Football: UConn stumped by Temple in regular season finale

Connecticut head coach Bob Diaco reacts during a review of a possible Temple touchdown in the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

The UConn offense simply could not solve Temple’s defense on Saturday night. It was a completely different team than last week’s win over then-ranked No. 13 Houston.

The Huskies gained just 138 yards of offense (a season low) and Temple Owls easily defeated UConn 27-3 in front of 28,236 at Lincoln Financial Field.

Quarterback Bryant Shirreffs did not play on Saturday against Temple. Shirreffs suffered a head injury in last week’s win over Houston. Tim Boyle started for the Huskies, but head coach Bob Diaco tried many different formations Saturday.

Boyle and Garrett Anderson both saw action behind center. Boyle was 12 of 20 for 121 yards and an interception. Anderson was 1 of 1 for eight yards.

On the second play of the game, wide receiver Noel Thomas lined up in the wildcat position, taking the snap and running for seven yards.

Temple (10-2, 7-1 the American) scored their first touchdown of the game on a nine-yard touchdown run from running back Jahad Thomas. The Owls put together a four-play, 49-yard drive to open the scoring.

The Owls were dominating the line of scrimmage pretty much all game, but especially in the first quarter. Running back Arkeel Newsome struggled to even get passed the line of scrimmage. Quite frankly they didn’t have much more success through the air.

UConn (6-6, 4-4 the American) rushed for just nine yards on 26 carries and passed for 129.

In the first half, UConn had 61 yards of offense to Temple’s 132.

The Owls would lead the Huskies 10-0 at halftime. And the way the game was going it was already pretty much over.

Temple added a field goal with 6:21 left in the third quarter to make it 13-0.

Romond Deloatch caught a 6-yard pass from quarterback P.J. Walker to make it 20-0 with 41 seconds left in the third quarter. It was a nine-play, 63-yard drive.

Thomas scored his second touchdown of the day on a 60-yard run to make it 26-0 with 8:40 left in the game. And that was the icing on the cake for Temple on their senior day.

Thomas would finish with 119 yards on 20 carries. Walker was 19 of 29 for 160 yards and a touchdown.

Bobby Puyol would make a 45-yard field goal to get UConn on the board with 5:51 remaining.

With the win, Temple will play at Houston for the inaugural American Athletic Conference championship game on Saturday at noon.


Matt Zampini is sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at matthew.zampini@uconn.edu. He tweets @Matt_Zamp.