With six minutes, 29 seconds remaining in the third quarter Central Florida redshirt-sophomore running back Bentavious Thompson ran in a 34-yard touchdown putting the Knights ahead 42-21. The Knights would go to outscore Temple University football 35-0 in the second half.
The Owls (5-3, 2-2 The American Atheltic Conference) suffered their second-straight loss, 63-21, against Central Florida (6-2, 3-1 The AAC) at home on Saturday night.
Temple gave up more than 600 total yards for the second week in a row including 385 rushing yards.
“Guys just getting a little bit out of character,” graduate linebacker Chapelle Russell said. “They were doing things they should not have been doing. They were getting out of gaps and their eyes were in a bad spot.”
Central Florida junior running back Otis Anderson finished the game with 17 carries, 205 yards and one touchdown. Thompson finished the game with 10 carries, 89 yards and two touchdowns.
“You know they took it to us, for the most part, tonight,” coach Rod Carey said. “For the first half, I thought we were in right in it… we got the ball at the 15 and did nothing with it and then the game kinda broke open from there.”
The Owls passing defense struggled against the Knights. Central Florida freshman quarterback Dillon Gabriel recorded 218 yards and three touchdowns.
One of Gabriel’s touchdown passes came with three minutes, 33 seconds remaining in the second quarter when he found redshirt-junior receiver Tre Nixon along the sideline. Nixon’s catch put the Knights ahead 28-14.
Temple also struggled to keep up with the Knights’ up-tempo offense, Carey said.
The Knights only held the ball for a total of 26 minutes and 41 seconds while Temple was able to hold the ball for 33 minutes and 19 seconds.
The Owls were missing redshirt-sophomore defensive lineman Ifeanyi Maijeh and senior safety Benny Walls due to injury.
In total, the Owls allowed five touchdowns that were 20 yards or longer, including a 73-yard touchdown pass thrown by Gabriel to junior wide receiver Marlon Williams.
“We just gotta regroup,” senior linebacker Shaun Bradley said. “We gotta get a meeting in altogether as a team, and watch the film together.”
The Owls’ next game will be on the road against South Florida (4-4, 2-2 The AAC) on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m.