Buffalo, N.Y. — The Owls (2-1, 0-0 The American Athletic Conference) allowed a total of 29 points in the first two games of the 2019 season.
On Saturday against the University at Buffalo (2-2, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) the Owls allowed the Bulls to score 38 points.
The loss of a single-digit linebacker was among “a lot of reasons” the Owls fell to the Bulls, coach Rod Carey said.
With under eight minutes remaining in the first half, senior linebacker Shaun Bradley was ejected from the game for targeting against Buffalo redshirt-freshman quarterback Matt Myers. Bradley appeared to hit Myers helmet-first, which falls under the part of the rule that forbids “using the crown of the helmet to contact an opponent.”
“It was an unfortunate call,” Carey said postgame. “He’s making a football play and his head just unfortunately got down. And we can’t do that in today’s game, and he understood that.”
The penalty is an automatic ejection once upheld after video review. Bradley had recorded six tackles including one tackle for loss.
“There’s no way to prepare for that,” Carey said. “You have backups and they’re ready to go. [Redshirt junior linebacker Isaiah Graham-Mobley] is a great player, he’s a single digit too. But I don’t ever try to think negative, ‘What if we lose him?’ I don’t try to do that. We just try to get everybody as good as they can.”
Graham-Mobley filled in for Bradley. He finished the game with six tackles, including four solo tackles.
Junior cornerback Harrison Hand, who was named the AAC Defensive Player of the Week following the win over the University of Maryland, finished with six tackles.
Bednarik Award recipient redshirt-sophomore defensive tackle Ifeanyi Maijeh was third on the team with seven total tackles. Five of his tackles were solo.
The Owls allowed 217 yards on the ground. Buffalo sophomore running back Jaret Patterson was responsible for 133 rushing yards.
On the Bulls’ next possession after Bradley was ejected, Patterson rushed for 62 yards on nine carries.
Temple players were not made available to speak postgame.
Carey said the coaches will review film to improve the team before its 3:30 p.m. matchup with Georgia Tech next Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.