Saturday, October 18, 2014

Temple falters at Houston

Houston, TX -- Greg Ward Jr. threw for 268 yards and a pair of touchdowns and only missed on four of his pass attempts in the game as his Houston Cougars outpaced the Temple Owls, 31-10, in an American Athletic Conference clash on Friday night.

Ward Jr. completed an astounding 29-of-33 passing in the game, while Ryan Jackson carried the ball 18 times for a team-high 75 yards and caught a touchdown pass for Houston (4-3, 2-1 AAC), which has won two games in a row.

P.J. Walker completed 12-of-29 passing for 259 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions for Temple (4-2, 2-1). Walker was also tied for the team lead in rushing with 49 yards on eight carries. The loss for the Owls ended a three- game winning streak.

Kyle Bullard got things going in the first quarter when he hit a 34-yard field goal for Houston to put the Cougars up 3-0 with 7:19 left to play in the first frame. The chief reason for the three and not seven, was a Temple defensive stop highlighted by Avery Williamson's devastating hit on Ward as he rushed towards the goal line. The impact from the collision sent Ward's helmet flying off and five yards behind the play. 

Ward took a little extra time to return to the huddle, but seemed to suffer little for the remainder of the contest.

Just eight seconds later, Trevon Stewart intercepted a Walker pass and returned it 29 yards for a defensive touchdown. The score gave Houston a 10-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Temple finally got on the board as time expired in the first quarter. Austin Jones converted a 22-yard field goal attempt to slice the Houston lead to 10-3.

Just under four minutes into the second quarter, the Cougars extended their lead on a four-yard touchdown run by Kenneth Farrow. With 11:03 to play in the first half, Houston led by a 17-3 margin.
With 34 seconds to play in the half, Walker connected on a scoring pass to Keith Kirkwood for 39 yards to cut the Houston lead to 17-10 as the teams headed into the locker rooms.

Houston scored the next two touchdowns late in the third quarter. Deontay Greenberry hauled in a seven-yard scoring strike from Ward Jr. with 1:42 left in the frame, and then Jackson pulled in a 30-yard score from Ward Jr. with 51 seconds to play to increase the Cougars' lead to 31-10. That's how the scoring would end.

Houston dominated offensively with 23 first downs to Temple's 11. The Cougars gained 171 yards on the ground, while the Owls were limited to just 98 rushing yards. And the Houston defense stepped up in a big way, limiting Temple to a mere 2-of-11 on third-down conversion attempts in the win. 

Temple travels to Central Florida next Saturday. 
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