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Temple 3-0 for the 1st Time since ’79

Posted By Adrian Fedkiw On Sep 20 2010 @ 2:30 pm In Temple | 2 Comments

The Temple football program took the next step in its journey to consistent success. With a dominating fourth quarter, the Owls soared to a 3-0 start for the first time since 1979.  It was a total team effort as they outscored UConn 16-0 in the final stanza to take the game 30-16.

Two key plays in the 4th quarter led to the downfall of the Huskies.  2009 MAC Defensive Player of the Year DE Adrian Robinson made a Clay Matthews’ type play with a fumble recovery touchdown with 8:28 left.  This made it 20-16.  Temple missed on their 2 point conversion.  The other play came on special teams with the dangerous return-man Delano Green.  He may not always make the correct decisions (as evidenced later on in the game where he fumbled a punt late in the 4th quarter), but Green made a play, and got inside the 5 yard line.

RB Bernard Pierce had a ball game.  He finally got some carries and established a rhythm.  Pierce rushed it 26 times for 169 yards and 3 touchdowns.  He showed outstanding vision and competitive drive on Saturday.  It was a phenomenal performance.  On Temple’s 2nd touchdown drive of the game, Pierce had seven carries in nine plays.  The drive gave Temple a 14-13 lead.

QB Chester Stewart keeps improving steadily week-to-week.  Heading into the year, the expectations from the quarterback position weren’t high.  Stewart had another solid outing Saturday.  He had only 159 passing yards, but he’s not turning the ball over as Vaughn Charlton did last year.  He didn’t complete any of his deep passes, but if Pierce and Brown continue to run well, Stewart should see some open receivers on play-action opportunities.

(Chester Stewart)

No, Stewart isn’t the best quarterback in the MAC.  Heck, he’s probably not even in the top three.  Think of it this way.  The 2000 Baltimore Ravens won a Super Bowl with a great defense and solid running game.  All they asked from Trent Dilfer, their quarterback, was to not turn the ball over.

For the 1st three quarters, the defense didn’t look great.  RB Jordan Todman ran all over the field for 195 yards.  The Huskies’ offense totaled 390 yards in the game, but had just 37 yards in the 4th.  The Owl defense went out and won the game in the final stanza. Temple held UConn’s running game to just 5 yards on 8 carries.  You have to give a lot of the credit to the defensive coaching staff.  The Owls’ defense was trying the rip the ball out on any gang tackles.  They reaped the benefit when Robinson took the fumble to the house.

All in all, this is a huge win for the football program.  Now it’s off to Happy Valley to play Penn State to truly test how far this program has come.  The Nittany Lions lead the series history 35-3-1.

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