It was the first career 300-yard passing game for the Owls’ quarterback and by far the best performance we have seen from Temple’s offense this season. The 523 yards of total offense was a season-high, and gives them a 3-3 record (1-2) as they enter the heart of their American Athletic Conference schedule.
For first-year Temple head coach Geoff Collins, it is his first road and conference win with the Owls. The next goal is becoming bowl eligible in his initial season at the helm in North Philadelphia.
Through one quarter of play, it looked as though the Temple offense would be inept once again. Aaron Boumerhi missed a 52-yard field goal that led to the Pirates first field goal. Marchi then threw an interception on the ensuing drive inside ECU’s 10-yard-line, but the Pirates could not capitalize as Jake Verity missed a 50-yard field goal of his own.
ECU entered the second quarter with the 3-0 lead before Temple went on its run of 24 unanswered. Marchi connected with Adonis Jennings for a touchdown to give Temple its first lead of the afternoon at 10-3. The five-yard touchdown grab capped off a eight-play, 91-yard drive.
Pirates quarterback Thomas Sirk threw a costly interception to Delvon Randall on the next drive that led to a David Hood rushing touchdown to make it 17-3. Hood led the Owls on the ground as he finished with 106 yards rushing and the score on 20 carries.
East Carolina went three-and-out on their next drive to set Temple up with solid field position. Marchi hit Randle Jones on a 45-hard reception late in the second quarter to give the Owls first-and-goal. Fullback Rob Ritrovato scored two plays later for his first-career touchdown, and Temple entered the half with a 24-3 lead.
The Pirates best drive came on the opening possession of the second half as Sirk led an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive to put them within two scores. Sirk found Quay Johnson on back-to-back plays, including a 11-yard touchdown. That was all the scoring for the Pirates on the day and they move to 1-5 (1-2) with the loss.
Marchi threw his second touchdown of the game late in the third quarter, a 32-yard pitch and run to Isaiah Wright. Bouhermi added another field goal late to cap the scoring for Temple. Wright led the Owls in receiving with six catches for 91 yards and the score.
Temple running back Ryquell Armstead was a game-time decision with a foot injury and only played a few snaps. He had just four carries for three yards.
The Owls will stay home next week and welcome UConn, another one-less team, to Lincoln Financial Field. ECU will travel to Orlando to take on UCF.