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Temple Football Off to Hot Start With Two Big Wins

Temple improves to 2-0.

Jahad Thomas (5) and Brandon Shippen (17) (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Jahad Thomas (5) and Brandon Shippen (17) (AP Photo/Gary Landers)


Temple football has done it again. The Owls proved that last week’s victory over Penn State was no fluke with another big win over Cincinnati on Saturday.

Last weekend, Temple defeated the Nittany Lions for the first time since 1941, in a sound 27-10 victory. Fast forward one week later, and the Owls followed up with a 34-26 win over the Bearcats, an AAC favorite. The Owls only trailed once in the game, during the second quarter, by a three-point deficit. However, with 32 seconds left in the first half, senior fullback Michael Felton scored a touchdown off a pass from junior quarterback P.J. Walker to take the lead. With the completed extra point by sophomore kicker, Austin Jones, the Owls went up by four going into halftime.

The Owls led by as many as 22, at one point in the fourth quarter.

It was not only the two victories to start the season off that were impressive.  There also were some exciting plays made by some special players for the Owls. Junior running back Jahad Thomas has had a remarkable week and a half. Last week, he had a career high 29 carries for 135 yards and two touchdowns to earn the honor of being named the Corvias FBS Offensive Player of the Week.

Against Cincinnati, he rushed for a career-high 193 yards. After the first two games, he only trails Old Dominion’s Ray Lawry and Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, as the third player in the FBS with 328 rushing yards. He has also had 168 kick-return yards including an exhilarating 100-yard touchdown off the second half kickoff to extend the Owls lead to 11 at that point.

Senior linebacker Tyler Matakevich made two game changing interceptions including one in the end zone in the final seconds of the game to secure the victory. Quarterback P.J. Walker completed 13 of his 20 attempted passes, including two touchdowns and no interceptions.

After a very promising start to the 2015 season, with a 2-0 record over two-powerhouse programs, the Owls look to continue their winning streak Saturday against UMass (at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro), with a 3:00pm kickoff. They will be tested throughout the season with tough opponents in Tulane, UConn, and a Halloween thriller against Notre Dame.

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Renee is a Staff Writer at with a focus on Temple Men's Basketball and other area sports content.
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