Owls remain winless

Temple lost to Idaho 26-24, and fell to 0-4 on the season.

Temple lost to Idaho 26-24 on Saturday afternoon, as the team fell to 0-4 on the season.

The defense struggled early, as Vandal redshirt-freshman quarterback Chad Chalich completed a 64-yard touchdown to freshman Richard Montgomery, giving Idaho a 7-0 lead over Temple.

Redshirt-junior quarterback Connor Reilly answered right back on the following drive, however, going 7-9 and bringing the Owls into Vandals’ territory. A 25-yard field goal from freshman Nick Visco made it a 7-3 Idaho lead.

Defensively, the Owls continued to struggle. Early in the second quarter, Idaho took the ball 80-yards down the field in nine plays, ending the drive with a Montgomery five-yard touchdown run. The Vandals then led 14-3.

Idaho’s next drive was stopped short of the end zone, but still resulted in points as freshman Austin Rehkow kicked a 39-yard field goal that extended Idaho’s lead to 17-3. Rehkow would later miss a 50-yard field goal, as the first half came to a close with the Owls facing a two-touchdown deficit.

Through the first half, Reilly was 11-26 passing for 83 yards. In comparison, Chalich was 15-23 for 198 yards.

The momentum changed early in the second half, as the Owls’ defense forced Idaho to punt on its first possession. An 18-yard run from junior Kenneth Harper and a 28-yard rush from redshirt-freshman Zaire Williams brought Temple into the red zone.

Williams was injured on a six-yard rush a few minutes later but walked off the field without assistance. Harper, meanwhile, rushed into the end zone with a five-yard rush that marked his fourth touchdown in as many games. An extra point from Visco brought the Owls to within one touchdown, as the Vandals then led 17-10.

The Owls defense would falter again though, as Chaclich completed a 36-yard pass to senior Roman Runner that brought the Vandals into the red zone. A 30-yard field goal from Rehkow would extend Idaho’s lead to 20-10.

Temple’s offense would find some momentum as senior Chris Coyer was brought in for a few plays at quarterback, collecting 22 rushing yards and two first downs. The Owls failed to convert on a 3rd-and-one opportunity later in the drive, as Harper lost four yards that forced a punt.

Later, a 52-yard rush from Chalich brought the Vandals into Owl territory. The Temple defense prevented a touchdown, but Rehkow drilled a 38-yard field goal and extended the Vandals’ lead to 23-10.

But the Owls answered right back, as Reilly completed three straight passes on the following drive. The final one was a 51-yard touchdown pass to senior Ryan Alderman. The offense only used 1:11 on the clock to score, as the Vandals lead was cut to 23-17.

A few drives later, and the Temple defense faltered again. A 34-yard Chalich pass to senior Najee Lovett brought Idaho into the red zone yet again. The Owls prevented the touchdown, but a 25-yard field goal from Rehkow gave the Vandals a 26-17 lead.

The Owls wouldn’t go down without a fight, however. Facing a 4th-and-two in Idaho territory, Reilly rushed for a three-yard gain that kept the game alive. Another touchdown from Harper, this time the result of a two-yard run, cut Idaho’s lead to just two points.

Temple opted against an onside kick, and wouldn’t get the ball back until there was too little time to build a drive. A deep passing attempt from Reilly to the end zone would fell incomplete as time expired, as Idaho won by a final score of 26-24.

Reilly finished 23-47 with 249 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Sophomore Tyler Matakevich broke a school record for tackles with 24.

Temple will host No. 7 Louisville next week at Lincoln Financial Field at noon.

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