Stout third-quarter defense leads to Owls victory

The Owls defense only allowed 19 total yards of offense in the third quarter after giving up 182 yards in the first half.

Redshirt-sophomore defensive tackle Ifeanyi Maijeh celebrates after a defensive play during the Owls' 20-17 win over the University of Maryland at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 14, 2019. | JUSTIN OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

With four minutes and 28 seconds remaining in the third quarter, redshirt-senior defensive end Dana Levine ran down East Carolina sophomore quarterback Holton Ahlers from behind for a sack forcing a Pirates punt. 

Temple University football (4-1, 1-0 The American Athletic Conference) defeated East Carolina (3-3, 0-2 The American), 27-17, on the road on Thursday night. Temple’s defense only allowed seven points in the second half.

In the third quarter, the Owls only allowed 19 total yards and zero points. 

East Carolina had just two offensive possessions in the third quarter which lasted for a total of four minutes and 19 seconds while Temple held the ball for a total of 10 minutes and 41 seconds.

Temple gave up 126 yards in the fourth quarter but most of the yards came when Temple was ahead 27-10 and allowing the Pirates to get easy yards in order to run out the clock. 

Despite a strong finish, the Owls defense got off to a slow start when Ahlers found freshman receiver C.J. Johnson for an opening drive touchdown which put the Pirates ahead 7-0. Temple’s defense allowed 182 total yards in the first half. 

One of the few positive defensive plays in the first half came from redshirt-junior defensive end Quincy Roche.

In his first game wearing a single digit, Roche recorded two tackles for loss and one sack. 

One of Roche’s tackles for loss came in the first quarter where he came untouched into the backfield and tackled East Carolina redshirt-freshman running back Tay Williams for a loss of four yards. 

Fellow defensive lineman, redshirt-sophomore defensive tackle Ifeanyi Maijeh, also recorded two tackles for loss and one sack. 

Maijeh’s sack came at the end of the game when he dive-tackled Ahlers for a 17-yard loss. In total, the Owls recorded three sacks in the game. 

This season, the Owls defense is holding opponents to just 12 points per game and only allowing 193 passing yards per game. 

Temple will look to continue playing lockdown defense in their next matchup at home against Memphis (4-0, 1-0 The American) on Oct. 12 at noon. 

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