Turnovers plague Temple football in loss to Buffalo

The Owls committed four turnovers in their 38-22 loss to the University at Buffalo Saturday afternoon in Buffalo, New York.

Redshirt-junior quarterback Anthony Russo waits to receive the ball during the Owls’ game against Buffalo at the University at Buffalo stadium on Sept. 21. | JUSTIN OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Buffalo, N.Y. — Temple University football lined up for a punt in the second quarter. The ball went past sophomore punter Adam Barry and he was tackled at the seven-yard line. Two plays later, the University at Buffalo capitalized on a four-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Jaret Patterson.

Patterson’s touchdown was a part of 31 consecutive points scored by Buffalo (2-2, 0-0 Mid-American Conference). Buffalo defeated Temple (2-1, 0-0 American Athletic Conference), 38-22, at the University at Buffalo Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Owls committed four turnovers overall. Redshirt-junior quarterback Anthony Russo was responsible for all of Temple’s turnovers. He threw three interceptions and lost a fumble on a sack by Bulls senior defensive end Ladarius Mack. Russo only completed 25 of his 51 pass attempts and finished with 258 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Russo’s first interception came in the third quarter when Bulls sophomore cornerback Aapri Washington picked him off in the Owls’ endzone. Two plays before, Russo completed a pass to redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Jadan Blue for 43 yards to place the ball at the Bulls’ 32 yard-line.

Russo threw another interception in the third quarter to Bulls redshirt senior cornerback Devon Russell at the Owls’ 23 yard-line. Four plays later, Patterson scored from the three yard-line.

Russo’s last interception was dropped by redshirt-freshman wide receiver Jose Barbon and ended up into the hands of Bulls senior safety Joey Banks, who returned it 46 yards to the Owls’ endzone.

“I think we had execution issues all over there and that’s on us as coaches,” coach Rod Carey said. “We knew what they were running. We just didn’t have them coached up good enough to stay in their gap.”

Patterson finished with 133 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore running back Kevin Marks added 78 yards and a score. Patterson and Marks combined for 205 yards. The Bulls totaled 217 rushing yards while the Owls only compiled 31 rushing yards.

The Bulls took control of the game in the second quarter, which enabled them to utilize their two running backs, Carey said.

“We thought they tried to slow the game and win possessions like they did,” Carey said. “We knew ball security was gonna be a premium .Unfortunately, we got stopped and had the bad snap and that led a touchdown and gave them the lead. They flipped the script and played the game they wanted to.”

Temple lost one of its key defensive players in the second quarter when senior linebacker Shaun Bradley was ejected from the game. Bradley was called for a roughing the passer penalty after targeting Bulls’ redshirt-freshman quarterback Matt Myers. The Bulls were given an automatic first down and Myers ran for a seven-yard touchdown a play later.

“Obviously, Shaun’s a fantastic player,” Carey said. “It was an unfortunate call. He was making a football play. His head just unfortunately got down and you can’t do that. He understood that. He’s gotta pull up right there.”

After Bradley’s ejection, the Owls allowed 28 points. Temple only allowed 29 points in its two wins against Bucknell University and the University of Maryland.

“I didn’t have them ready enough, obviously,” Carey said. “I’ll do a better job. It starts with me. We will get it corrected and go forward.”

Temple will next play Georgia Tech on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field. The Yellow Jackets are led by former Temple coach Geoff Collins.

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