Philly Sports Live

No.22 Temple Still undefeated after comeback win over East Carolina

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Everyone on the campus of Temple University is looking forward to the big game next week when Temple hosts Notre Dame from a Sold Out Lincoln Financial Field in primetime. Before Temple gets to that game, they have to get past East Carolina in a big game in the American Athletic Conference which took place on Thursday Night in front of a national TV audience at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Temple entered this game with a 6-0 record and ranked number 22 in the nation as this was the first time since 1979 that Temple was ranked in the top 25 as they came off a comeback win over UCF last week while East Carolina comes into game with a (4-3, 2-1 in American Athletic) and off a win over Tulsa.

Temple won the toss and deferred to 2nd half, East Carolina would start the game with the ball. East Carolina would go 3 and out to start the game, on Temple first drive of the game, they would drive down and kick a 28 yard field goal by Austin Jones for the early 3-0 lead. Both teams would move the ball and the defense would come up some big stops to chance field position. Temple would take a 3-0 lead at the end of first quarter. East Carolina would get on the board with a 14 play 80 drive which saw RB Chris Hairston run it in from 1 yard out to give the Pirates a 7-3 lead. The Owls would answer back with a 12 play 75 yard drive capped off with a Jahad Thomas 2 yard run to give the Owls an 10-7 lead. East Carolina would not back down as they would answer the Temple touchdown with a score of their own to close out the first half as Quay Johnson catches a 7 yard touchdown to finish off a 13 play 75 yard drive for  a 14-10 lead. East Carolina would take a 14-10 Lead into halftime.

The defense from Temple & East Carolina would take over the third quarter as both teams moved the ball but could not get anything on the board. The games first turnover happened in the 3rd quarter as East Carolina QB Blake Kemp would have his pass picked off  by Tyler Matakevich and returned it 26 yards down to East Carolina 27 yard line. Penalties were the story as both teams would make some bad and costly penalties. Temple could not take advantage as they would get backed up and Kicker Austin Jones would miss a 52 yard field goal and East Carolina would remain with the 14-10 lead. East Carolina would take a 14-10 lead into the 4th quarter and that is where everything came undone as Temple would turn up the pressure on East Carolina. Temple Kicker Austin Jones would miss a 37 yard field goal; those 2 missed field goals that Temple left 6 points out there. Temple would block the East Carolina punt and make them pay as PJ Walker finds WR Robby Anderson from 23 yards out for a 17-14 lead. Temple would block the Pirates punt back to back tries when they try to punt it away and Temple RB Jahad Thomas would ice the game by scoring his 2nd touchdown of the game, this time from 14 yards out to make it 24-14. East Carolina would have a final chance and they would get it done as Temple would hold on for a 24-14 win and with the win, Temple would go 7-0 for the first time in school history while East Carolina falls to 4-4 on the season. Temple also snapped East Carolina s streak of 26-straight games that the Pirates had won when leading at halftime.

Temple now can focus preparing for the biggest game in the school history as they take on Notre Dame next week on Halloween night inside a sold out Lincoln Financial Field on ABC Saturday Night Football.

Final Stats:
Temple Owls
QB PJ Walker: 19/35 for 250 yards with 1 pass touchdown
RB Jahad Thomas: 20 rush attempts for 75 yards, 2 rush touchdowns, 3 catches for 23 yards
WR Robby Anderson: 8 catches for 126 yards and 1 touchdown

East Carolina Pirates:
QB Blake Kemp: 31-48 for 272 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 INT
RB Chris Hariston: 8 rush attempts for 65 yards and 1 rush touchdown
WR Isaiah Jones: 10 catches for 106 yards