By Matt Leon

By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Temple Owls headed into a bye week with some bounce in their step after a 36-10 win over UConn on Saturday in their American Athletic Conference opener. The Owls don’t return to the field now until October 11th when they host Tulsa on Homecoming at the Linc.

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The Owls only lead the Huskies 7-3 at the break on Saturday, but then they scored 23 points in the 3rd quarter and coasted to the win from there.

“I think our team just kind of regrouped at halftime,” Temple head coach Matt Rhule tells KYW Newsradio. “Our defense had played really well in the first half, had kept us in it. And I think our kids just kind of settled down and went out there in the second half relaxed and played. I think watching the Eagles every week has really helped us, we’ve try and sell that to them, that we get better as the game goes on and that’s what they did against UConn.”

Temple’s defense has been outstanding this season. In four games, they have allowed just 41 points (not counting the only TD Vanderbilt scored, because it came on a botched punt snap). Not only did they hold UConn to ten points, but they scored 16 of their own – returning a fumble and an interception for touchdowns and adding a safety. The Owls have now scored 7 touchdowns this season on defense/special teams.

“I’m really proud of them,” Rhule says. “I don’t think any other team in college football, or maybe even in the NFL, has scored more points on defense than they’ve given up. So it’s a heck of an accomplishment for them. But we have some challenges down the road. We have some really, really high powered offenses coming in and some great quarterbacks. And that’s the one thing we haven’t seen yet, we haven’t seen sort of one of those spread teams. But I think they’re working really hard, we’re playing a lot of kids and they’re growing up in front of our eyes which is a good thing. It’s progress.”

The Owls have only played the four games this season, but this is already their second bye week.

“I just take it how it is,” Rhule says. “It’s a good opportunity for our kids to really focus on their academics this week, get their bodies taken care of. We’ve got a lot of kids that are banged up. So we’re going to try and get healthy, develop some of the young kids, really focus on school and then get ourselves refocused on Monday for a good Tulsa team coming in here and a great Homecoming event.”

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The start time for that Temple/Tulsa game has been announced. It will kick-off at noon on October 11th.



You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.


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