 on the year. Their next matchup is next week as they travel to Annapolis to take on Navy. Gametime for the contest is set for 3:30.