Temple University football (7-3, 4-2 The American Athletic Conference) beat Tulane (6-4, 3-3 The AAC) 29-21 Saturday afternoon despite losing 106 yards on penalties.
Redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Jadan Blue caught the ball in the end zone with 11 minutes, 51 seconds remaining in the first half. Instead of gaining six points for a touchdown, Temple lost 16 yards for pass interference against redshirt-junior wide receiver Branden Mack.
“If we could have gotten out of our own way with the penalties on offense, you know, we really could have had a really good day offensively,” coach Rod Carey said postgame. “We’ve got to work hard at that, you know, and we will.”
Temple ran 14 offensive plays to gain 56 yards in the first quarter. The Owls also took 5 penalties and lost 56 yards.
Following the penalty to Mack, the Owls started at second down from the 20-yard line and only gained two yards. Temple settled for taking a 3-0 lead with a 35-yard field goal.
Redshirt-sophomore kicker Will Mobley made three field goals for the second time this season.
“It’s been hard to do everything offensively,” Carey said. “I’m not sugar-coating it. But we’re still sitting here 7-3 with an offense that can keep getting better.”
Redshirt-junior tight end Kenny Yeboah had his best game of the season with 63 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Yeboah caught a touchdown from both quarterbacks: redshirt-junior Anthony Russo and redshirt-sophomore Todd Centeio.
“Russo threw me the ball and I just tried to execute every opportunity that I got,” Yeboah said. “We’ve been running these plays for weeks now, so it just was my time today, and I just seized the opportunity.”
Russo passed for 221 yards and completed 22 of 38 throws. Centeio completed four of his six passes for 76 yards. Centeio also rushed for 13 yards.
Blue caught the Owls’ third touchdown with nine minutes, 56 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Owls a 29-14 lead.
The Green Wave scored three minutes later to come within a touchdown and two-point conversion of tying the game.
Temple’s defensive line sealed the win, led by redshirt-junior defensive end Quincy Roche. Roche recorded 12 total tackles, three sacks and six tackles for loss, an American record.
Roche caused the Green Wave to lose 29 yards with his tackles for loss. Two of his three sacks came on Tulane’s final possession of the game.
Senior linebacker Sam Franklin also had a strong defensive performance. Franklin finished with nine tackles, eight of which were solo. Late in the first half, he stripped the ball out for a potential forced fumble, but the officials ruled the runner was already down when the ball came loose.
In the third quarter, graduate linebacker Chapelle Russell forced a fumble on Tulane’s redshirt-senior running back Corey Dauphine. Redshirt-sophomore cornerback Christian Braswell recovered the ball.
Graduate safety Ayron Monroe caught an end-zone interception with five seconds remaining in the first half to keep the Owls up, 13-7.
“I think everybody on the D-line has turned it up the last couple weeks,” Roche said. “The whole D-line, in general, has just been really turning it up.”
The Owls will travel to Cincinnati, Ohio next week to face the Bearcats (8-1, 5-0 The AAC). Kickoff time has not been announced yet.