After routing the Bulldogs of Alabama A&M by a final score of 52-10 last weekend, the Bearcats played host to Temple, an in-conference foe. The Owls made their way to the Queen City after a huge win over Big Ten's Penn State Nittany Lions and hoped to walk out of Clifton with a similar result. While Cincinnati had different plans, things don't always go the way you hope for. Temple received their second victory of the year moments ago as they forced numerous turnovers and withstood a late Bearcat comeback attempt to beat UC by 8.
It was a relatively quiet start to the contest and it was Temple that got things going in the middle of the first quarter as they capitalized on a Hosey Williams fumble when kicker Austin Jones buried a 40-yard field goal. On the subsequent possession, Cincinnati kicker Andrew Gantz had an opportunity to tie the game up at 3, but failed to connect on his 53-yard field goal attempt.
In the beginning of the second quarter, Gantz made up for the miss when he was able to send his 27-yard field goal attempt through the uprights to knot the game up at 3, as well as give the Bearcats the momentum, which they took advantage of. After forcing a Temple punt, Cincinnati took the lead 6-3 when Gantz again nailed a field goal, this time from just 22 yards out. However just before halftime, Owls quarterback P.J. Walker found fullback Michael Felton on a play action pass for a one yard touchdown. Despite an impressive defensive performance from the Bearcats in the first half, they went into the locker room down four.
After a mostly uneventful first 30 minutes of play, the two American Athletic programs flipped the script once the third quarter rolled around. On the opening kickoff of the second half, Temple struck quickly as Jahad Thomas made the UC special teams unit pay when he reached the endzone on a 100-yard return to put the Owls up by 11. It only took the red and black two plays to trim that deficit as Gunner Kiel hit MeKale McKay in stride which wound up as 89-yard catch and run for six points (failed 2PT conversion). 41 seconds later, it was Thomas yet again causing trouble for the Bearcats as he took a handoff 56 yards for another score to increase the lead to 24-12. Towards the winding moments of the third quarter, Gunner Kiel tossed two interceptions and both were turned into points for Temple.
The Owls entered the 4th period up by a score of 34-12. A Tion Green six-yard run from the Wildcat formation and a Shaq Washington touchdown reception inched the Bearcats closer but it wasn't enough on this day. Cincinnati will look to bounce back next week as they head to Oxford to take on the Miami (OH) RedHawks for the Victory Bell.