Temple shut down in blowout loss to North Texas

Without quarterback E.J. Warner, Temple was outscored 24-0 to end the game Saturday.

Temple dropped their third conference game in a row to start the season, falling 45-14 to the University of North Texas. | JARED TATZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

After Temple Football’s comeback effort against UTSA last weekend, the team showed signs of improvement on the offensive end. The storyline entering their matchup against North Texas seemed to be the Owls wondering if they would carry that momentum forward.

That momentum took a hit when quarterback E.J Warner did not warm up with the team. The sophomore did not take the field, and the team was doomed before kickoff.

Temple (2-5, 0-3 American Athletic Conference) lost to North Texas (3-3, 1-1 American Athletic Conference) 45-14 on the road Saturday afternoon. With backup quarterback Quincy Patterson under center, the Owls offense wasn’t able to replicate the success they had last week.

Temple couldn’t get the passing game going, as Patterson finished with just 12 completions for 105 yards and three interceptions. The lack of passing success forced Temple to rely on its run game, an area that has plagued the team all season.

On the other side, North Texas controlled the pace of the game. The Owls defense has struggled all season, particularly instopping the run. North Texas was able to exploit Temple’s weaknesses, finishing with 527 yards of total offense. Quarterback Chandler Rogers threw for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns, finishing with a 164.1 quarterback rating.

A big part of North Texas’ dominance was its balanced attack. The Mean Green had 307 yards in the air and 220 on the ground. Three different Mean Green rushers surpassed 50 yards, and 12 different receivers had a reception, led by Ja’Mori Maclin’s 163 yards. 

The Owls rushing attack had mild success throughout the afternoon. The team’s lone bright spot was Patterson’s production as the leading rusher. He became the team’s second 100-yard rusher all season, finishing with 108 yards and a touchdown. He was also the first Temple quarterback with more than 100 rushing yards in a game since Chris Coyer ran for 184 against Ohio in 2011.

Running back Darvon Hubbard also played well, finishing with 69 yards and a score. The performance marked a second straight week he’s been a fixture for Temple’s attack.

Despite their moderate success running the ball, the Owls could never figure out the passing game, missing opportunities to put points on the board. It also made the offense one-dimensional, and the North Texas defense focused on stopping the run up front, leading to just 155 yards for Temple in the second half.

North Texas’ offense had their way throughout the game as well. The Mean Green started hot, scoring on their first four possessions to take a 24-14 lead into halftime. 

The second half was a different story. The Owls lost their groove on offense and completely unraveled, as they were unable to put points on the board. Meanwhile, the Mean Green added three touchdowns to jump in front by 31 in just their second game in the AAC.

The loss marks the fourth game in a row where Temple has given up more than 40 points. The Owls sit at the bottom of the AAC standings, still looking for their first win in conference play. 

Temple will look to regroup next week as they return home to play SMU (4-2, 2-0 American Athletic Conference) Oct. 20 at 7 p.m.

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