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Phooey on Philadelphia: Temple upends Cincinnati, ends the Bearcats’ unbeaten season, 24-17

Cincinnati v Miami Ohio Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Tailored suits, chauffered cars.

Fine hotels and big cigars.

Up for grabs, for a price.

If the red hot Bearcats could beat Geoff Collins’ guys.

But they couldn’t. On an idyllic fall afternoon in Philadelphia, a combination of turnovers, missed field goals, and an opportunistic Temple defense gathered into a storm from which the Bearcats failed to find shelter.

The Bearcats fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter, coughing up a pair of fumbles to the Owls deep in Cincinnati territory.

Cincinnati responded to this adversity late in the first quarter, parlaying a Coby Bryant interception into a four play, 41 yard drive. Michael Warren finished off the scoring drive by rumbling for a 24 yard touchdown, his longest carry in a 135 yard afternoon. The Bearcats added a second quarter field goal to tie the game at 10 at the half.

Early in the third quarter, the Bearcats sledgehammered their way for a nine play, 75 yard drive to take a 17-10 lead. Charles McClelland gallivanted 42 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown, giving Cincinnati its first lead of the afternoon.

Cincinnati intercepted two Anthony Russo passes in the fourth quarter but failed to capitalize on either subsequent possession. To say the least, the Bearcats had a tough game kicking the ball. Cincinnati kicker Cole Smith missed three field goals, two of them in the fourth quarter.

This bit the Bearcats on the bippy.

Temple drove the ball 75 yards up the field to tie the game at 17 with less than a minute remaining. The thrice-intercepted Russo redeemed himself with a 20 yard touchdown pass to Branden Mack. A Will Mobley extra point tied the game at 17.

Onto Overtime.

Onto another Anthony Russo touchdown pass. Onto a gut-wrenching conclusion for Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder, who concluded a less-than-auspicious day (14 for 33, 111 yards) with a game-ending interception.

Our Bearcats are now 6-1. They have a world left to play for: a division title, a conference title, and a New Year’s Day bowl game. Let’s stick by them and give them the support they have earned.