Annapolis, MD-With four minutes and 21 seconds remaining in the third quarter, junior receiver Rontavious Groves threw a two-yard touchdown pass to freshman quarterback Sam Howell to give the University of North Carolina a 41-6 lead.
Temple University football (8-5, 5-3 The American Athletic Conference) lost to the Tar Heels (7-6, 4-4 The Atlantic Coast Conference) 55-13 on Friday afternoon in the Northrup Grumman Military Bowl.
The Owls’ defense gave up 534 total yards of offense, including 296 passing yards and four passing touchdowns.
“Leading up to this game people were saying ‘[Howell is gonna be good],’ coach Rod Carey said. I thought he was good this year. He executed at a pretty high level today. We didn’t do enough to get him off his game.”
Howell finished the game 25-of-34 for 294 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran the ball three times, securing 53 yards.
One of Howell’s touchdown passes came with 13 minutes, 51 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Howell threw the ball to junior wide receiver Dazz Newsome who caught the ball with two defenders covering him, putting North Carolina ahead 48-13.
Newsome finished the game with eight catches, 71 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore wide receiver Dyami Brown finished the game with five catches, 87 yards and one touchdown.
Temple’s defense struggled to get off the field on third downs. UNC converted 11-of-14 third-down attempts.
“We hurt ourselves a little bit,” senior linebacker Shaun Bradley said. “We had some penalties on third down and that contributed to us staying on the field and them building momentum.”
The Owls struggled to stop the running game as the Tar Heels totaled 238 rushing yards. Sophomore running back Javonte Williams led the team with 85 yards while junior running back Michael Carter totaled 84 yards on the ground.
The Tar Heels had nine rushes longer than 10 yards, including three rushes that were 24 yards long.
Temple only forced one turnover in the game when senior safety Benny Walls forced and recovered a fumble after hitting a Tar Heels receiver.
Walls lead the team, finishing the game with 12 tackles. Graduate linebacker Chapelle Russell finished second on the team with nine total tackles.
“You just have to give us a little time away from this one,” Carey said. “It has been a good season. Certainly, we want to strive for more, but it was a good season.”