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Temple rally falls short against Wake Forest in Military Bowl

Phillip Walker, No. 8 (Credit: AP / GAIL BURTON)

Phillip Walker, No. 8 (Credit: AP / GAIL BURTON)

No. 24 Temple took on Wake Forest in the Military Bowl in Annapolis, Maryland on Tuesday. It was a tale of two halves which eventually ended with the Owls falling short, 34-26.

Temple got on the scoreboard first. After the Owls defense intercepted a pass from Wake Forest starting quarterback John Wolford, the offense immediately capitalized. Owls QB Phillip Walker connected on a 48-yard touchdown to Adonis Jennings to give Temple a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.

The Demon Deacons answered when Wolford connected with Cam Serigne for a 41-yard touchdown pass to even the game.

Approximately three minutes later, the Demon Deacons took the lead when Tabari Hines took a screen pass 20 yards for the score. After recovering a muffed Temple punt, Cade Carney quickly scored on an 11-yard touchdown run to give Wake a 21-7 lead.

The Wake offense was uncharacteristically up-tempo in the first half, while the defense held Temple in-check and off the scoreboard for most of the first half. At halftime, Wake Forest held a commanding 31-10 lead.

The game seemed to be well in hand for Wake Forest entering the second half, until an injury forced the Deacons to change things up. Wolford would be forced to leave the game after suffering a neck strain.

From then on, Temple was able to take advantage of a Wake Forest offense that become stagnant and conservative.

The Owls would score a touchdown on a 58-yard pass from Walker to Jennings, cutting the lead to 31-17. Temple continued to hit the gas, but unfortunately were limited to field goals from then on. They got as close as 31-26.

Mike Weaver would cap the scoring with a 30-yard field goal for Wake, to extend the Demon Deacons lead to 34-26, and that would prove to be the final score.

Walker would end the game with a big stat sheet (28/49, 396 yards and two touchdowns) but the Owls simply ran out of time to complete the rally. Jennings led Temple with 154 yards on seven catches including the two scores. Ventell Bryant caught 11 passes for 151 yards.

Wake Forest linebacker, Thomas Brown, who finished with seven tackles, one sack, 2.5 tackles for loss, and a pass defended, was named the game’s MVP.

Temple was coached by interim head coach Ed Foley because Matt Rhule left for the head job at Baylor after the regular season. Newly hired head coach, Geoff Collins, was on the field with the team during pre-game, but did not coach the game.


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