Sophomore running back Matt Brown totals a career high 226 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a 42-35 win over Army.
Sophomore running back Matt Brown knew he had step up after the team learned it would be without sophomore running back Bernard Pierce against Army. Needless to say, he delivered. Brown had a career performance against the Black Knights in a 42-35 win, where he totaled 226 yards and four touchdowns.
“I just tried to do my best because he was out, because I knew I had a big role to fill,” Brown said. “I just performed to the best of my abilities.”
The game got off to a rough start for the Owls after junior defensive back James Nixon fumbled the opening kickoff, which put the Black Knights on the Temple 27 yardline. Two plays later, Army sophomore quarterback Trent Steelman gave his team an early lead after a two-yard touchdown run.
Brown would respond with an excellent first quarter where he had 108 rushing yards and two touchdowns on seven carries, but then Steelman would respond with a big quarter of his own. Army would take back the lead following two touchdowns from Steelman, with one on the ground on a seven-yard run and one in the air with a 31-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Austin Barr to give the Black Knights a 21-13 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, it looked like the Black Knights would pull away after Steelman scored his third rushing touchdown of the game on a three-yard run, but halfway through the third quarter, the Owls’ offense came alive.
“At halftime, we just had to flip the switch to win the game,” Brown said.
The Owl’s offense resorted to some trickery with junior wide receiver Joe Jones taking a backwards pass from redshirt-junior quarterback Chester Stewart and rifling it to the endzone where senior wideout Michael Campbell was wide open with the 24-yard touchdown reception.
“I thought it was a good opportunity to run that play and Joe throws it better than anyone.” Coach Al Golden said.
To make up for the botched extra point snap on Brown’s second touch down, redshirt-senior tight end Vaughn Charlton pulled in a pass from Stewart for the two point conversion to tie the game. After Stewart had a shaky first half where he was 3 for 10 with 33 yards passing, Stewart opened the fourth quarter with a eight-yard touchdown pass to Campbell.
“I didn’t do anything different, I think it was more the receivers being more confident in the second half and they made plays for me,” Stewart said. “All I had to do was deliver the ball and let my receivers make plays.”
Stewart would go on to finish the game going 7 for 16 with 127 passing yards and a passing touchdown.
Brown would help the Owls pull away from the Black Knights with a fourth quarter similar to the first quarter where he added two more touchdowns to his total for the day. Steelman would add another rushing touchdown near the final minute of the fourth quarter, but it was a case of too little, too late. Steelman was easily the Black Knights’ best player with 65 yards and four touchdowns on the ground and 124 yards and a touchdown in the air.
Golden considered this win to be the biggest of his tenure at Temple.
Make no mistake that’s the biggest win since I’ve been here,” Golden said. “To be down 15 and then reel off 28 straight, that’s a big credit to our players and coaches, Matt Rhule called great second half and then
Mark [D’Onofrio] did a tremendous job settling the defense down and of course the kids played really hard.”
Up next, the Owls remain on the road as they take on Northern Illinois on Oct. 9.
Brian Dzenis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.