Despite playing a bowl game with an interim head coach, the Temple Owls have a lead in the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl against the Duke Blue Devils. Temple’s defense has picked off a pair of passes that have led to 13 points for Temple as the Owls lead Duke 27-21 at halftime in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Duke starting quarterback Daniel Jones has plenty of NFL eyes on him in this game, and an early 62-yard pass on the first offensive series certainly racked up some yardage early on. But Jones left the game on that first series and was replaced by Quentin Harris, who ended the drive with a two-yard touchdown run. After the Owls tied the game with a touchdown run from quarterback Anthony Russo, Harris continued to lead the Duke offense on the ensuing possession after Jones took the first few snaps. Harris was intercepted on the drive by Delvon Randall, who returned the pick 52 yards for a go-ahead touchdown for the Owls.
Jones did return to the game and has passed for 199 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Blue Devils. That includes a perfectly placed ball into the hands of T.J. Rahming for a late touchdown in the second quarter. It was the fourth straight offensive possession for a touchdown between the two teams.
After a rough day of bowl action on Wednesday, we could be getting our Thursday schedule off to a fun start in the Independence Bowl.
How No. 20 Cincinnati (6-1, 2-1 AAC) suffered their first loss of the season was pretty remarkable to watch unfold. With a 17-10 lead in the fourth quarter, Cincinnati intercepted Temple (5-3, 4-0 AAC) twice to seemingly thwart any upset bid by the Owls, but Temple scored a touchdown in the final minute of regulation and then scored first in overtime before sealing the game with their own interception. Temple’s 24-17 win over Cincinnati helps keep the Owls in contention for a bowl berth.
After having each of the last two drives end with an interception, including one inside the red zone, Anthony Russo completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Branden Mack with 49 seconds to play.
The game-tying touchdown came after Cincinnati went three-and-out following the red zone interception. The Bearcats picked up just four yards after the interception, giving the Owls the ball back with a little more than two minutes to play. It was the fifth-straight offensive possession where Cincinnati failed to pick up a first down after taking a 17-10 lead (four punts, one turnover on downs). The offensive ineptitude for Cincinnati continued in the second half.
After Russo connected for the go-ahead touchdown to Isaiah Wright on 3rd and 10 from the 25-yard line, Cincinnati recovered a fumble for a loss of 11 yards that had an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty tacked on for a 3rd and 36 situation. Desmond Ridder was picked off on the play, giving Temple the win and get the last laugh.
Temple’s chances to go to a bowl game are still alive, although the upcoming schedule is a challenge. Temple needs two more wins, which likely means Temple will have to win one of their next three games before a road trip to UConn in order for that to happen. Temple gets a week off to prepare for a road trip to UCF, which is followed by a road game at Houston and then a home game against South Florida.
That upcoming schedule for Temple also means Cincinnati should not be written off in the AAC East either. If Temple loses two games, then Cincinnati has a chance to make their own run with games against SMU, Navy, South Florida, UCF, and East Carolina all remaining. Cincinnati will play at home against South Florida on November 10 and then at UCF the following week. Going 2-0 in those games may be mandatory for Cincinnati to have a shot at the AAC championship and a possible New Years Six bowl spot that could come with it.
It looks as though Ole Miss is bringing in a very talented and highly-respected quarterback in the Class of 2016. Shea Patterson, a five-star dual-threat quartreback from Shreveport, Louisiana was named the MVP of the Elite 11 camp in Oregon this week. Patterson finished in first place among the 25 quarterbacks invited to the high-profile football camp at Nike’s headquarters, and headlined the final Elite 11 class.
Maybe Texas has found a good quarterback as well. Longhorns commit, and four-star recruit, Shane Buechele finsihed in second place during the week. Other quarterbacks receiving elite status were KJ Costello (Stanford), Jacob Eason (Georgia), Feleope Franks (LSU), Jarrett Guarantano (Tennessee), Dwayne Haskins (Maryland), Malik Henry (Florida State), Brandon McIlwain (South Carolina), Brandon Peters (Michigan) and Anthony Russo (Rutgers).
For those keeping score at home, that would be five Elite 11 quarterbacks heading to the SEC. Three are going to the Big Ten, and one each to the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12.