UCF handed Temple their worst loss of the season on Saturday night

You could hear a pin drop in the Temple football locker room after a blowout loss to UCF.

“It’s crickets right now, we expected a lot more of ourselves,” linebacker Chapelle Russell said after the game.

The Owls suffered their second bad loss in a row, this one coming at the hands of the UCF Knights in a 63-21 blowout at Lincoln Financial Field.

Temple quarterback Anthony Russo was the first to say after the game it’s time for a players only meeting and that something needs to change.

“We have to sit down as a team and figure out why when things go bad they continue to just get worse and worse,” he said. 

“We are too good of a team to be losing like this,” Russo added.

Russo finished the night with 199 yards and two touchdowns but was sacked four times and threw two interceptions.

UCF’s offense could do no wrong against Temple. The Knights gained 614 yards on offense, scoring four touchdowns through the air and five on the ground.

Temple’s offense was able to punch in three touchdowns in the first half — a 32-yard pass to Randle Jones in his first game back from injury, a 75-yard bomb to Branden Mack, and a 1-yard push by Jager Gardner at the end of the first half.

The Owls ultimately struggled on offense, defense, and special teams — especially in the second half. It was a one score game at halftime but the Knights outscored the Owls 35-0 in the final 30 minutes. 

“We absolutely had some mental errors and some missed assignments,” said Temple head coach Rod Carey. “When you miss assignments against a team that’s that explosive, you get this.”

While Carey doesn’t want to use injuries as an excuse, the Owls were put at a major disadvantage with multiple starters missing Saturday’s game.

Starting center Matt Hennessey was ruled out just before the game with a concussion, while defensive tackle Ifeanyi Miajeh and safety Benny Walls did not play. Defensive end Quincy Roche was also banged up, but he played on a snap count. 

Temple considers themselves lucky with the bye week following the blowout loss. The Owls will have 12 days of rest before their next matchup at USF on Nov. 7 in Tampa, Florida. 

Carey and his players are looking forward to using those 12 days to right their wrongs.

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