Cincinnati was able to outlast Temple in a sluggish 14-6 ballgame, where neither offense was able to establish traction. The offenses posted nearly identical numbers, with Temple slightly out-gaining Cincinnati 264-256. More importantly, however, Cincinnati needed this win to keep any hope of an American Athletic Conference title alive, and they accomplished that.
Temple, on the other hand, evaded bowl-eligibility for the second week in a row. Now the Owls' bowl hopes rest on an evening in New Orleans with the Green Wave of Tulane. They are a beatable team, but you don't know which one I'm talking about, and that says everything about the state of the Owls' season right now.
Temple opened the scoring this week with an Alex Jones field goal on their first drive. It even looked as though P.J. Walker might be able to establish some rhythm in this game. He actually produced more than Gunner Kiel statistically this week, but Kiel was able to get the ball into the end zone. For Temple, the play where Walker tripped over himself a couple yards shy of the end zone, and the missed field goal following a recovered fumble inside Cincy's 20 yard-line will haunt them.
Cincinnati was able to do all the scoring necessary in the second quarter, where Kiel hit Mekale McKay for a touchdown, and Mike Boone had a 1-yard touchdown run. Temple didn't respond with points until the middle of the third quarter, where they added another Jones field goal.
Cincinnati awaits the outcome of Memphis-UConn this afternoon to see whether or not their conference title hopes are alive. If UConn swings an upset, Cincinnati has a chance to win the conference in a home game versus Houston next weekend.
For Temple, the focus remains bowl eligibility. They started the season 4-1 and bowl eligibility seemed like a foregone conclusion. However, a tough-ish latter half of their schedule has made it an uphill climb. They take on Tulane at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, who will be trying to play the role of spoiler.