PHILADELPHIA, PA. 10/10/2015 – There are times in a season where a team overcomes their mistakes, then force the other team into miscues and capitalize. The Temple Owls found themselves in such a position in an American game against the Green Wave of Tulane. The result was a 49 – 10 win for the Owls in front of 35,179 at the Linc.
“I was pleased to get a win at Homecoming to go 5 – 0,” said Temple Coach Matt Rhule. “Our team showed resiliency, they made plays when they had to in all three areas; offense, defense, and special teams. I was disappointed with our play early. That goes on me. We are playing for four quarters and win the game going away in the fourth quarter. That’s our goal. We can play a lot cleaner.”
The day started out with the Cherry and White looking out of sync on offense. A fumble by running back Ryquell Armstead was recovered by the Green Wave at the Owls 29 yard line. Tulane drove to the Temple 8 yard line, but got no further settling for a 27 yard field goal by kicker Andrew DiRocco at the 9:07 mark.
Temple responded later in the quarter taking over at their 20 yard line. Facing a 3rd and 12 at the 18 yard line, quarterback P.J. Walker let a pass go to the right sideline that looked like it would be intercepted. Instead it was caught by wide receiver who went over two defenders to catch the deflected ball Robby Anderson for a 23 yard gain and a first down.
“When the ball is in the air I am not going to let anyone else get it, especially if my quarterback trusts me to throw in to double coverage,” said Anderson “I was determined to catch the ball. I knew I was going to make that catch.”
On the next play Walker found Anderson for 15 yards and a Green Wave penalty advanced the ball 29 yards from the goal line. The tandem of Walker and Anderson completed the drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass and a 7 – 3 lead for the Owls.
Early in the second quarter Tulane took the lead back on drive that was started when their punt hit Temple’s Artrel Foster and was recovered by the punting team at the Owls 26 yard line. Four plays later Green Wave quarterback Tanner Lee found wide receiver Teddy Veal for 7 yards and a 10 – 7 lead at the 13:23 mark.
Undaunted, Temple later found themselves with a 2nd and 29 after a Walker sack and fumble. The response was a Jahad Thomas 28 yard run. Two plays later Walker completed a pass to wide receiver Kip Patton for 43 yards for a first and goal at the 5 yard line. After a five-yard penalty moved the ball back, Thomas ran the ball up the middle for a scoring run and a 14 – 10 Temple advantage with 9:30 to play.
Then the Cherry and White began to make the Green Wave pay for their mistakes.
The Owls special teams began playing a role as Green Wave punter Block fumbled the snap and was downed by Samuel Benjamin at the 12. Thomas took a 16-yard screen pass from Walker at the 4:55 mark to give Temple a 21 – 10 lead that they took into halftime.
In the third quarter the Temple defense took over.
“We just needed to calm down,” Rhule said. “We said let’s settle down and let’s go play.”
“We couldn’t let them get any big plays,” said defensive lineman Nate D. Smith. “They got a few, but we said calm down and go back to playing Temple ball.”
The Cherry and White went out to a 28 – 10 lead on a 16 yard touchdown run by Armstead that was aided by a Tulane penalty. On the ensuing possession corner back Sean Chandler intercepted a pass from Lee and returned it 22 yards for an Owl touchdown and a 25 point advantage at the 5:36 mark. Following another interception Armstead scored his second career touchdown from 15 yards out for a 42 – 10 lead.
In the fourth quarter reserve quarterback Frank Nutile threw a scoring pass to David Hood, the initial career touchdown.
Temple held Tulane to 8 rushing yards and 110 on total offense. The Owls had 4 sacks in the game and 2 interceptions.
Anderson had 4 catches for the Cherry and White. Walker played efficiently completing 11 of 15 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Owls improve to 5 – 0 on the season, their first 5 – 0 start since 1974, and are 2- 0 in conference. Tulane drops to 2 – 3 and are 1 – 1 in the American.
“It means a lot to us,” said Smith about the 5 – 0 start. “We put in a lot of work, so it is rewarding.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian