Last year, Hurricane Irene pushed back Temple’s meeting with Miami until December. This season the game took place on a beautiful day. The temperature was in the low ’70s and there was a slight breeze out of the northwest.
But Miami receiver Santana Moss spelled bad weather for the Owls, as Temple went down to Miami, 45-17.
Things started out great for Temple, coming off a 48-14 rout of Rutgers. Last year Miami won this contest 55-0.
Junior quarterback Devin Scott had the team moving early. He maneuvered the Owls down the field and Cap Poklemba kicked a field goal.
The Owls, in front of 28,351 Homecoming fans, had taken a 3-0 lead over the fourth-ranked Hurricanes, the same team that two weeks prior had defeated then-first-ranked Florida State, 27-24.
But then Hurricane Santana blew into town.
Moss received a punt at the Miami 30-yard line, and he stormed past Temple’s coverage team. Moss ran 71 yards into the end zone for the lead.
Miami (5-1, 3-0 Big East) never looked back, and beat Temple (4-4, 1-3) 45-17.
Moss had four punt returns for 121 yards.
“They returned a punt which wasn’t a difficult thing to do because of the punt,” coach Bobby Wallace said. “It was about a 30-yard punt with a two-second hang time.”
The touchdown fired up Miami and the Hurricanes went on to score three more touchdowns in the first half.
“It really excited our kids,” Miami coach Butch Davis said. “(It) got the motor revved up, which he’s (Moss) done throughout his entire career. He is electrifying and he can do so many things.”
After Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Williams, Temple scored a touchdown.
It wasn’t Temple’s offense–they couldn’t score until the fourth quarter–it was the defense.
Dorsey was hit from his blindside and pitched the football to a big, empty space. Raheem Brock recovered the ball in the end zone to make the score 14-10.
Temple was back in it, but not for long.
Moss again returned to the limelight, catching a 67-yard touchdown pass from Dorsey to give Miami a 21-10 lead and enough momentum to blow out Temple.
“It made the defense step up to another level,” Brock said. “It made us play much harder.”
Miami’s athleticism nullified a good defensive effort by Temple. The defense did hold Miami under its average yards per game mark, holding the ‘Canes to 357 yards.
“It’s a momentum change when you see someone go down the field,” senior linebacker LeVar Talley said. “It changes the whole game, it changes the game plan. Once something like that happens it’s kind of hard to regroup.”
Najeh Davenport ran for a one-yard touchdown to give Miami a 28-10 lead at halftime.
Before the half, Scott led the Owls on a great drive that went down to the buzzer. He started out at his own 35-yard line and moved the team to the Miami 26-yard line.
Scott had a 20-yard run and three pass completions on the drive. Two sacks, though, drove the Owls out of range for a field goal and points before the half.
Scott was sacked six times in the game by an aggressive Miami defense.
According to Wallace, this was the best game of Scott’s career.
“That’s the best football game I’ve seen Devin play since I’ve been here,” said Wallace, whose first year as coach was Scott’s freshman year. “He was focused, He was executing the offense. As the game went on, in a game where the odds were really against him, this was the fist time I really have seen him focus well.”
Scott passed for only 129 yards on 16-of-30 attempts, but Wallace feels it was the best game he has played.
“The quarterback that doesn’t have his head on straight is going to be pissed off,” Scott said. “I’m a quarterback that has my head on straight. You cannot bury yourself. Being a quarterback, you’re the general out there, you can’t let your offense get down.”
Scott tried and tried to move the offense but the Miami defense was too tough. Big East leading rusher Tanardo Sharps gained only 51 yards on 14 attempts. Fellow sophomore Lester Trammer rushed for 42 yards on eight carries at the end of the game.
Temple’s Harold Jackson scored a one-yard touchdown on Miami’s second team defense with ten seconds left in the game. The touchdown, which made the score 45-17, came after Miami kicked a field goal, scored a rushing touchdown, and returned an interception for a touchdown.
“These kids played hard,” Wallace said. “The problems we made we can correct. I was proud of our football team for scoring at the end. I don’t care what the score was or who they had in there.”
Temple has this week off. The Owls travel to Boston College on Nov. 4 to play the Eagles, a team they beat last year when Boston was nationally ranked.