PHILADELPHIA, PA. 9/10/2016 – For the Temple Owls it was an opportunity to put the season opening loss behind them. The Owls were able to illustrate their resilience with an impressive performance on offense and defense winning 38 – 0 over the Seawolves of Stony Brook in front of 22,296 on a hot afternoon at the Linc. Temple played this game with more intensity than the week before.
“We are in a happier state then we were last week,” said Temple Coach Matt Rhule. “We had a tough week of practice, but you saw a team that played with a lot of energy, a lot of juice, and did enough to win a football game. To get a shutout on defense is always special.”
The Cherry and White established themselves by scoring touchdowns on four of their six five possessions. On their second possession starting from their own 49 yard line Temple moved the ball to seven yards from the goal line. Running back Ryquell Armstead covered the remaining distance and the Owls had a 7 – 0 lead.
The lead increased to 14 – 0 on the next Temple possession. The scoring drive was an 8-play, 59-yard drive in 4:21 capped by a 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Phillip Walker to wide receiver Keith Kirkwood.
Early in the second quarter running back Jager Gardner ended a drive crossing the goal line from 4 yards away to give Temple a 21 – 0 lead.
The fourth score came at the 9:09 mark when wide receiver Brodrick Yancy caught his first career touchdown pass, a 15-yard toss from Walker. The Cherry and White took the 28 – 0 lead into intermission.
“We went out there playing with passion, and nobody was flat” said Temple quarterback Phillip Walker. “We didn’t lose our energy from the first half. To come out in the second half and go down and score was good.”
To open the third quarter Kirkwood hauled in his second touchdown reception of the game, a 26-yard pass from Walker. Following an interception by Delvon Randall, kicker Austin Jones converted a 21-yard field goal giving the Owls a 38-point pad with 4:41 in the third quarter.
Kirkwood caught 4 passes for 54 yards. Walker completed 11 of 24 passes for 124 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was intercepted once. Armstead ran for 48 yards on 14 carries.
In recording the shutout the Temple defense limited Stony Brook to 7 first downs and 133 yards of offense. The Seawolves deepest penetration was the to Owls 18 yard line. In the opening half the Seawolves had one first down and 34 total yards of offense.
“We were not looking for a shutout,” defensive back Sean Chandler said. “We were looking to do our job and play with intensity. It (the shutout) comes with that.”
Keeping the Seawolves from getting good field position allowed the Owls defense to be more aggressive.
“We were going to see if we play a field position game and force them to make mistakes,” Rhule said about the game plan. “Special teams helped the defense, the defense got the offense the ball.”
Temple (1 – 1) prepares for next week’s game at Penn State.
“It’s always a significant challenge to play a tremendous team, a Big Ten team,” Rhule said.
Written By: Glenn Papazian