Written by: Zack Silverstein
Photo by: Durham Herald Sun
The Temple Owls traveled to Durham, North Carolina to take on Duke, and left with a 30-0 defeat.
The game marked the beginning of Stan Drayton’s head coaching career.
Duke opened the game with a 5-play, 75-yard drive, which ended with the Blue Devils jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead.
In the drive, Duke quarterback Riley Leonard found QB/WR Jordan Moore for a 52-yard reception, which put the Blue Devils at the Temple 1-yard line. Two plays later, running back Jaylen Coleman rushed for a 1-yard touchdown.
Temple got the ball with a chance to respond, but Duke’s defense pounced on the Owls and forced a quick 3-and-out. Temple’s defense answered with a 3-and-out of their own, but the Owls offense once again ran just three plays, this time for -1 yards.
After Charlie Ham’s field goal made the score 10-0, Leonard went on an absolute tear. He threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Moore and a 39-yard over the shoulder touchdown pass to WR Sahmir Hagans on back-to-back drives. This put Duke up 24-0 with 7:08 remaining in the first half.
Leonard started the game completing 15 of his first 15 passes. He didn’t have his first incompletion until there were only 13 seconds remaining in the first half. He finished the half completing 15 of 17 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns.
The Blue Devils dominance continued on the defensive side of the ball, holding the Owls to just 35 total yards in the first half.
At halftime, Temple head coach Stan Drayton voiced his concerns with his team’s first half performance.
“It’s too much evaluation and hesitation,” Drayton told sideline reporter Taylor Davis. “I want to see my guys cut it loose. I want to see my guys have fun.”
Temple’s defense responded to Drayton’s comments, surrendering just six points on two field goals the entire second half. The offense, however, continued to struggle, registering just 35 total yards, and scoring zero points.
Duke’s Leonard continued to dominate, finishing the game completing 24 of 30 passes for 328 yards.
Mike Elko, the Blue Devils’ brand new head coach, had high praise for Leonard.
“I thought he did great,” Elko told Davis. “For him to come out here as a first-time starter and do that, he was very accurate with the football. He managed the game really well. He had a hell of a night.”
Temple quarterback D’Wan Mathis struggled mightily, completing 11 of 21 passes for just 83 yards and no touchdowns.
Mathis’ struggles eventually forced him out of the game, when Drayton called upon North Dakota State transfer Quincy Patterson with 9:25 remaining in the game.
Patterson completed three of nine passes for 31 yards and zero touchdowns. Perhaps the most surprising part of the game, other than the score, was Temple’s inability to drive up the field. The closest the Owls got to the endzone was with 0:43 remaining in the game, when they managed to get to the Duke 37 yard-line.
Temple will look to bounce back on Saturday, Sep. 10, when they take on Lafayette at 2:00 pm at Lincoln Financial Field.