The Temple Owls and the Villanova Wildcats faced huge tests against nationally-ranked opponents. Temple defeated the Memphis Tigers on their Homecoming Day, and has now defeated two ranked opponents in a single season for the first time in program history. Villanova took a lead, but fell on three fourth quarter touchdowns by the James Madison University Dukes. The unbeaten season for the Wildcats has come to an end. The University of Pennsylvania completed its non-conference part of its schedule with a victory over Sacred Heart behind 178 rushing yards and 4 total touchdowns by Karekin Brooks.
The Owls put on a balanced attack, and the four caused turnovers limited the offense of the Tigers and lead to 16 points. Temple needed all of those points to hand Memphis its first loss of the season. Also, the Cherry and White defense took away the ball on twice downs. Three of the forced turnovers came on three straight Memphis possessions. Kicker Will Mobley was good on three field goals after the takeaways. On offense temple rushed for 193 yards in the game, Jager Gardner gained 77 yards on the ground and scored once. True freshman Re’Mahn Davis contributed 72 yards. In the air wide receiver Braden Mack caught a career-high 9 passes for 125 yards. Temple cracks to Top-25 in the Coached Poll.
The Villanova – JMU game was expected to be a battle and it was. The Wildcats lead 24 – 17, but a lost fumble led to a Dukes touchdown to tie the game. On the ensuing drive Nova drove deep into JMU territory, but a Daniel Smith pass was intercepted and turned into a pick-six and a lead the hosts would retain. On defense Nova limited JMU to 158 yards rushing yards which is 110 yards below their average.
Penn bounced-back after a loss to Dartmouth with a 38 – 24 victory over Sacred Heart at Franklin Field. In addition to the offensive output by Brooks, quarterback Nick Robinson found 8 different receivers for 267 yards. The Quakers have Ivy League opponents the rest of the way.
Next week Temple has another game against a team that is presently ranked and unbeaten in SMU on the road. The Owls are ranked too. Penn travels to New York to face Columbia. Villanova has a bye-week before lining up against Stony Brook in two weeks.
Games of October 12, 2019
#25 TEMPLE – Overall 5 – 1, 2 – 0 American Athletic Conference
Result – Won 30 – 28 vs. Memphis
Summary – Memphis outgained Temple by a 467 – 346 yards margin. But the big plays favored the Owls. On offense quarterback Anthony Russo was 20 of 33 for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was not sacked. TU scored on its first possession for the fourth time this year. The Owls sport a 5 – 1 record. The last time Temple started 5 – 1 was in 1979 under Coach Wayne Hardin.
Next Game – October 19 at #21 SMU
#5 VILLANOVA – Overall 6 – 1, 3 – 1 CAA
Result – Lost 38 – 24 at #2 James Madison University
Summary – The Wildcats suffered their first loss of the season. Smith threw for a career-high 387 yards completing 26 of 47 passes. Chenga Hodge caught of those passes for 134 yards and scored twice, all career-highs. Todd Summers hauled in the other scoring toss. On defense Forrest Rhyne led the way against the nation’s 6th ranked offense. He had 13 tackles, 3 were for a loss, and sacked the quarterback two times. It is the second consecutive week that Rhyne had a double-digit total in tackles.
Next Game – October 26 vs. Stony Brook
PENN – Overall 2 –2, 0 – 1 Ivy League
Result – Won 38 – 24 vs. Sacred Heart
Summary – The Red and Blue went out to a 24 – 10 lead at halftime. The Pioneers pulled to within 31 – 24, but the Quakers answered with a 13-play drive capped when Brooks crossed the line from 2 yards out. The Penn defense ended any chance Sacred Heart had when Sam Philippi intercepted a pass in the endzone with 2:25 on the clock.
Next Game – October 19 at Columbia