SHREVEPORT, La. — Temple University played in offensive shootouts during the regular season against Boston College, Central Florida and Houston.
If the 48 combined first-half points between Temple (8-5) and Duke University was any predictor of the remainder of the game, the Independence Bowl would also be a shootout.
Duke (8-5) held its end of the bargain by scoring 35 second-half points, but Temple did not score in the second half of its 56-27 loss on Thursday at Independence Stadium.
Duke scored touchdowns on seven straight drives starting in the second quarter, and co-photo editor Luke Smith captured the action from the field.
T.J. Rahming’s exclamation point
Duke took a one-point lead after it scored on the opening possession of the second half.
Following a Temple punt, the Blue Devils wasted no widening their lead. On the second play of the ensuing drive, Duke redshirt-junior quarterback Daniel Jones connected with senior wide receiver T.J. Rahming on a slant route.
Rahming cut upfield and outran the Temple defense on the way to an 85-yard touchdown to give Duke a 35-27 lead with seven minutes, 28 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Duke, just like Rahming, never looked back. Rahming’s touchdown was part of the Blue Devils’ stretch of seven consecutive touchdown drives to come back from a 27-14 deficit.
Duke applies pressure before halftime
With Jones back on the field, Duke’s passing offense expanded.
Jones connected with redshirt-senior wide receiver Chris Taylor, who was uncovered in the middle of the field, for a 34-yard touchdown to make the score 20-14.
Temple answered with an 8-yard receiving touchdown by graduate student wide receiver Brodrick Yancy to push the Owls’ lead to two possessions.
Duke had 4:26 left in the first half to drive 75 yards down the field and score. On the 10th play of the drive, Jones hit Rahming in the end zone for a 22-yard touchdown to trim the Owls’ lead to just six points.
Duke won the opening coin toss but elected to receive the second half kickoff, so Rahming’s touchdown put the Blue Devils in position to potentially take the lead on their first second-half drive.
Isaiah Wright returns kickoff 74 yards in the first quarter
Duke had all the momentum after the first two drives of the game.
After forcing a Temple three-and-out on the first possession, Duke took a 7-0 lead after a six-play, 77-yard drive ended with a 2-yard run by redshirt-junior quarterback Quentin Harris. Jones threw a 62-yard pass to Rahming to move the Blue Devils down the field.
Junior wide receiver Isaiah Wright returned the ensuing kickoff 74 yards to seize any momentum the Blue Devils had.
Redshirt-sophomore quarterback Anthony Russo took advantage of the great field position five plays later by running for a 15-yard touchdown to tie the game.
The 74-yard return added to Wright’s special teams output this season. The American Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Year had two punt return touchdowns and one kickoff return score in the regular season.