Memphis used a strong second half surge to defeat Temple by a final score of 34-27. The loss brings the Owl’s record to 3-3, and 1-1 in the American Athletic Conference.
In the first half, the Temple defense dominated the line of scrimmage, holding the Memphis offense which has averaged 45.8 points per game, to just three in the first two quarters.
Defensively, the Owls were led by senior defensive end Haason Reddick, who totaled 11 tackles, five tackles for loss, and two sacks.
Two Austin Jones’ field goals gave Temple a 6-0 before Ryquell Armstead scored on a two yard touchdown run to give the Owls a 13-0 lead. Memphis got on the board late in the first half with a 19 yard field goal as time expired.
Memphis dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Owls 17-0 in the first fifteen minutes of the second half. Running back Doroland Dorceus ran it in from 71 yards out to tie the game at 13, and linebacker Genard Avery intercepted Phillip Walker for a pick-six, giving Memphis the lead. Memphis would tack on another touchdown early in the fourth quarter to open up a 14 point lead.
The Owls responded when Phillip Walker found Jahad Thomas streaking down the middle of the field for a 61 yard touchdown.
On the ensuing kickoff, Memphis wide-receiver Tony Pollard returned it 95 yards for a touchdown to once against stretch the Memphis lead to 14 points.
The Owls weren’t done yet, as Walker once again found Thomas for a nine yard touchdown with just under four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Temple defense forced a punt on the next Memphis possession giving the offense an opportunity to send the game to overtime.
Walker was intercepted by Chauncey Lanier with 18 seconds left to seal the win for Memphis. It was Walker’s second interception of the game.
Offensively, the Owls were once again led by Thomas, and Walker. Thomas had two touchdowns in the game, making his touchdown total eight after missing the first two games of the season. He also led Temple in receiving with 6 catches, for 121 yards. Walker had a career game, completing 36 passs, for 445 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore wide receiver Brodrick Yancy seemed to be open all night. He had a team high nine receptions, for 88 yards, an average of almost 10 yards per catch.
Next week, the Owls travel to take on UCF, looking to even their record and get back on the winning track.