For the second time this season, the Temple Owls (5-1, 2-0 AAC) have knocked off a ranked opponent at home. Their latest victim was a big one, with No. 23 Memphis (5-1, 1-1 AAC) dropping its first game of the season on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia. Temple’s defense forced four turnovers by the Tigers, and points off turnovers would prove to be instrumental in the 30-28 upset victory for the Owls.
Temple scored 16 points off four Memphis turnovers. But the biggest play of the game may have been a video replay review by the AAC officials. After Memphis tight end Joey Magnifico appeared to haul in a 4th and 9 pass for a first down late in the fourth quarter, an instant replay overturned the call on the field.
It turned out to be the in-stadium video feed at Lincoln Financial Field that was used by the instant replay booth to overturn the call. It was ruled Magnifico did not have control of the ball as he went to the ground.
Memphis got the ball back for one last gasp, but time ran out on the Tigers and their undefeated start to the season. This despite a 373-yard day through the air by Brady White, who also lost a couple of fumbles. Temple’s Anthony Russo had a solid effort as well with 224 passing yards and two touchdowns in the win. The Owls racked up 193 rushing yards on the Tigers. Memphis did manage to get 502 yards on Temple’s defense, but the turnovers and the points off turnovers ended up being too costly for Memphis in this one.
Next up for Temple is a tough road trip against one of the biggest surprises in the AAC this season. Temple heads to Dallas to face No. 21 SMU next week. Could this possibly be a preview of the AAC Championship Game nobody predicted? Well, we’ll see, but it is not too far-fetched an idea to think it could be a matchup of top 25 teams if the voters reward Temple for their win over the Tigers, the second against a ranked opponent this season for the Owls. Maryland was the other ranked win for the Owls, but Temple would like to kindly request you pay no attention to what Maryland has done since their victory over the Terrapins.
Memphis will be pulling for Temple to hand SMU a loss next week. In the meantime, Memphis will look to rebound at home against Tulane, a program that entered this week 4-1 overall and hosting UConn today.