Pittfall

The first 10 quarters of Temple's return to the Big East were glorious. The carnage of the last six would make some Halloween movies seem tame. Pittsburgh handed the Owls their second straight loss, 47-17, on Saturday. Since leading Rutgers, 10-0, at the half last week, Temple has been outscored 82-17.

The first 10 quarters of Temple's return to the Big East were glorious.

The carnage of the last six would make some Halloween movies seem tame.

Pittsburgh handed the Owls their second straight loss, 47-17, on Saturday. Since leading Rutgers, 10-0, at the half last week, Temple has been outscored 82-17.

Roll that number around for a while. Eighty-two points in six quarters.

To put it in perspective, the Owls gave up just 112 points in the first 22 quarters of the season. The loss dropped Temple to 3-4 overall, 2-2 in the Big East with a game at undefeated and nationally-ranked Louisville next week. Pittsburgh improved to 4-4, 1-3.

The Owls started the game with a three-and-out on defense, but Pittsburgh's punt hit Anthony Robey in the right leg and the Panthers recovered at the Owls' 39. Tino Sunseri completed a 17-yard pass to Mike Shanahan on third-and-six, and Rushel Shell capped the seven-play TD drive with a one-yard run.

"It's one of those plays every once in a while happens, it was just a little bit of bad fortune," said Temple coach Steve Addazio. "The mechanics were in place, it was handled right by the kids (returner Matt Brown waved his teammates off) and (Robey) didn't hear the communication."

Sunseri threw an 18-yard pass to J.P. Holtz for a 14-0 lead later in the first quarter, but Brown returned the ensuing kickoff to the Panther 21, setting up Chris Coyer's nine-yard strike to Cody Booth.

Pittsburgh owned the second quarter, scoring 17 points, including a four-yard TD pass from Sunseri to Ray Graham with one second left in the half that made it a 31-7 game.

"We were awful in the first half," said Addazio. "We let up, obviously, some tremendously big plays and started the game as poor as you'd want to. The biggest disappointment is we went in at half with the score what it was. When you have a lack of leadership, the waves can put you down a little too long.

"There's not a lot of positives, but we challenged the team at halftime to come out and play, and guys came out bright-eyed and competed in the second half."

The Owls almost climbed back into the game, scoring on the first drive of the second half on Montel Harris' 14-yard run and entering the fourth quarter down 34-17 and driving. But Coyer had a 17-yard run into Pitt territory wiped away on a questionable holding call on Booth, and on the next play, Lafayette Pitts ripped the ball out of receiver Deon Miller's hands after a short gain at the Owls 37.

Graham scored two plays later and the rout was on.

"They let the air out of the balloon a little bit," said Coyer. "You definitely lose your momentum when something like that happens."

Coyer bounced back after a rough game against Rutgers, going 16-for-25 for 143 yards and a touchdown. Still he spent the fourth quarter watching Juice Granger for a second straight week. Granger showed more than a week ago, completing two passes for 52 yards and rushing for 35 but came up short on a fourth-down run near the goal line.

"I didn't do as well as I wanted to but I feel that I made a couple plays," said Granger. "I wish I would have scored on the first drive, but it's a learning experience."

Jalen Fitzpatrick caught six passes for 55 yards and Harris ran for 72, but the big offensive numbers were on the Pittsburgh side.

Graham carried for 109 and two scores on the ground with 71 yards and a TD through the air. Sunseri threw for 321 yards and three scores, and Devin Street had six catches for 140 yards and a touchdown.

The Owls will need to fix their suddenly porous defense with the high-powered Cardinals on deck next week. The two-game losing streak put a dent in Temple's chances to secure the .500 record necessary for a bowl bid.

"I don't really look that far ahead," said Addazio. "I think where we are as a team right now is that we have to look directly into the next week and we just have to play as hard as we can. Our goal was to win the opener and get bowl eligible and that goal is still in front of us."

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