Temple football’s defense comes up short against Mustangs

The Owls’ defense gave up a season-high 655 yards in their 45-21 loss against Southern Methodist University.

Junior cornerback Harrison Hand celebrates the Owls' win against Georgia Tech at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 28. | JUSTIN OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

With 11 minutes, 54 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Southern Methodist University junior quarterback Shane Buechele threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Reggie Roberson Jr., putting the Mustangs ahead 38-21. 

Temple University football (5-2, 2-1 The American Athletic Conference) struggled defensively in its 45-21 loss on the road against Southern Methodist (7-0, 3-0 The AAC) on Saturday. 

The Owls defense allowed 655 yards and a season-high 45 points in the game. The Owls previously allowed 492 yards against Memphis (5-1, 1-1 The AAC) on Oct. 12. 

Temple’s defense only allowed 10 points in the first quarter and made a goal-line stop early in the second quarter. 

Redshirt-junior safety Amir Tyler and redshirt-junior linebacker Isaiah Graham-Mobley combined to stop Mustangs’ senior running back Xavier Jones short of the endzone. 

The Owls’ defense struggled to stop the Mustangs from scoring after that. 

Later in the second quarter, Buechele threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Roberson Jr. who beat senior cornerback Freddie Johnson on the play, putting the Mustangs ahead 17-0. 

Buechele finished the game with 457 yards and six touchdowns while Roberson Jr. finished the game with eight catches, 250 yards and three touchdowns. 

Coming into the game, Temple was only allowing 199.50 passing yards per game and had only allowed five passing touchdowns all season. 

Junior cornerback Harrison Hand intercepted one of Buechele’s passes with one minute, 48 seconds left in the third quarter, but the Owls’ offense was unable to score any points on the ensuing drive.  

The Mustangs ran the ball effectively as well. Jones carried the ball 29 times for 105 yards. As a team, the Mustangs ran for a total of 198 yards while Temple only ran for 69 yards. 

The Mustangs’ last touchdown came with seven minutes, 21 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter when Buechele threw the ball to Jones on a play-action screen pass. The touchdown put the Mustangs ahead 45-21. 

The Owls’ next game is at home against Central Florida (4-2, 1-1 The AAC) on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.

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