SHREVEPORT, La. – Temple University struggled mightily in the second half of the Independence Bowl.
Temple couldn’t run an effective offense without senior running back Ryquell Armstead, the team’s leading rusher, who missed the game with an injury. Without Armstead, the Owls recorded their second-lowest rushing total this season in a 56-27 loss to Duke on Thursday.
The Owls’ inability to run the ball and the defense allowing 35 second-half points allowed Duke to run away with the game.
Duke broke numerous Independence Bowl records, came back from a six-point halftime deficit and controlled the ball for the majority of the fourth quarter.
Here is Temple’s loss by the numbers.
Duke shredded Temple’s defense and broke eight Independence Bowl records on Thursday.
As a team, the Blue Devils scored the most points in the bowl’s history, most points in a half and set the team passing yards record with 440 yards in their 29-point win.
Duke redshirt-junior quarterback Daniel Jones had 423 yards passing with six total touchdowns — five passing and one rushing. His performance broke the Independence Bowl record for passing yards, passing touchdowns and total touchdowns.
Jones’ big day helped Duke senior wide receiver T.J. Rahming collect two records of his own. Rahming’s 240 yards receiving are the most by a single player in the bowl’s history.
Rahming also rushed for 17 yards and recorded 29 punt return yards to set an Independence Bowl record with 280 all-purpose yards.
The Owls held a six-point halftime lead against Duke in the Independence Bowl, but they lost for just the second time this season after leading at halftime.
Entering Thursday’s game, Temple had a 5-1 record in games when it led after two quarters.
To start the second half, the Blue Devils marched 59 yards in three minutes, 54 seconds to take the lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Jones. His run was the first of Duke’s five second-half touchdowns.
The other time the Owls lost their halftime lead this season was on Oct. 1 when Temple surrendered a six-point lead to nationally ranked Central Florida. Since 2013, Temple is now 33-8 in games when it leads at halftime.
Five seconds into the fourth quarter, Temple trailed by 22 points. The Owls, however, had a chance to cut into Duke’s lead with five offensive possessions in the final quarter.
Those drives ended in two punts, one fumble, a turnover on downs and the end of the game.
As a result, Duke had possession for 10:14 of the game’s final 15 minutes to remove any hope Temple had of making a fourth-quarter comeback.
The Owls won the time of possession battle in the first half, which allowed the team to hold a lead at halftime, but only rushing for 53 yards the entire game allowed Duke to stifle Temple’s one-dimensional offense in the second half.
Thursday was the first time the Owls were shutout in the fourth quarter since their season-opening loss to Villanova.