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Man Down: Houston beats Temple without Ed Oliver, 20-13

A surprise quarterback benching and an injury to their star player led to a closer than expected win.

Houston v Temple Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

What should have been an easy win turned into an uncomfortable battle in the second half, and a multitude of issues contributed to it. Ed Oliver was injured, the quarterback solution didn’t work, and there were multiple drops on both sides of the ball.

Oliver was injured early in the game, and did not return to action. His presence was noticeable and Houston better hope he can go next week. The sophomore defensive tackle took a chop block to the knee and was in a jumpsuit for the entire second half. Injuries to linebackers Matthew Adams and Emeke Egbule kept them off of the field for brief periods of time. While the injuries were a concern, it gave the Cougars opportunities to give backups some reps.

After last week, a quarterback battle was expected going forward, but no battle appeared in Philadelphia. Kyle Postma got the start and all of the reps against Temple, and Kyle Allen never saw the field. While Allen has been inconsistent, it cretainly didn’t warrant a benching. If anything, Allen should have been used in addition to Postma, but that never happened. Postma certainly earned the start after last week, but I think you rattle Allen’s confidence even more going forward. Postma provided more of a running threat at quarterback (81 yards rushing), but drives seemed to stall and only produced seven points in the second half.

Drops weren’t a significant problem, but there were some key drops that affected both the offense and defense. Offensively, learning to work with a new quarterback might have contributed to those drops, but again, nothing too bad. Safety Garrett Davis had a couple dropped interceptions that were literally right in his hands which could have ended Temple drives early. Steven Dunbar and Linell Bonner had solid games once again, and continue to give their quarterback valuable weapons downfield.

Temple hung around long enough makes Houston fans uncomfortable, but couldn’t quite put together enough drives to win. Logan Marchi struggled again, throwing three interceptions, but he appears to be the solution going forward. Marchi continues to show flashes of his potential, but can’t quite figure out the consistency part of his game. His rushing game finally gave him some support, accumulating 142 yards on the ground, and gave the offense a balanced attack.

The Owls now fall to 2-3, but are proving that they can still be a tough out. Their next two games are against ECU and UConn which could get them some much needed momentum.