Offensive and special teams’ problems plagued Temple (7-4, 4-3 The American Athletic Conference) in its 15-13 loss to Cincinnati (10-1, 7-0 The AAC) Saturday night at Nippert Stadium. The Bearcats are ranked No. 19 in the College Football Playoff rankings.
Freshman running back Re’Mahn Davis scored from seven yards with 11 minutes and 19 seconds remaining to pull Temple football within one possession against Cincinnati. However, redshirt-sophomore kicker Will Mobley’s point-after attempt was blocked and Bearcats junior cornerback Coby Bryant returned the ball for two points.
Along with the blocked PAT, Mobley also missed a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter which would have pulled the Owls within 10.
In the second quarter, sophomore punter Adam Barry had his knee down while receiving the ball to punt at Temple’s six-yard line. The Bearcats received the ball at the Owls’ six-yard line and came away with a field goal by graduate student kicker Sam Crosa 30 seconds before halftime.
The Owls’ defense held the Bearcats’ offense to 210 total yards. Bearcats’ sophomore quarterback Desmond Ridder only completed nine of his 25 pass attempts on 62 yards and an interception.
The Bearcats were better rushing the ball, finishing the game with 148 rushing yards. The Bearcats only had 58 rushing yards in the first half but earned 90 yards in the second half.
Bearcats’ junior running back Michael Warren II led the team with 106 rushing yards on 24 attempts. Warren scored from 13 yards to put the Bearcats up 13-0 in the early stages of the third quarter.
Junior running back Gerrid Doaks also added 37 rushing yards.
The Bearcats only converted on six of their 18 third-down attempts. Despite Cincinnati giving Temple a lot of opportunities to score, the Owls’ offense could not take advantage of it for the most part.
Temple only converted on seven of its 17 third-down opportunities. The Owls did not convert on three of its four fourth-down chances.
The Owls’ running game only produced 78 yards. Davis led the Owls with 71 rushing yards on 13 attempts along with the touchdown. Redshirt-senior running back Jager Gardner added 24 rushing yards before leaving the game in the fourth quarter due to a leg injury. Temple lost 13 rushing yards on Barry’s kneel-down.
Redshirt-junior quarterback Anthony Russo completed 24-of-43 passes with 228 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Jadan Blue was responsible for 120 of those yards. This was Blue’s third consecutive game where he recorded at least 10 catches and 100 receiving yards.
Russo’s only touchdown came in the fourth quarter with six minutes and 59 seconds remaining when he passed it to redshirt-junior tight end Kenny Yeboah for 16 yards. Yeboah’s touchdown pulled the Owls within two points, but they failed to get another score.
Next, Temple will play Connecticut (2-9, 0-7 The AAC) on Nov. 30 at 3:30 p.m., in its regular-season finale at Lincoln Financial Field.