The most ardent optimist would have put the Temple football team at 3-1 heading into October, coming off a competitive loss to Notre Dame to beat Houston, Fordham and Idaho.
But even a pessimist probably had the Owls at 2-2 through four games as the Fordham and Idaho contests were considered almost guaranteed wins.
Instead, the Owls are a shocking 0-4 after a 26-24 loss at previously winless Idaho Saturday night, losing a game to a team considered among the worst in the FBS. First-year coach Paul Petrino won his first game with the Vandals.
With the next two games against No. 7 Louisville and Cincinnati, Temple is staring down the barrel of 0-6 before the Homecoming game against Army.
Temple never led Saturday, falling behind 17-3 at the half before a second-half rally fell short. While the defense struggled to make critical stops, sophomore linebacker Tyler Matakevich totaled a school-record 24 tackles.
Junior quarterback Connor Reilly continued his good game, bad game roll. He played well in the opener at Notre Dame and last week against Fordham and was off in the home opener against Houston and on Saturday.
Continually missing open receivers deep, Reilly was just 23-of-47 for 249 yards and a touchdown, a 51-yarder to Ryan Alderman in the fourth quarter for the senior receiver's first career score that cut the deficit to six. But Fordham bounced back with its fourth field goal, making it a two-possession game.
After Kenny Harper's two-yard TD run pulled the Owls within two with 3:35 to play, Temple kicked the ball deep and hoped for the stop, The Owls saw Idaho convert the first down in eerily similar fashion to Fordham's two fourth-down conversions two weeks ago after the Vandals were facing a third-and-10 in their own territory.
Idaho freshman quarterback Chad Chalich finished 26-of-43 for 310 yard and a touchdown, while also running for 114 yards on 14 carries. He threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Dezmon Epps on the first possession.
At least the kicking wasn't an issue. Freshman Nick Visco made a 25-yard field goal and all three of his extra-point attempts.
Harper scored his fifth and sixth touchdowns of the season, though freshman Zaire Williams left the game with a leg injury.
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