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Temple Rides the Green Wave to a Dominant Victory at Home

The Owls tied a dominant defensive performance with efficient offense to roll against Tulane Saturday afternoon at the Linc.

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Temple Owls picked up their second AAC win of the season Saturday afternoon against the Tulane Green Wave 49-10.

Temple struggled to get going in the first half as two fumbles led to 10 Tulane points. However, the Owls offense shed their recent first half stagnancy, as QB P.J. Walker connected with both Robby Anderson and Jahad Thomas. Thomas added another score on the ground as the Owls took a 21-10 advantage into the half.

It was all Temple second half, as Ryquell Armstead found the end zone twice and Sean Chandler picked off Tulane QB Tanner Lee for a pick six. The Owls, fueled by a dominant second half on both sides of the ball, won in convincing fashion.

It was a coming out party for Armstead, as the freshman recovered from a fumble on the opening possession to spell Thomas and score two TDs on the ground. Matt Rhule gave Armstead a vote of confidence and now has a serviceable option to go to outside of Thomas on the depth chart at running back.

Jahad, despite not accumulating 100 yards for the fourth time in five games, accumulated 54 yards on 14 carries and was a weapon in the passing game for Walker and the Owls. He was ever-shifty, breaking ankles of the Tulane defenders and using pure speed to find holes and make plays.

Also turning on the switch was the Owls defense, who held Tulane scoreless in the second half as the Owls offense correlated with their defense efficiency. Both defensive tackle Matt Ioaniddis and defensive end Nate D. Smith were in the Tulane backfield all game pressuring Tanner Lee and collapsing the pocket. Locking down in the second half after Lee connected with Teddy Veal on a 7-yard TD hookup in the second quarter, both had 1.5 sacks on the sophomore.

Lee went 16-for-29 through the air for 95 yards and a touchdown, but was harassed immensely and ended up throwing the clinching pick six. The Green Wave also couldn't muster significant yards on the ground, as the team finished with an eight yard performance. The Owls only gave up 110 yards on the game.

Along with a balanced rushing attack, Walker played his most efficient game for the Owls, going 11-for-15 with 183 passing yards and two TDs. When the game became out of reach at 42-10, Rhule sent in backup Frank Nutile, who connected with backup running back David Hood for his first touchdown pass of his career.

Robby Anderson led the Owls with 73 receiving yards on just four receptions and has developed into a primary target for Walker. There were mishaps on special teams, as a muffed kickoff and a botched punt return was a blemish in an otherwise flawless performance for the Owls.

Temple (5-0, 2-0) plays once again at Lincoln Financial Field next Saturday to take on the UCF Knights (0-5, 0-1).