PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was no surprise that Temple came out on top against UMass Saturday afternoon. The surprise, however, was how UMass stayed in the game.
Here are Temple’s studs and duds from their 25-23 win over UMass.
3. Praise Martin-Oguike
After giving up a touchdown 16 yard touchdown to go down 23-20 Temple was an extra point away from being down a touchdown themselves, with under two minutes to play. Instead, after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, UMass lined up for a 35 yard extra point. Praise Martin-Oguike managed to bully his way through the line, get one of his big paws up and block the kick, keeping the game within a field goals reach.
2. Stephaun Marshall and Will Hayes
After Martin-Oguike’s block there was a brief pause. No one knew what was going on, but Stephaun Marshall sprung into action and scooped up the loose ball. The red shirt junior linebacker began the return. Quickly Marshall realized he was going to be tackled and lateraled the ball to a speedier option, Will Hayes. The senior defensive back finished off the 54 yard return giving Temple 2 points from the point after try. If UMass was able to convert the PAT Temple would’ve been down a touchdown, instead because of the heads up plays by Martin-Oguike, Marshall and Hayes.
1. Austin Jones
The sophomore Kicker has been lights out this season. Coming into the game he was 4-for-4, but none of the kicks would be as important as the one in the waning moments of this game. Following the blocked PAT, Temple quickly marched down field and on a 10 play drive in only a minute and four seconds. Jones was set up on the left hash mark for a 32 yarder with 12 seconds on the game clock. Like he has done all season, Jones drilled the kick smack dab in the middle of the uprights. Jones went 3 of 3 on the day and ultimately kicked the Owls in to a 3-0 record.
3. 1st Quarter
Once again the Owls started extremely sluggish in the first quarter (sounds a lot like another football team in Philly). In Week 1 against Penn State the Owls trailed 10-0 at the end of the quarter before going on to upset their instate rival. In Cincinnati, despite not trailing after the end of one quarter, the Owls struggled to get the ball moving only scoring three points in the first quarter. And on Saturday—if it wasn’t for a 40 yard Austin Jones field goal—they may have gone scoreless again. For a team that averages nearly 29 points per game, it is surprising they do in in spite of their slow starts.
2. Jahad Thomas
Thomas did not have a terrible game by any means, but when you have set the bar as high as he has this season this game could be viewed as a dud. Thomas came into the game as the nations 6th leading rusher, fresh off a career game against Cincinnati where he rushed for 193 yards and a touchdown averaging 7.4 yards per carry, and lets not forget about his 100 yard kickoff return to start the second half. Against UMass Thomas carried the ball 25 times for only 66 yards and a TD. Considering UMass gave up nearly 400 yards on the ground to Colorado the week prior it was a bit of a let down for Thomas to not get things going the way he had. Despite what I may say about him having a dud game, Thomas is still ranked 10th in the nation in rushing and is getting nearly 5 yards every time he carries the rock.
Any football coach will tell you penalties are a killer. Temple had 7 for 70 yards. One of the biggest of the game came late in the 3rd quarter. Avery Williams’ illegal hands to the face penalty negated a Temple strip sack returned for a touchdown. It looked like Temple had finally taken control of the game, a game that was too close for comfort against an inferior opponent like UMass.
Temple (3-0) is off this week with a bye. Next on the schedule will be a Friday night game under the lights in Charlotte where the 2-1 49ers will be waiting.
Andrew McDevitt works with the 94WIP Morning Show and is a graduate of Temple University.