Sep 9, 2023; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Temple Owls quarterback E.J. Warner (3) throws the ball during the first half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Temple QB E.J. Warner to test transfer portal

Temple quarterback E.J. Warner is entering the transfer portal.

The son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner set single-season records in passing touchdowns (23) and 300-yard games (four) in 2023. He has two years of eligibility remaining.

“I am forever grateful to Temple University, Coach (Stan) Drayton, and Coach (Danny) Langsdorf for the opportunity they gave me to pursue my dream of playing college football,” Warner wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “Knowing the belief they had in me and wanting to help them bring back the winning ways of Temple football is what makes this so tough.”

Warner completed 57.5 percent of his passes for 3,076 yards with 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions this season. He has thrown for 6,104 yards with 41 TDs and 24 picks over the last two years.

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA;  Temple Owls safety Alex Odom (8) can   t stop Miami Hurricanes running back Henry Parrish Jr. (21) from scoring a touchdown in the second half against the Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lewis-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Van Dyke, No. 20 Miami blow past Temple

Tyler Van Dyke tossed three touchdown passes and added the longest run of his college career, a 37-yarder, as the 20th-ranked Miami Hurricanes defeated the Temple Owls 41-7 on a rainy and windy Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.

Henry Parrish Jr. rushed for 139 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 8.7 yards on his 16 carries, as Miami (4-0) defeated Temple (2-2) for the 14th straight time.

The Hurricanes outrushed the Owls 323 yards to 11.

Xavier Restrepo caught two TD passes and fellow Hurricanes wide receiver Colbie Young made the most sensational play of the game, fully stretching his 6-foot-5 frame to catch the ball at the 3-yard-line and then stretching again to reach the end zone to complete a 28-yard score.

Te’Cory Couch intercepted two passes and Jahfari Harvey recovered a fumble for Miami.

The Hurricanes, who played their first road game of the season, are 4-0 for the first time since 2017.

Temple, which hadn’t played Miami since 2005, was led by quarterback E.J. Warner, who completed 22 of 39 passes for 240 yards and one touchdown. However, Warner, the son of former NFL star Kurt Warner, turned the ball over three times.

Van Dyke did not turn the ball over, completing 17 of 24 tosses for 220 yards.

Miami led 7-0 after one quarter, 24-7 at halftime and 38-7 heading into the fourth.

The Hurricanes, who scored on their first three possessions, made it 7-0 on Van Dyke’s 7-yard lob to Restrepo in the left corner of the end zone late in the first quarter.

Temple reached Miami’s 18 on its second possession, but Warner was pressured and his lob into the end zone was intercepted by Couch.

Miami extended its lead to 14-0 on a drive that featured Van Dyke’s long run. Then, on third-and-4, Van Dyke connected with Young on the sensational 28-yard touchdown.

The Hurricanes made it 17-0 on Andres Borregales’ 26-yard field goal. The highlight of that drive was a perfectly placed 39-yard pass to Jacolby George down the right sideline.

Temple had a clear shot at a touchdown with 6:03 left in the second quarter, but Warner overthrew an open Amad Anderson Jr. in the end zone. Then, after a sack by Leonard Taylor, Temple went for it on fourth down and threw incomplete.

Later in the second quarter, Miami added Parrish’s 13-yard TD run for a 24-0 lead.

Temple finally got on the board with two seconds left in the first half on Warner’s 9-yard TD pass to Reese Clark. Warner completed that throw under heavy pressure.

Miami, though, opened the third quarter with Parrish’s 3-yard TD run. The Hurricanes, who led 31-7 at that point, cruised from there.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2023; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Gavin Wimsatt (2) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Isaiah Washington (14) during the first half against the Northwestern Wildcats at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers looking to continue success against Temple

While Rutgers’ 2022 season was a story of blown leads, missed opportunities and ugly setbacks, the Scarlet Knights’ current campaign got off to a very different start.

Coming off a crisp season-opening win, Rutgers (1-0) will take aim at Temple on Saturday when the Owls (1-0) visit Piscataway, N.J.

The Scarlet Knights lost eight of their final nine games in 2022, including lopsided defeats against Ohio State (49-10), Minnesota (31-0), Michigan (52-17), Penn State (55-10) and Maryland (37-0). They were competitive in several other games, but coach Greg Schiano came into this season emphasizing the importance of playing well for four quarters.

“The ability to (play) 60 minutes of football, that’s what our goal is,” Schiano said after a 24-7 triumph over Northwestern on Sunday. “And if you can do that, whether you win or you lose, then you know did your best. … And for the most part, I thought we did that today. I thought there was a little bit of maturity about our team today.”

Schiano was particularly pleased with the play of Gavin Wimsatt, who racked up 163 passing yards and 33 rushing yards, with one touchdown through the air and another on the ground.

“He played a really clean game,” Schiano said. “I think he played relaxed and confident, because of his preparation.”

Temple edged Akron in its opener, squeaking out a 24-21 win thanks to E.J. Warner’s fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Edward Saydee. Warner threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns — both to Saydee, who finished with five catches for 37 yards.

“They had way more in the tank than they were giving,” coach Stan Drayton said of his team’s first-half performance, as the Owls trailed 21-10 at the break before rallying for the win. “We can’t pick and choose when we give the maximum effort that it takes to win a football game.”

Rutgers leads the all-time series 22-15, including six wins in a row. The Owls have not defeated the Scarlet Knights since 2002.

–Field Level Media

Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell and quarterback Ben Bryant (6) take the field for the first quarter of the NCAA American Athletic Conference game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the East Carolina Pirates at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022.

East Carolina Pirates At Cincinnati Bearcats Football

Cincinnati meets Temple, looks for another November win

When the calendar flips to November, Cincinnati tends to play its best football.

Especially under coach Luke Fickell.

The Bearcats (8-2, 5-1 American Athletic Conference) improved to 18-4 in November under Fickell with a 27-25 win over East Carolina last Saturday.

Cincinnati, which re-entered The Associated Press’ Top 25 poll at No. 22, will look to remain in strong contention to reach the AAC championship game when it faces Temple (3-7, 1-5) on Saturday in Philadelphia.

“We’ve trained and we’ve done all there is to get to November,” Fickell said. “November really matters.”

After a frustrating 25-21 loss to UCF on Oct. 29, the Bearcats have beaten Navy and East Carolina to remain in the race for the AAC title. Cincinnati is tied with UCF and Tulane for first place in the conference.

“We have always wanted to play for championships,” Fickell said.

It was far from a perfect victory over the Pirates on Friday, but Cincinnati did enough to earn its 32nd straight home win.

Quarterback Ben Bryant was 14 of 30 for 244 yards and two touchdowns, and wide receiver Tyler Scott had seven catches for 140 yards and one score.

Teammate Jadon Thompson also contributed a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

“Somehow, someway, maturity steps up,” Fickell said. “We make plays and we finish the ballgame.”

The task now is to slow arguably the hottest quarterback in the conference in Owls freshman E.J. Warner.

Temple received a record-setting performance from Warner but couldn’t overcome Houston’s powerful offense in a 43-36 loss last weekend.

Warner set a program record with 486 passing yards to go with three touchdown passes. He also set the record for passes completed (42).

Warner became the sixth quarterback in program history to throw for at least 2,000 yards in a season.

“The composure, the confidence level he has is very special,” Temple coach Stan Drayton said. “The way he’s spreading the ball around shows the knowledge he has for the whole system. I’m excited for his ceiling of growth and improvement … He’s exciting to be around.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 22, 2022; Annapolis, Maryland, USA;  Houston Cougars quarterback Clayton Tune (3) throws a sNavy Midshipmen linebacker Jianni Woodson-Brooks (52) drops in overage at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Houston faces Temple with all signs pointing to a shootout

It would be easy to criticize Houston’s defense following last week’s 77-63 loss to SMU.

But Cougars coach Dana Holgorsen took the opposite approach.

“The key is moving forward,” Holgorsen said. “They played well. That’s the greatest single quarterback performance I’ve seen in a long time.”

As the Cougars (5-4, 3-2 AAC) prepare to host Temple (3-6, 1-4) on Saturday in an American Athletic Conference game, most questions in Holgorsen’s weekly press conference were directed toward the performance of Houston’s defense in the prior game.

SMU scored on its first nine drives and 11 of 12 overall.

Quarterback Tanner Mordecai threw nine touchdown passes for the Mustangs in the highest-scoring regulation game in FBS history.

“I don’t think that’s who we are defensively,” Holgorsen said. “Our guys competed. If I was looking at a defense that loafed and was not playing with effort and not competing, we’d have a real problem. It wasn’t that.”

Houston’s goal now is to quickly erase those bad memories.

“Better do it quick,” Holgorsen said. “Got a hot Temple coming in. We can’t overlook this one. They’ve got my attention. And we’ll make sure they get our players’ attention as well.”

On a positive note, Houston quarterback Clayton Tune threw for 527 yards and seven touchdowns. He also rushed for 111 yards and a score.

Temple, meanwhile, will look to build on its momentum following a 54-28 victory over South Florida. The Owls were dominant on both sides of the ball and didn’t record one punt for the first time in program history.

“Let’s see if we can keep this thing going,” Temple coach Stan Drayton said.

Running back Edward Saydee set career highs in rushing yards (265) and rushing touchdowns with three. He compiled 334 all-purpose yards, and quarterback E.J. Warner passed for a career-best 344 yards for the first 300-plus yard effort of his career.

“The beauty of explosive plays means there are players that are playing hard without the ball in their hand,” Drayton said.

To continue that trend, those habits must continue to be developed during the week.

“It’s not just gonna show up,” Drayton said. “We’ve got to continue to put the work in.”

–Field Level Media

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

Temple hosts USF as both teams search for first AAC win

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

Oct 22, 2022; Annapolis, Maryland, USA;  Navy Midshipmen head coach Ken Niumatalolo calls timeout during the first half against the Houston Cougars at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

In battle between Temple, Navy, two sides aim to snap losing slides

Temple will look to bury a three-game losing streak when it plays Navy in an American Athletic Conference matchup Saturday in Annapolis, Md.

It’s a rebuilding year for the Owls (2-5, 0-3 AAC), who are guided by first-year coach Stan Drayton and freshman quarterback E.J. Warner. Temple’s only wins to date came against FCS Lafayette and FBS independent UMass.

After UCF drilled Temple 70-13 on Oct. 13, the Owls played better last Friday in a home loss to Tulsa. Temple scored the game’s first 10 points before falling 27-16.

The Owls’ defense showed improvement, but they struggled to generate offense — just 280 total yards. Senior wide receiver Adonicas Sanders missed the second half due to injury and running back Jakari Norwood was out for personal reasons.

“Anytime there’s new guys, you have to get used to it,” Warner said. “But we’ve been putting in work in practice. We put in work all camp, all summer. So, it’s not an excuse with no chemistry or anything like that.”

Navy (2-5, 2-3) has lost two straight, including last week’s 38-20 defeat to Houston in which Cougars quarterback Clayton Tune threw for five touchdowns.

One bright spot for the Midshipmen has been fullback Daba Fofana. Playing a position important to Navy’s triple-option offense, Fofana has emerged as a go-to back over the past three games. He racked up 159 yards and three scores in a win over Tulsa, then added 61 yards against SMU and 89 yards with a touchdown against Houston. He took at least 20 carries in all three games.

“He’s still learning … he’s still a sophomore, still figuring things out,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said of Fofana. “But I think his consistency in the overall offense — running, blocking, just all of it — just feel like he’s been the most consistent. He’s a kid that just comes in, brings his lunch pail every day, works every day and you see him improving daily and weekly.”

Navy has won the past two meetings between the programs. The all-time series is knotted 8-8. In 2016, Temple won the AAC Championship in the Mids’ stadium.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2022; Laramie, Wyoming, USA; Tulsa Golden Hurricane quarterback Davis Brin (7) warms up before the game against the Wyoming Cowboys at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Tulsa, Temple seeking first AAC win on Friday night

When Tulsa and Temple meet Friday night in Philadelphia in American Athletic Conference play, both teams will be looking to break losing streaks in a season that has become slightly derailed.

Tulsa (2-4, 0-2 AAC) has lost three in a row and Temple (2-4, 0-2) has dropped two straight. The Golden Hurricane and Owls are tied for ninth in the conference ahead of only 1-6 South Florida.

Through its first four games, including a 35-27 loss to then-No. 16 Ole Miss, Tulsa’s offense managed to post points freely, but that productivity dwindled during setbacks against Cincinnati and Navy.

After his squad ran for just 25 yards on 18 carries in a 53-21 loss to the Midshipmen on Oct. 8, Golden Hurricane coach Philip Montgomery said a better effort on the ground will help quarterback Davis Brin open up the passing game.

“We got to get our run game more established,” Montgomery said. “I probably gave up on the run a little bit too quick, but we got to be better in that area.”

The Owls have struggled to move the ball, too, scoring a combined 16 points in consecutive road defeats against Memphis and UCF.

First-year coach Stan Drayton said he is particularly interested in the mental aspect of how his group responds to a humbling 70-13 walloping by the Knights in Orlando on Oct. 13.

“Every opportunity is a great opportunity to learn,” Drayton said. “We have an opportunity to learn who we are as a football team as a result of this loss. I need to see how they’re going to respond to this.”

E.J. Warner continues to get the bulk of the snaps, completing 86 of 153 passes for 1,040 yards. The son of former NFL star quarterback Kurt Warner has tossed six touchdowns against six interceptions.

Brin has thrown for 1,839 yards with 14 TDs and five interceptions for the Golden Hurricane.

The teams have split six career matchups. Tulsa won last season 44-10 by building a 27-0 halftime lead behind Brin’s two TD passes, while Temple claimed all three meetings from 2014-18.

–Field Level Media

Oct 5, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; UCF Knights wide receiver Javon Baker (1) runs the ball against Southern Methodist Mustangs safety Nick Roberts (22) during the second half at FBC Mortgage Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

UCF seeks fourth straight win, faces Temple

After losing to Louisville in Week 2, UCF has rebounded and will seek its fourth straight win when it hosts Temple on Thursday night in American Athletic Conference play at Orlando, Fla.

Second-year coach Gus Malzahn and his Knights will be facing the Owls in UCF’s annual Space Game, a contest that honors the long relationship between the central Florida school and the nearby U.S. space program.

During their three-game winning streak, the Knights (4-1, 1-0 AAC) have played in another galaxy and put a vast amount of space between themselves and the opposition on the scoreboard — a combined 108-43 upper hand in points.

UCF collected a conference-opening 41-19 win over SMU last Wednesday, pouring it on by a 31-6 margin in the second half after trailing at halftime. The Knights’ defense made big plays in the second half of the game that pitted new SMU coach Rhett Lashlee and Malzahn, who have worked together on five previous teams.

“We played our best football game,” Malzahn said. “We dominated the second half.”

Though they allowed 476 total yards to the offensive-minded Mustangs, the Knights held them to 4-for-16 on third downs. UCF had seven tackles for loss, eight pass breakups and five quarterback hurries.

In its last outing on Oct. 1, Temple (2-3, 0-1) led 3-0 at halftime in Memphis before the Tigers awakened and scored four times in the final 17 minutes for a 24-3 conference win.

Owls first-year coach Stan Drayton said his team isn’t playing complementary football, with the defense leading the way and the offense trying to keep up.

Penalties and turnovers have also been a problem, as E.J. Warner — the son of former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner — threw three interceptions.

In three of its games, Temple’s defense has held the opposition to 16 points or fewer, including a 28-0 blanking of UMass.

“The defense played lights out for about 2 1/2 or three quarters,” Drayton after the Memphis defeat. “They’re playing 89 plays compared to 50-some-odd plays on offense. That’s just not a good formula we’re living by right now.”

UCF has won five straight in the series and owns a 7-2 all-time edge.

–Field Level Media

Aug 6, 2022; Canton, OH, USA; Kurt Warner arrives on the red carpet during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022 Enshrinement at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: QB E.J. Warner, Kurt’s son, to start for Temple

Temple freshman quarterback E.J. Warner, the son of Pro Football Hall of Fame member Kurt Warner, will make his first collegiate start on Saturday against Rutgers in Philadelphia, ESPN reported.

Warner replaced ineffective starter D’Wan Mathis in the second quarter last week and led the Owls to a 30-14 win over Lafayette. He was 14-of-19 passing for 173 years and two touchdowns.

Warner, who was lightly recruited out of Brophy Prep in Phoenix, entered the season behind Mathis and Quincy Patterson, who played at Virginia Tech and North Dakota State, on the depth chart.

Mathis is 14-of-29 passing for 125 yards in the first two games for Temple (1-1). Patterson has thrown for 31 yards on 3-of-8 passing.

Rutgers is 2-0 on the season.

–Field Level Media