CINCINNATI, Ohio - Battling a cold front rolling in from the north and a Cincinnati squad fighting for postseason survival, Temple methodically took care of the Bearcats, 35-24, for its second consecutive conference victory under the night lights. Making just his third career start, redshirt junior QB Frank Nutile guided the Owls' offense as he surgically took apart the Cincinnati secondary, compiling 224 yards through the air on 19-of-30 passing for one touchdown.
Keys to the Game
> WIth less than a minute remaining in the first quarter, Temple K Aaron Boumerhi started off the scoring with a short 27-yard field goal, moving the Owls into an early 3-0 lead.
> The Owls called Boumerhi's number again one possession later, watching as the sophomore kicker sliced through an attempt from 22-yards out, extending Temple's early edge to 6-0.
> Midway through the second quarter, RB David Hood flipped his way into the end zone on a one-yard rush, pushing Temple out to a commanding 13-0 advantage. On the play, a stretch run to the right side, the redshirt junior was up-ended by a Cincinnati defender, landing just past the goal line for the the game's opening touchdown.
> After a scoreless first half, the Bearcats responded on their opening possession of the third quarter, driving 68 yards over nine plays for a touchdown, cutting Temple's lead down to 13-7.
> Nutile and the Owls' offense quickly matched their counterparts with a scoring drive of their own, as the redshirt junior signal-caller dropped in a 34-yard gem up the right sideline to redshirt senior WR Keith Kirkwood for the touchdown and a 20-7 edge.
> Cincinnati cut into the Temple lead yet again soon after taking over, driving for its second consecutive TD and moving within one possession of the Owls.
> The Temple special teams saw fit for the Owls' offense to never touch the field on their ensuing possession, as WR Isaiah Wright ran back a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The sophomore wasn't done, however, as he took the direct snap on the two-point attempt and found Nutile wide open in the flat for the successful conversion, putting Temple up 28-14.
> The Bearcats' offense continued to rumble on their next drive, taking the Owls deep into their own territory. A few stops inside the red zone, though, and Cincinnati was forced into a 26-yard field goal, going down 28-17 to kickoff the fourth quarter.
> Temple's offensive consistency continued without issue as Nutile and company took over deep in their own territory. The redshirt junior quarterback capped the possession himself as he scooted into the end zone on a three-yard rush around the right edge of the O-Line, vaulting the Owls into a commanding 35-17 advantage.
> With less than three minutes remaining in the game, Cincinnati concluded the scoring with a three-yard TD pass to the front-left pylon, setting the final score at 35-24 in Temple's favor.
> Up just six after Cincinnati compiled back-to-back scoring drives, Wright shifted the momentum back in the Owls' favor as he sprinted untouched 98 yards for Temple's first special teams touchdown of the year. Coincidentally, the last time Temple notched a kickoff return TD came early during the 2015 season at Cincinnati, as Jahad Thomas took back a 100-yard return to open the second half in the 34-16 victory.
> For the second time this season, Hood surpassed his career high on the ground, surging to 108 total yards for the game to pair with his lone score. The total also marks the redshirt junior's second career 100-yard rushing game, as he picked up his first earlier this year against ECU (106).
> Earlier this season, redshirt sophomore QB Logan Marchi put together the best three-game statistical passing start in school history, compiling 767 yards through the air. Following an injury sidelining Marchi midway through the season, Nutile took over under center and has proceeded to break his predecessor's record, tossing 803 yards through his initial three starts (Army, Navy & Cincinnati).
> The last time a Temple student-athlete threw and ran for a touchdown came two years ago when QB Phillip Walker, the then-junior, orchestrated a 60-40 road victory over SMU. Nutile, making just his third career start with Temple, did the same against Cincinnati, finding Kirkwood for a 34-yard TD pass in the third quarter before rushing three yards for his first career ground score midway through the final period.
> Further, the last time the Owls saw their quarterback find the end zone using his legs came early last season, again with Walker. Early on the road against Penn State, the senior rushed for his only ground touchdown of the year in the 34-27 loss to the Nittany Lions.
The Owls return to Lincoln Financial Field for the final time this season on Saturday, November 18, facing off against the undefeated East Division leader UCF on Senior Day at noon.