On Temple University football’s first play of the third quarter, graduate student quarterback Anthony Russo dropped back to pass and badly overthrew redshirt-junior wide receiver Jadan Blue along the left sideline, leading to an interception by Memphis redshirt-junior cornerback Rodney Owens.
On the next drive, Memphis redshirt-senior quarterback Brady White threw a corner route to redshirt-junior wide receiver Calvin Austin, who broke a tackle by Temple redshirt-junior cornerback Christian Braswell and sprinted 65 yards to the endzone.
The touchdown gave the Tigers a 20-15 lead they never relinquished.
The Owls (1-2, 1-2 The American Athletic Conference) lost 41-29 to Memphis (3-1, 2-1 The American) on the road Saturday afternoon.
Saturday’s game was marked by turnovers, missed opportunities on offense and sloppy play on special teams by the Owls.
On Temple’s drive following the Memphis touchdown, sophomore running back Re’Mahn Davis fumbled the ball after running into the middle of the defensive line. Memphis senior defensive tackle O’Bryan Goodson recovered the fumble.
Memphis then scored a touchdown when White threw a 26-yard back shoulder pass to redshirt-freshman wide receiver Tahj Washington, who made the catch falling down near the front pylon. The touchdown put Memphis ahead 27-15.
The Owls bounced back on the following drive when Russo rolled out to his left and floated the ball along the sideline to Blue for a 32-yard touchdown, bringing Temple within five points.
Russo finished the game with 41 completions on 63 attempts for 387 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.
Russo’s last interception came with 49 seconds left in the third quarter when he threw a slant route slightly behind Blue who popped the ball into the air, allowing Owens to make the easy catch.
Memphis scored another touchdown on the ensuing possession when White fired a seven-yard slant pass to redshirt-freshman wide receiver Javon Ivory, making the score 34-22 with 12 minutes and two seconds left in the fourth quarter.
After scoring a touchdown on their next drive to make the score 34-29, the Owls’ defense forced a punt, and redshirt-sophomore cornerback Elijah Clark intercepted a pass thrown five yards short of the intended receiver by White.
Those two stops gave the Owls’ offense two chances to score a go ahead touchdown, but they could only muster 18 yards and zero points on those drives.
Temple’s next game is on the road against Tulane (2-3, 0-3 The American) on Oct. 31.