The #22 Temple Owls fell behind early and could not overcome the #19 Houston Cougars falling by a score of 24 – 13 in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game in front of 35,721 at Houston’s home TDECU Stadium. The Temple record is 10 – 3, but will play one more game in a bowl to be announced.
Houston was led by quarterback Greg Ward, Jr. who rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Ward scored on a 47-yard scamper that gave his team a 17 – 0 lead late in the second quarter. Ward scored again in the third quarter ending a 71 yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run finishing a drive was started when the Cougars forced the Owls to turn the ball over on downs.
Temple was led by quarterback P.J. Walker who threw for 287 yards completing 26 of 44 passing attempts with a 13-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Robby Anderson late in the third quarter. Walker has a scoring toss in 12 straight games. Anderson had 12 catches for 150 yards.
The Owls committed a costly turnover early in the contest. P.J. Walker threw an interception on the first drive that the Cougars converted into a 10-play, 36 yard drive capped by a one-yard touchdown plunge by Javin Webb just under five minutes into the first quarter.
Cherry and White kicker Austin Jones was successful on field goals of 40 and 39 yards.
As a team Houston rushed for 233 yards and had 106 in the air. Temple had trouble getting their running game going totaling 98 yards.
Linebacker Tyler Matakevich shared the team lead in tackles with safety Will Hayes. Each player made 8 stops.
With 10 wins this season the Owls tied the 1979 team for the most wins in a season. This team will have one more game to play this season. They’ll find out who, where, and when on Sunday.
Written By: Glenn Papazian