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Temple meets UCF while trying to get back on track

Temple will look to avoid a third consecutive loss when it hosts UCF on Saturday.

Following a thrilling 34-31 victory over Memphis, the Owls (3-4, 1-2 American Athletic Conference) have since been throttled 52-3 at No. 2 Cincinnati and then fell 34-14 on Saturday at South Florida.

Temple struggled in all areas, especially against the run, as the Bulls compiled a program record 421 rushing yards.

Conversely, the Owls managed only 48 rushing yards and 183 passing yards.

The recipe turned into the 20-point loss.

“We only got to run 34 plays,” quarterback D’Wan Mathis said. “They kinda played keep away the whole night and just ran the ball, so it was tough to get into anything.”

The Owls held possession of the football for only 15 minutes. In the end, they’ll need to watch the film and regroup in trying to get back to .500.

“A lot of it was, we weren’t getting off on blocks,” Temple head coach Rod Carey said. “We were playing high at times and certainly threw the kitchen sink at them with everything in our repertoire as far as scheme, but we need to help them more as coaches and we need to play better as players.”

UCF will be searching for its second straight victory.

The Knights (4-3, 2-2) soundly defeated Memphis 24-7 last Friday thanks in large part to a strong defensive effort that included six sacks, three interceptions and three fourth down stops.

UCF didn’t allow a point in the second half.

“That was a real defense, with a capital R,” UCF head coach Gus Malzahn said. “That was an unbelievable job by the defense, harassing that quarterback. That was a thing of beauty we’re going to build on. Offense, good job with explosive plays. And that’s the way to end a game.”

After a couple of frustrating losses in the first half of the season, most notably a seven-point loss to Louisville and a four-point defeat to Navy, the Knights responded against Memphis in a big way.

“The second half of the season we’re 1-0,” Malzahn said. “Very few teams get better the second half of the season, but we showed we will.”

All four of UCF’s wins have come at home. The Knights are 0-3 on the road.

–Field Level Media

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