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Temple hosts USF as both teams search for first AAC win

Sportsnaut
Oct 29, 2022; Annapolis, Maryland, USA; Temple Owls quarterback E.J. Warner (13) throws an interception in overtime against the Navy Midshipmen at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports

Temple and South Florida are the only teams yet to win a game in American Athletic Conference play this season.

Off to 0-4 starts in league play, Temple and USF are hoping to emerge with the elusive AAC victory when the teams convene Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.

Temple (2-6, 0-4 AAC) has dropped conference games to Memphis, Central Florida, Tulsa and Navy. The Owls absorbed a 70-13 loss to UCF on Oct. 13, took an early 10-point lead in a 27-16 loss at Tulsa and succumbed in overtime during last week’s 27-20 loss to Navy.

Amad Anderson Jr. caught a 20-yard touchdown for the Owls and finished with eight receptions for 114 yards. E.J. Warner, the son of Kurt Warner, completed 24 of 48 passes for 268 yards and was intercepted twice.

Perhaps the most encouraging sign came from the defense’s showing against Navy’s triple-option. The Owls conceded 224 yards from scrimmage — well below Navy’s 370 yards per game entering last week.

“We prepared very well for the triple-option,” Temple linebacker Jordan Magee said. “We just didn’t get the outcome.”

USF (1-7, 0-4) enters Saturday allowing a league-worst 38.1 points per game and a league-worst 488.4 yards per contest. The Bulls are also on a six-game losing streak since getting their only win over Howard on Sept. 10.

Since entering league play, USF has losses to East Carolina, Cincinnati, Tulane and Houston. After allowing three touchdowns in a span of 6:30 in the second half in its 45-31 loss to Tulane, the Bulls allowed 490 yards in last week’s 42-27 loss at Houston.

Katravis Marsh started at quarterback for the first time for the Bulls and completed 24 of 34 passes for a touchdown and 275 yards. He is expected to start again at Temple after starter Gerry Bohannon suffered a season-ending shoulder injury Oct. 15.

“Most improvement in the quarterback position is typically from the first game as a starter to that second game so I expect to see him build off of this performance and continue to improve next week and as we move forward,” USF coach Jeff Scott said.

Temple has won five of eight all-time meetings, though USF recorded a 34-14 home win last season.

–Field Level Media