The UCONN Huskies were intended to be the main course for the Temple Owls Homecoming Day game at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday, October 15th. But, lo and behold, the underdog Huskies foiled the Owls’ plan by upsetting their host 28-24, before a disappointed homecoming crowd of 29,849. Last weekend, the Owls went on the road and cruised by the East Carolina Pirates 34-10 while the Huskies were being crushed at home by Memphis by a score of 70-31. Naturally, it looked like a promising Homecoming day was in store for Temple, but the Owls made too many mistakes to overcome, and it cost them the game.
Bryant Shirreffs, the Huskies quarterback, threw for three touchdowns, and Tyler Cole added a pick-six, to pace the visitors to the upset of the heavily favored Owls. UCONN’s win marked the end of an eight-game losing streak in conference play.
Temple scored first on a David Hood 1-yard run in the first quarter. UCONN tied the game in the second quarter on a Shirreffs’ 6-yard pass to Quayvon Skanes, with 10:44 to play in the first half. The Huskies took the lead after recovering an Owls fumble and returning it 35 yards to the Temple 9-yard line. The score came on a 6-yard pass from Shirreffs to Hergy Mayala with 5:17 to go in the opening half.
UCONN upped its lead to 21-7 in the third quarter, following a failed onside kick by the Owls, when Shirreffs hit Arkeel Newsome for a 6-yard touchdown to complete a 63-yard march. Temple bounced right back when Logan Marchi, the Owls quarterback, connected with Isaiah Wright for a 9-yard touchdown. Shortly afterward, in the third quarter, the Huskies’ Coyle picked off a Marchi pass and returned it for a 34-yard score, that put UCONN up 28-14, and that would prove to be the difference in the game. Temple missed a big opportunity later in the quarter when it failed to convert on a fourth-and-one from the Huskies’12 yard line.
Temple cut the UCONN lead on the opening play in the fourth quarter on a 10-yard run by running back Ryquell Armstead. The touchdown was set up by a fumble recovery caused by Temple’s Chapelle Russell and recovered by Artrel Foster at the UCONN 21 yard line. The Owls then squandered a chance to knot the score after gaining a first-and-goal at the Huskies 3, when they were forced to settle for a 21-yard field goal by Aaron Boumerhi, with 11:14 remaining to play. However, the Owls could not catch the Huskies and ended up dashing their fans hope for a Homecoming victory celebration.
With the loss, Temple’s record fell to 3-4 overall, 1-3 in the AAC conference. Temple was badly hurt by 12 penalties for 117 yards, and two turnovers, including one for a touchdown. Marchi paced the way for Temple throwing for 356-yards on 33 of 54 throws, with one touchdown and one pick returned for a score. Armstead was the Owls leading ball carrier with 9 rushes for 31-yards. Hood was Temple’s (and the game’s) leading receiver with 8 receptions for 91-yards. Temple will play at Army next Saturday at noontime.
UCONN, 2-4 overall, 1-3 in the AAC conference, following its upset of the Owls, was led by Shirreffs 18-28 passing for 105-yards, and 3 scores. Newsome, who caught a touchdown pass, was the Huskies leading rusher with 18 for 56 yards. Mayala was the leading receiver with 4 receptions for 28-yards and a touchdown. UCONN returns to action next Saturday when it will host Tulsa in a noontime game.