Temple Owls

Temple 24, No. 20 Cincinnati 17 (OT): Owls score homecoming win

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Temple 24, No. 20 Cincinnati 17 (OT): Owls score homecoming win

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After throwing three interceptions, Temple's Anthony Russo came through down the stretch and the Owls handed one of the most surprising teams in the country its first loss.

Russo threw a tying, 20-yard touchdown pass with 49 second left to Brandon Mack, and then a 25-yard TD to Isaiah Wright in overtime as Temple beat No. 20 Cincinnati 24-17 on Saturday.

Russo was 20 for 41 for 237 yards passing, with three touchdown passes and three picks for the Owls (5-3, 4-0 American). He led a seven-play, 75-yard drive in the closing minutes to tie the game with the TD to Mack.

"We just didn't quit," Russo said. "I think that's a big step for our team and something we're going to build on."

Cincinnati (6-1, 2-1) got a first down on its first play of overtime, but an errant snap behind quarterback Desmond Ridder left the Bearcats with second-and-21 and a personal foul pushed them even further back. Ridder was intercepted on third-and-36 by Shaun Bradley to end the game.

Temple receiver Randall Jones caught five passes for 67 yards and scored a touchdown.

"They just took shots," Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell said. "They made some plays down the field and you have to give them some credit."

The Bearcats, coming off a 4-8 season, were off to their best start since 2009.

"You can't get overwhelmed with being 6-0 and forget about the things that got you there," Fickell said. "This is an opportunity for us to quit worrying about the undefeated, the rankings and really kind of go back to work."

Cincinnati's Michael Warren II and Charles McClelland combined for 202 yards on the ground and the Bearcats dominated the middle quarters after falling behind 10-0.

McClelland's 42-yard dash with 6:09 left in the third quarter broke a 10-10 tie and gave the Bearcats their first lead. Warren had 132 yards on 25 carries and scored a 24-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

Ridder was 14 for 33 for 111 yards.

"We went at them and we just kept chipping away and chipping away," Collins said. "The guys did a great job when it mattered."

The Bearcats picked off Russo twice in the final six minutes, but Temple's defense kept holding and giving the offense a chance. Temple got the ball back after a Cincinnati punt with 2:37 to play and Russo took over from there for a tying drive.

"You could sense and feel a little bit of that going down the stretch there," Fickell said. "Defensively, you play so well for so long and something has to give down the stretch."

The takeaway
Cincinnati: After turning the ball over twice in the first half, the Bearcats' defense was dominant before Temple's final drive. Normally a strong dual-threat option, Desmond Ridder struggled with Temple's pressure and ran for only nine yards.

"If you can't protect the quarterback, it's going to be a long day," Fickell said.

Temple: Two short fields set up a 10-0 Owls lead, but the offense really struggled to find its footing in the second and third quarters. Temple's defense forced enough pressure to get the ball back in its offense's hands and keep the game alive.

Offensively we started fast, sputtered in the middle, and then when it counted the came up huge," Collins said. "When it mattered most, the guys on this team stepped up and made plays."

Missing the mark
Cincinnati kicker Cole Smith converted just one of his four field-goal attempts. The four tries were more than the three he'd attempted all season entering Saturday.

One of Smith's misses, though, was a bit peculiar. On a fourth down with 1:46 remaining in the first half, Temple called timeout to stop the clock. There was also a television timeout.

The Bearcats snapped the ball after the timeout and Smith's kick split the uprights, but the officials ruled the ball had not been marked for play out of the television timeout. Moments later, Smith missed wide right.

"There is no explanation for it," Fickell said.

Up next
Cincinnati: at SMU on Saturday

Temple: at UCF on Thursday, November 1.

Temple keeps rolling with OT win over South Florida

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Temple keeps rolling with OT win over South Florida

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Nate Pierre-Louis scored 22 points, Shizz Alston Jr. had 20 points and nine assists and Temple beat South Florida 82-80 in overtime on Saturday despite LaQuincy Rideau's triple-double for the Bulls.

Rideau had 18 points, 10 assists and 10 steals to become the sixth Division I player in the last 20 seasons with a points-assists-steals triple-double. It was the second triple-double of the season in the American Athletic Conference, joining SMU's Jimmy Whitt Jr, and the first-ever at Liacouras Center.

Quinton Rose added 16 points for Temple (13-3, 3-1 American Athletic Conference), which won its eighth straight home game. J.P. Moorman II had 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Alexis Yetna had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Bulls (12-4, 2-2). David Collins added 16 points. The Bulls have had two other players record triple-doubles, with Adrian Hillman getting one against FAU in 1996 and McHugh Mattis versus Winston-Salem State in 2006.

South Florida was just 10 of 25 from the free-throw line, but had 17 steals and made 10 3-pointers.

Temple football introduces Rod Carey as new coach

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Temple football introduces Rod Carey as new coach

Temple University athletic director Patrick Kraft smiled and let out a little laugh when he took the podium to introduce the school's newest head coach, Rod Carey.

"I feel like Bill Murray in `Groundhog Day,' " Kraft said Friday.

It was just 29 days ago that Kraft and the university were welcoming Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz as the replacement for Geoff Collins, who left for Georgia Tech after two years at Temple. But that changed quickly after Hurricanes coach Mark Richt unexpectedly retired on Dec. 30. Some 12 hours later, Diaz had a five-year deal with Miami, and the Temple job was vacant again.

"We got punched a little," Kraft said. "You were like, `Whoa.' And then you get back at it."

Temple started a new search that officially ended Friday with the hiring of Carey, who was at Northern Illinois. Kraft said the parameters of the search didn't necessarily change, but a wider net was cast than the previous search, and being a head coach was a little more important this time around.

"Every search has its own personality," Kraft said. "No matter if it was 17, 18, 20, 30 days before, you have to re-evaluate yourself. You have to look at what's the right person for this time in this program. We took our time to find our coach. We wanted someone who truly understood North Philadelphia and truly understood who we were. Someone who wanted to be here. Someone who saw who we are and who we can be.

"We were looking for a proven winner. Someone who has a track record of winning and winning the right way."

Carey coached in parts of seven seasons at Northern Illinois, leading the Huskies to six bowl games (all losses) and compiling a 52-30 record. He was the 2013 Mid-American Conference coach of the year and won two MAC championships, including a 30-29 win over Buffalo in this year's title game.

In terms of finding someone who "wanted to be here," Carey appears to fit Temple's need.

"This is exactly where I want to be," the new coach said. "I told Dr. Kraft as we were going through this whole thing, I said, `Put whatever buyout you want on it. I don't care.' That's not important to me. What's important to me is I want to be here. I've said no other times. This is the right time and the right place."

Carey, who took over at NIU before the Orange Bowl at the end of the 2012 season, said it wasn't awkward being the second head coach hired in less than a month.

"They always made me feel like I was the guy they wanted," he said. "I've been this guy before. I was the third head coach in three years at NIU. Yes, I was the offensive coordinator for two of those years, but the guys on defense didn't know me."

The 47-year-old Carey started his college coaching career as a graduate assistant at Minnesota in 1998. He said he's in the process of making decisions on the rest of his coaching staff.