Temple defense allows zero second-half points in win against UConn

The Owls’ defense allowed 244 total yards in the first half but only gave up 82 total yards in the second half.

Senior linebacker Sam Franklin runs with the ball after intercepting a pass during the Owls' game against the University of Connecticut at Lincoln Financial Field on Nov. 30. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University football (8-4, 5-3 The American Athletic Conference) defeated the Huskies (2-10, 0-8 The AAC) 49-17 at home on Saturday. 

Early in the third quarter, redshirt-junior defensive end Quincy Roche bull-rushed Connecticut redshirt-senior offensive lineman Matt Peart into the quarterback and then broke free to sack UConn freshman quarterback Jack Zergiotis for a loss of four yards. 

Redshirt-junior defensive end Quincy Roche tackles University of Connecticut freshman quarterback Jack Zergiotis during the Owls’ game against the Huskies at Lincoln Financial Field on Nov. 30. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

After allowing 17 points in the first half, the Owls’ defense allowed zero points in the second half. Some of the players attributed the slow start to “senior day emotions,” senior linebacker Sam Franklin said. 

“They came out and ‘schemed us up,’” Franklin said. “We made some adjustments. We knew they couldn’t keep running the same trick plays. We just adjusted and played ball like we were supposed to.”

Franklin recorded a team-high eight tackles in the game, one tackle for loss and one interception. Franklin returned the interception 29 yards for a touchdown extending Temple’s lead to 42-17. 

Temple’s defense gave up 244 total yards in the first half but gave up just 82 total yards in the second half. The Owls held the Huskies to just 11 yards on the ground in the second half as well. 

“Obviously, it was an awful start,” coach Rod Carey said. “Emotions run high on senior day and today was no different for us. We lost our mind there for a little bit.” 

Roche recorded his second sack of the game in the fourth quarter when he was the first player to touch Zergiotis after he tripped on his own lineman and fell down. 

Roche’s fourth-quarter sack brought his season total to 13 which ties him for the Temple single-season sack record. 

“We try not to overlook any opponent,” Roche said. “It could be anything, but we were not locked in, but we got it fixed.” 

The Owls passing defense only allowed 71 passing yards in the second half. In the first half, Temple gave up 179 passing yards. 

On the first drive of the game, Zergiotis hit graduate wide receiver Ardell Brown for a 51-yard touchdown pass. 

“It is so emotional on senior night, you spend an entire night talking to the [team] about it,” Carey said. “Sometimes it is hard to get back focused and our eyes were completely wrong on defense.”

The Owls Bowl game destination and opponent will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 8. 

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