PHILADELPHIA- Ryquell Armstead led the Owls to a 46-30 victory over USF Friday night moving into first place in the American Athletic Conference East division. Armstead rushed for 210 yards on 20 carries, and scored two touchdowns. He scored on touchdown runs of 76, and 42 yards. The 76 yard touchdown run was the longest of his career, and the longest for Temple this season.
The Owls opened the scoring with a 14 play, 70 yard drive capped off by a 22 yard field goal from Aaron Boumerhi. Ventell Bryant had 45 yards receiving on the opening drive that lasted 7:50.
USF answered with a 37 yard touchdown pass by Quinton Flowers, to take a 7-3 lead. The Bulls went 68 yards, on six plays in just 1:18.
Phillip Walker and the Temple offense responded with another long drive leading to a one yard touchdown pass to Colin Thompson. Bryant was the Owls go to player once again on the drive, collecting 34 yards, including a 15 yard reception down to the one yard line on 3rd and 12.
Following a touchdown by USF to take the lead, the Owls responded with 10 unanswered points heading into halftime. Ryquell Armstead’s 76 yard touchdown gave the Owls the 17-13 lead, and Aaron Boumehri ended the half with a 35 yard field goal to make it 20-13.
The Owls had over 20 minutes of possession in the first half, and were 3-3 in red zone opportunities.
USF scored the first ten points of the second half, finishing with a three yard touchdown run by Flowers, his 23rd of the season.
Ryquell Armstead once again responded with a 42 yard touchdown, to once again give the Owls the lead. The Owls would take a 34-23 lead heading into the fourth quarter and extended the lead to 14 on a 42 yard field goal by Boumehri.
The Bulls came within seven on a 30 yard touchdown run by Marlon Mack, but were shutout for the rest of the game.
The Temple defense shut down the USF offense the rest of the way. Delvon Randall came away with a late interception, and Romond Deloatch sacked quarterback Brett Kean in the end zone for a safety to cap off the scoring. Jahad Thomas also scored on a 3 yard touchdown run set up by Randall’s interception.
It was a game of career highs for Temple, as Ventell Bryant set a career high in receiving yards of 115, all coming in the first half; Armstead also set his career high in rushing yards on the night. Phillip Walker managed the game well, completing 14-21 passes for 209 yards and a touchdown. He only had 5 pass attempts in the second half.
Defensively, the Owls were led by Stephaun Marshall with eight tackles, and Delvon Randall with seven tackles and the late interception. Facing a USF offense that averaged 44.1 points per game entering this week, the Owls held the dynamic Bull’s offense to just 30 points, and only 352 yards of total offense.
The Owls now control their own destiny in the American East division, and enter another big game next week against Cincinnati. With four games remaining, Temple has a chance to return to the American Conference Championship game for the second consecutive season.