Sports writer Aiman Fariz Zaqwan Bin Akmal Hizam discusses TU football.
The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricanes dominated the Temple University Owls 48-26 at their highly anticipated America Athletic Conference opener at our sacred fortress, the H.A. Chapman Stadium, on Thursday evening. Both teams entered conference play with a 2-2 record. Prior to this match, Tulsa came off a 22-14 win at Northern Illinois, while Temple hoped to bounce back after a 41-7 loss at their home field to Miami, FL. They last met at Temple’s Lincoln Financial Field in October last year, when the Golden Hurricanes walked away with a 27-16 victory. With the thunderous cheers of the crowd ringing in their ears, the Tulsa players were pumped and ready to play ball from the very start.
Tulsa won the coin toss and opted to defer. The game kicked off with place-kicker Michael Slaba sending the ball soaring high to the Owls’ end zone. Temple leaned heavily on attempting long passes in the first quarter. These attempts missed their marks, including two incomplete passes into the end zone. Four minutes into the game, Temple’s Camden Price made a successful 36-yard field goal attempt, bringing the score to 0-3 in Temple’s favor.
With half the time of the first quarter gone, Tulsa’s running back Tahj Gary rushed through the defense, clinching a crucial 3-yard gain for a first down. The following play was executed without delay, a clean 10-yard pass from Tulsa’s quarterback Cardell Williams into the arms of Maquis Shoulders who was perfectly situated in Temple’s end zone. The reliable foot of No. 91, Chase Meyer, successfully converted the following kick attempt and added two points to our tally, granting Tulsa a 7-3 lead. Tulsa held down the owls for the rest of the quarter, refusing them any chance at catching up. With their offensive trio searching for another taste of the Owl’s end zone, Williams and Shoulders were able to connect another pass yet again in the last two minutes of the quarter. Another kick from Meyers brought the first quarter to an end with Tulsa holding a comfortable 14-3 lead.
The second quarter began with fierce efforts from both teams, but both ends were not able to secure anything for a solid seven minutes. Deeper into the second half, an accurate 8-yard pass from Williams found its mark with Devon Williams inside the Owl’s end zone for another touchdown for Tulsa. Meyer, still in rhythm, brought the score up with his third field goal of the game. Despite Temple’s quarterback making several attempts to enter Tulsa’s endzone, the second half ended in favor of Tulsa 21-3.
The second half kicked off with Slaba sending another ball deep into the Owl’s side of the field. Similar to the second quarter, both teams battled to invade one another’s end zone with Temple seemingly able to slow the Golden Hurricanes down. Meyers would break that facade with a 26-yard field goal attempt, notching another three points for Tulsa’s scoreboard. Temple’s safety, Sam Martin, refused to just sit back and followed Tulsa’s kickoff with an impressive kick off return, rushing 94 yards and scoring a touchdown for Temple. Instead of kicking a field goal, Temple decided to go for the extra three points. Warner was able to connect with Amad Anderson Jr. for a 3-yard receiving touchdown. The Owls found themselves back in the game, however, with the score favoring Tulsa 31-18, they had much to make up for.
With time ticking off the third quarter, a no-huddle offense from Tulsa released No. 23, Anthony Watkins, who rushed 10 yards down left field into Temple’s end zone. With another neat finish from Meyers, the Golden Hurricanes continued to widen their lead over the Owls.
The Hurricanes came right out of the gate for the fourth quarter, earning another three points from a 36-yard kick field goal attempt by Meyers. TU continued to assert their dominance over the Owls as Gray rushed right through the middle of Temple’s defense, his 40-yard gain securing another touchdown for TU. A successful kick attempt brought TU’s score to a comfortable 41-18.
With just over four minutes left in the game, C. Williams found himself making his own attempts. Rushing 22 yards, C. Williams found himself in the Owl’s end zone for TU’s last touchdown of the night. Despite TU being unable to score any more points for the remainder of the half, the Owls were only able to secure one more touchdown and field goal, thus ending the game with a score of 48-26.
With less than three minutes left in the game. In the last minute, Warner completed a short 32-yard pass into the end zone, pinpointing wide receiver John AdamsAmad Anderson Jr. with great precision, bringing the score to 48-26 in TU’s favor. Price kept his cool for a successful two-point conversion, bringing the score to 31-18.
After his best performance this season, C. Williams had the guidance from practice and coaching to thank, “I just had a good grasp of the coverages we went over at practice. Coach helped out with taking care of the ball and making the right decisions. I just trust him with coaching and play ball.”
TU will continue their action, for they have two more Owls to face this season, the next being at their following game on Oct. 7 against Florida Atlantic University on the road. FAU currently sits with a 1-3 non-conference record with TU being their conference opener after their recent loss to Illinois Fighting Illini.