Recap Temple

Although the Temple Owls lead the nation in redzone defense and allow only 14.4 points per game, they were no match for The Third Ward D under the Friday night lights at TDECU Stadium.

The Houston Cougars came away with their first conference win at home with a 31-10 victory over the Owls, now remaining undefeated in conference play.

 

Kyle Bullard scored the first Houston points of the night with a 34-yard field goal.

 

The Third Ward D came to life early on, as Trevon Stewart intercepted and returned P.J. Walker’s pass for 29 yards for a touchdown, taking it to a 10-0 Houston lead.

 

It only took eight seconds for Houston to go from a 3-0 to a 10-0 lead after Stewart’s interception return.

 

With 01:23 left in the first quarter, Bullard took the field for a missed 32-yard field goal attempt, marking his second missed field goal this season and of his career.

 

Walker was able to lead his offense into field goal range for a 22-yard field goal by Austin Jones, making it 10-3 heading into the second quarter.

 

On the next Houston drive, Kenneth Farrow rushed up the middle for a four-yard touchdown run, improving to a 17-3 Houston lead.

 

The Houston defense was at it again when William Jackson intercepted Walker’s deep pass down the field, getting the ball back for the Cougars.

 

On the final Temple possession of the half, Gavin Stansbury sacked Walker for a loss of eight yards. Walker bounced back with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Keith Kirkwood, making it Kirkwood’s first career touchdown catch as an Owl.

 

The Cougars entered halftime with the Owls trailing by only seven points.

 

On Walker’s attempt to rush up the middle in the third quarter, Steven Taylor forced and recovered the fumble by Walker in the end zone, resulting in a touchback.

 

With only 01:42 remaining before the final quarter, Greg Ward Jr. connected with Deontay Greenberry for a seven-yard touchdown pass, increasing the lead to a comfortable 24-10.

 

At the start of the next Temple drive, Walker threw his third interception of the game caught by Howard Wilson.

 

Houston forced the Owls to commit a total of four turnovers, and scored 14 points off turnovers throughout the game.

 

“In the last 20 games, our defense has forced 66 turnovers – that’s not bad. I think that’s really been helpful,” Coach Tony Levine said. “That goes back to what I said about turnover margin. Offensively, zero turnovers is as big as our defense getting four.”

 

Ward Jr. then connected with Ryan Jackson for a 30-yard touchdown pass scoring another Houston touchdown making it 31-10, sealing the Cougar victory heading into the final quarter of the game.

 

Dual threat quarterback, Ward Jr., is 2-0 in his first two career starts.

 

“… Greg was 29-of-33, an 88% completion percentage with 268 yards and two touchdowns. I thought he was very accurate tonight. I thought he made great decisions, and I was proud of the way he prepared and played tonight,” Levine said.


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