PHILADELPHIA, PA. 11/18/2017 – The Temple Owls fell victim to turnovers especially in the second quarter as the #14 UCF Knights turned 3 mistakes into 17 points before intermission en route to a 45 – 19 win on Temple Senior Day at The Linc.
Protecting the ball is essential especially against UCF (10 – 0, 7 – 0) who came into the game with gained turnovers at 20. They now have 25.
“It was a tough loss against a good football team,” said Temple Coach Geoff Collins. “Can’t turn the ball over five times and expect to win a game against a team that good, very talented. We knew that.”
With the Knights leading 14 – 10 linebacker Pat Jasinski intercepted a pass by Owls quarterback Frank Nutile, one of four on the day, returning it to 21 yards away from the goal line. Four plays later UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton lifted a 9-yard scoring toss to wide receiver Otis Anderson for a 21 – 10 advantage. The Knights scored 2 touchdowns within 2 minutes. On the next possession Titus Davis recovered a fumble by Temple running back Ryquell Armstead setting up UCF in Owls territory at the 23, and resulted in a 44-yard field goal by Matthew Wright. Later in the quarter an interception by Knights safety Kyle Gibson led to a 5-yard touchdown pass from Milton to Gabriel Davis and a 31 – 10 lead.
“There was a flurry in the second quarter that got them up by seventeen,” said Collins. “That’s tough to overcome.”
Milton completed 16 of 23 passes for 208 yards and 4 touchdowns to four different receivers. UCF has scored 31 points or more in every game this season.
To beat the nationally-ranked opponent Temple (5 – 6, 3 – 4) needed to start strong and finish strong. They did accomplish the first part. The Cherry and White started the scoring with a 35-yard field goal by Aaron Boumerhi for a 3 – 0 lead. It was the third time this season that the Knights found themselves behind. After Milton made it 7 – 3 in favor of UCF, Nutile found wide receiver Keith Kirkwood in the back of endzone for an 8-yard score and a 10 – 7 advantage for Temple, and the fourth instance of the Floridians trailing on the scoreboard, twice in the game. In the fourth quarter Nutile completed a 74-yard touchdown pass to Adonis Jennings, the longest play of the season for Temple and set a career-mark for Jennings for most single play receiving yards.
Temple will close out the regular season schedule travelling to Oklahoma for a game at Tulsa. A win is a must for the Cherry and White for any chance to play in a bowl game. The seniors have a chance to be the winningest class in program history, and they want to extend the season one more game.
“We’re going to keep the mindset like it’s a playoff game once again,” said running back David Hood, who ran for a game-high 81 yards. “Be six and six and be bowl eligible, get a bowl bid, and send the seniors out with a winning season.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian