Football: Huskies hold on for surprise win at Temple

Connecticut's Tre Bell, right, catches a pass in front of Temple's Linwood Crump, left, in the end zone during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Philadelphia, Pa., Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

The UConn football team broke an eight-game American Athletic Conference losing streak Saturday with a 28-24 win over Temple at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Huskies’ defense, which surrendered a program-record 70 points last weekend in a home loss to Memphis, powered the victory with two forced turnovers, including a pick-six from Tyler Coyle. The defense also stopped the Owls on downs three times, including a failed Hail Mary from Temple quarterback Logan Marchi on the final drive of the game.

After UConn forced a three-and-out on the opening drive of the game, the Huskies’ offense drove 54 yards into Temple territory before a poor decision by Bryant Shirreffs led to an interception by Delvon Randall. Marche capitalized by driving the Owls down the field for a 1-yard touchdown run by David Hood.

The Huskies tied the game with an impressive 15-play, 88-yard touchdown drive on which they converted five times on third down. Quayvon Skanes capped it off with a six-yard touchdown catch.

The UConn defense, which kept Temple in check for most of the first half, made their first big play with six minutes left. Jordan Swann jarred the ball loose from a ball carrier for Marshe Terry to recover and lug it 35 yards to the Owls’ 9-yard line. Shirreffs quickly capitalized with a six-yard touchdown strike to Hergy Mayala, back from injury, to put UCon up 14-7 at the half.

Receiving the ball to open the second half, the Huskies built on their lead with an 11-play, 63-yard touchdown drive that ended in a six-yard touchdown catch for Arkeel Newsome. With a 14-point lead in hand, however, the UConn defense was toasted for 75 yards in six plays for a Temple touchdown to cut the lead to 21-14.

After the Huskies went three-and-out on their ensuing drive, Coyle snatched a lazy throw from Marchi and went 34 yards for a touchdown to go up two touchdowns again.

Temple responded with a 74-yard drive that ended in a failed fourth down conversion, but the UConn offense couldn’t capitalize on the momentum. Beals fumbled on the first play of the next offensive drive to give the Owls a short field, allowing them to cut the lead to 28-21.

Temple inched closer with a 21-yard field goal on their next drive, giving the ball back to UConn with 11:14 left on the clock. After the two teams traded a pair of failed possessions, Shirreffs made a huge play, rushing up the middle for 49 yards to move into field goal range with just a couple of minutes remaining.


Tyler Keating is the sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at tyler.keating@uconn.edu. He tweets @tylerskeating.