WRITTEN BY: TOM HANSLIN @tomhanslin
The injury statuses of Temple defensive end Haason Reddick and halfback Ryquell Armstead were up in the air prior to gametime on Saturday afternoon, but the rest of the Owls reminded Tulane that those two players wouldn’t impact productivity.
Behind a tenacious defensive performance, Temple pitched a shutout for the second straight game, while its offense piled on four touchdowns in a 31-0 win over the Green Wave at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans.
It was the fifth consecutive victory for Temple (8-3, 6-1), which is now one win away from returning to the American Athletic Conference Championship game as East Division champions. A win against East Carolina next Saturday or a South Florida loss to Central Florida would clinch the Owls’ berth.
Leading 10-0 at halftime, Temple put the game out of hand with two third quarter touchdowns, as quarterback Phillip Walker connected with receiver Ventell Bryant for a 12-yard score and halfback Jahad Thomas on a 42-yard screen pass.
Freshman halfback Isaiah Wright also earned his first-career touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 26-yard rush to make the score 31-0.
Walker finished the game 18-for-33 with 337 passing yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Thomas, who cumulated 103 total yards, added two scores in a game for the eighth time this season, while Bryant had nine receptions for 168 yards and one touchdown.
Freshman kicker Aaron Boumerhi missed his first collegiate field goal, but drilled a 32-yarder before halftime.
Temple’s defense allowed only 24 passing yards and eight first downs, while Atrel Foster and Sean Chandler both recovered fumbles. Reddick (foot), who played the entire game, broke the AAC record for tackles for a loss with 20. It was also the first time in program history that the Owls have achieved three shutouts in a season.
The Owls tallied over three times more yardage than Tulane, 533-142, and won the time of possession battle, 40:06 to 19:54.
Temple faces East Carolina at Lincoln Financial Field next Saturday, with the game time to be announced.