Temple Football one step closer to bowl eligibility with road win over Cincinnati

WRITTEN BY: TOM HANSLIN  @tomhanslin

The message has been quite simple for Temple Football: win at least two of its final three games, obtain bowl eligibility for a fourth straight season, and hope for some postseason football.

On a chilly Friday night, the Owls took a much-needed step forward, defeating conference rival Cincinnati, 35-24, at Nippert Stadium in Ohio. With the win, Temple improved to 5-5 (3-3) on the year, and with a victory against either No. 14 Central Florida at home next weekend or Tulsa on the road during the following week, there’s a fair chance of the Owls going bowling.

Temple dominated the first 30 minutes, as a pair of Aaron Boumerhi field goals and a one-yard rushing touchdown from halfback David Hood made the score 13-0 at halftime. After the Bearcats got on the board early in the third quarter on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Hayden Moore to Thomas Geddis, Temple’s offense quickly matched, as quarterback Frank Nutile connected with receiver Keith Kirkwood on a 34-yard touchdown pass, which made the score 20-7 midway through the third.

In the following two and a half minutes, both teams scored again. After Bearcats halfback Mike Boone crossed the goal line for a 21-yard score, Temple’s Isaiah Wright returned a kickoff for a 98-yard touchdown, and after a successful two-point conversion attempt, the Owls were ahead, 28-14.

In the fourth quarter, Cincinnati managed to tack on an additional 10 points, but a three-yard rushing score from Nutile with 11 minutes remaining put the game out of reach. The Owls’ redshirt junior quarterback completed 19-of-30 passes for 224 yards, a touchdown, and an interception, while Hood finished the night with 108 yards rushing on 23 attempts.

Temple will now have a full week to prepare for Central Florida (8-0, 5-0) which is scheduled for a 12 p.m. kickoff at Lincoln Financial Field on Nov. 18.

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at thanslin@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.