Three turnovers in the first quarter by No. 23 Memphis was not a part of the gameplan this afternoon in Philadelphia, but Temple has gladly taken advantage of the free possessions. The Owls own a 23-14 lead on the Tigers in a crossover division matchup in the American Athletic Conference. Temple has scored nine points off three Memphis turnovers.
Temple’s defense came out of the gates ready to set the tone by forcing an early punt on the opening drive of the game by Memphis. Jager Gardner gave Temple an early 7-0 lead with a short touchdown run on Temple’s first offensive series of the game. Three plays into the ensuing Memphis drive, Brady White was picked off by Harrison Hand around midfield. Temple was held to a field goal for a 10-0 lea. Temple was once again held to a field goal less than two minutes later when a Memphis fumble by White led to another three points off turnovers for the home team. the theme continued one more time with a third turnover in as many drives by Memphis led to yet another field goal by the Owls to go up 16-0.
Memphis reversed the trend in their favor when Damonte Coxie scored ona 14-yard pass from White to get the Tiger son the scoreboard. Memphis took over at their 33-yard line after Temple lost the football on a third down play. But Temple responded before halftime with a 75-yard touchdown drive capped by Isaiah Wright hurdling his way into the end zone.
But Memphis cut into the deficit on the ensuing drive in quick fashion. Kenneth Gainwell scored a 25-yard touchdown at the end of a 7-play drive that took just 1:13.
Points off turnovers are always important, especially for a team looking to score an upset, but Temple being held to three field goals off three Memphis turnovers may be a win for the Tigers. The 16-0 score is still a two-score game, but Temple’s defense has been playing quite well this season. Memphis still has an uphill battle on their hands in the second half as they look to remain undefeated.
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.
Former Indiana running back Camion Patrick was charged in connection with a fatal stabbing of an 18-year old man in Tennessee in September. Now, Patrick has had the charge dropped by a county judge.
A Blount County judge dismissed the homicide charge filed against Patrick after prosecutors failed to prove probable cause against Patrick during a preliminary hearing. While Patrick may have escaped the homicide charge, three others did not. Among the three is Patrick’s brother, Isaiah Wright. Two other suspects, Kewshawn Lonnel Hopewell and Itiq Tivone Green, remain on bail with Wright. All three will see the case move to a grand jury to determine if indictments will be made against them.
Both Patrick and Wright played JUCO football at East Mississippi Community College, the program featured in the Netflix series “Last Chance U.” Patrick transferred to Indiana, where he was on a medical hardship at the time of the incident. He was later suspended by the school as well in light of the charge filed against him.