On a blustery homecoming day (with wind gusts of 40+ MPH), the 4- 2 Temple Owls hosted the 1- 5 Bowling Green Falcons in a Mid- American conference matchup at Lincoln Financial Field. Temple, coming off of a 31 -17 loss at conference foe Northern Illinois, was trying to rebound and get back on track to ensure a successful season for its fans. After last week’s loss, Coach Al Golden promised his team would not repeat its performance against Northern Illinois saying, “They have to play Temple football, and right now, we’re not doing that. This is a wakeup call for our kids.”
Bowling Green is coached by former Villanova offensive coordinator Dave Clawson. Bowling Green came into today’s game on a three game losing streak. Clawson was previously the head coach at Fordham and Richmond.
Bowling Green, after being stopped on the Temple 32 on a 4th and 1, jumped out ahead 6- 0 on a 49 yard interception return by Jovan Leacock at the 5:58 mark of the first quarter. Chester Stewart was pressured by Darius Smith on the throw. Following the interception, Al Golden pulled Stewart and inserted Mike Gerardi at Quarterback. Temple scored on its first possession of the 2nd quarter on a well designed pass play from Geradi to Rod Streater covering 80 yards. Brandon McManus converted the extra point putting the Owls on top 7 -6.
Temple came out on its next possession to score another touchdown on a 46 yard toss from Gerardi to Evan Rodriguez. McManus again converted the extra point stretching Temple’s lead to 14-6.
Bowling Green threatened at the end of the 2nd quarter, driving to the Temple 25, but a sack by Adrian Robinson forced the Falcons to try a 43 yard field goal which missed wide left.
Zach Akenberger, the Falcon’s starting FB, left the game (on a cart) with what appeared to be a severe left leg injury in the second quarter.
Gerardi completed the 1st half hitting 7-8 for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
Bowling Green started the 3rd quarter by driving 66 yards in 7 plays , aided by 2 penalties against Temple, to score a touchdown. Willie Geter capped the drive on a 12 yard run. Bowling Green converted the two point conversion on a pass from Matt Schilz to Kamar Jorden to tie the game at 14.
Temple regained the lead when a bad snap on a punt and a fumble by Bowling Green’s punter was recovered in the end zone by Quinten White, Jr. It was White’s first career fumble recovery and touchdown.
Temple added to its lead by driving 71 yards in 8 plays for a touchdown. Bernard Pierce ran it in from 6 yards out. Pierce carried the ball six times for 62 yards on the scoring drive. McManus kicked the extra point to make it 28- 10 in favor of the Owls.
Bowling Green clawed back driving 80 yards in 16 plays culminated by Jordan Hopgood’s 1 yard touchdown run. Bryan Wright booted the extra point to make it a 28-21 game with 6:04 left.
The game got even more interesting when Bowling Green regained the ball on a fumble recovery by Calvin Marshall in Temple territory. However the Temple defense stopped the Falcons at their own 33 yard line.
Bowling Green got another opportunity with 1:47 to go when it took over at its own 31 yard line and drove as far as the Temple 28 yard line before facing a 4th and 16 at the 37. They converted a 33 yard pass on that play to bring up a first and goal at the Temple 4 yard line with 11 seconds to go.
After an incomplete pass on first down, the Falcons had four seconds remaining to find the end zone which they did when Schilz hit Calvin Wiley as time expired.
Clawson opted to have Bowling Green go for the two point conversion to win the game but the Falcons failed to convert when the pass was broken up by Marquise Liverpool and Temple moved to 5-2 by the skin of their beaks.
Temple’s next game is at Buffalo next Saturday at noon. The game can be seen on ESPN Plus.
In other local action both Villanova and Penn were victorious in their games as well.
Please check back on Monday for our expanded photo gallery from today’s game!