Tropical Storm Joaquin couldn't keep the Owls from soaring in Charlotte Friday night as Temple secured a 37-3 victory over the 49ers in a rain-soaked battle.
Coming off two games of letting up 393 yards or more through the air, Temple locked down against the newest FBS member. With timely stops and two missed field goals in the first half, the Owls held the 49ers to just three points despite letting up 218 yards. Temple translated three-and-outs early in the second half into short drives and easy points.
After a 10-3 advantage heading into the half for the Owls, Temple added two TDs on a Jahad Thomas 1-yard TD run, after he had 57 yards on the ground in the drive, and a P.J. Walker 11-yard completion to Robbie Anderson in the end zone. A special teams punt block and scoop-score put the game out of reach, as the Owls took a 30-3 lead. Later, Anderson again was on the receiving end of a Walker TD pass in the fourth quarter to conclude the 37-3 victory.
Everything came into full circle for the Owls. Walker was consistent (no picks), Thomas regained that burst (109 yards on the ground), and the defense gave Temple great field position to cement the victory.
The wet conditions tied into Walker only completing 11-of-23 passes for just 116 yards, as plenty of the receivers had trouble securing the ball in the air. One that hauled in the passes coming his way was Thomas. As a running back, Walker found him on drag routes to get the shifty tailback in space, as Thomas had a team-high 48 receiving yards on three catches.
Thomas eclipsed the 100 yard mark for the third time this season as he finished with 20 rushes for 109 yards and a score on the ground. Charlotte tailback Kalif Phillips impressed, as the junior tallied 19 carries for 125 yards on the soaked turf.
Charlotte quarterback Lee McNeill struggled to find his receivers only going 13-of-27 through the air and one pick. Nate L. Smith, who intercepted the junior in the fourth quarter, picked up the block punt and took it in for a rare special teams touchdown in the third quarter. Senior Robbie Anderson also broke out, as the wideout had two TDs in the second half to put the game in Temple's favor.
Temple (4-0, 1-0) goes back to Philly for Homecoming next week against Tulane.