Sunday, November 02, 2014

Owls take down ECU, first win over ranked opponent since '98

Philadelphia, PA -- The weather may have been miserable, but it was a glittering day for the Temple Owls.
Kenneth Harper rushed for two touchdowns as the Owls defeated No. 21 East Carolina 20-10 for their first-ever home win over a ranked opponent.

The Pirates outgained the Owls 432-135, but lost five fumbles in a game played in a steady rain and cool temperatures.

"We knew we had to deal with (the weather), but the other team plays in it the same amount," said East Carolina head coach Ruffin McNeill. "I thought it bothered us and it showed by the fumbles."
Praise Martin-Oguike forced two fumbles and blocked a field goal for Temple (5-3, 3-2 AAC), which had been 0-34 against ranked teams at home.

The Owls, who snapped a two-game losing streak, beat a ranked opponent for the third time in program history and first since a 28-24 triumph over then-No. 14 Virginia Tech on Oct. 17, 1998.

"My dad came down on the sidelines. My dad is on the sidelines every game, and 25 seconds left of the game he gave me a thumbs up. I told him 'be quiet.' I wasn't excited until the very end," said Temple head coach Matt Rhule.

Shane Carden finished with 217 yards on 24-of-41 passing for the Pirates (6-2, 3-1), who had won five games in a row.

Trailing the entire game, East Carolina cut its deficit to 20-10 on Marquez Grayson's 2-yard touchdown run with 2:15 remaining, but Temple recovered the onside kick.

The Pirates got the ball back with only 17 seconds to play.

Breon Allen fumbled on consecutive East Carolina drives in the first quarter, leading to 14 points for Temple.
Tavon Young scooped up the first one and scored on a 63-yard return. Harper then capped a five-play, 40-yard sequence with a short TD run after Allen's second giveaway.

Warren Harvey kicked a 39-yard field goal to put the Pirates on the board with 5:20 to play in the second quarter.

East Carolina was back in Temple territory after a three-and-out by the Owls. Martin-Oguike, however, forced his second fumble as Chris Hairston lost the ball near the Owls' 30-yard line shortly before halftime.
Martin-Oguike delivered on special teams, too, blocking Harvey's 41-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter.

Temple then went on a 12-play, 76-yard scoring drive that was aided by two Pirates penalties. P.J. Walker threw incomplete on 3rd-and-5 from the East Carolina 27, but DaShaun Amos was flagged for pass interference. Teammate Josh Hawkins was displeased by the call and wound up receiving an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, placing the ball at the 7-yard line.

After an incompletion on first down, Harper reached the end zone on consecutive carries, the last from two yards out. The Owls botched the snap on the extra-point try, leaving the score 20-3.

Temple quickly got the ball back when Isaiah Jones fumbled on the ensuing kickoff. Austin Jones missed a 50-yard field goal attempt, however, after the Owls mustered only three yards.

The Pirates continued to hurt themselves with penalties and turnovers the rest of the way. A holding call wiped out a fourth-down completion on the next drive. They ended up punting the ball away. East Carolina then fumbled on a lateral pass early in the fourth quarter, and Temple made the recovery at its own 38.

Notes: Temple also beat then-No. 16 Pittsburgh 24-21 in 1987 ... Walker was 7-of-19 for 70 yards ... Hairston had 153 yards on 21 carries ... East Carolina was tagged for 120 yards on 12 penalties ... The Pirates had 30 first downs to the Owls' 10.
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