— Story by Chris Franklin @
Temple scored 14 points in the second half but it was not enough as the Owls fell to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 34-26 in the Military Bowl. Despite playing with a dislocated knuckle, quarterback Phillip Walker threw for 396 yards and two touchdowns.
The Owls started out quickly. Defensive back Sean Chandler intercepted Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford. On the first offensive play for Temple, Walker found wide receiver Adonis Jennings for a 48 yard touchdown.
From that point until halftime, it was all Wake Forest.
“We pride ourselves on stopping the run and running the football as we did not run the football well at all” Temple Interim Head Coach Ed Foley said after the game. “Credit to them, credit coach Dave Clawson because their defensive game plan was well executed.
Then at halftime, Foley was able to galvanize his team.
“We just talked about going back and doing what we do by playing Temple football. We had to go out and be physical and just have fun.”
The Owls did just that. Walker found Jennings again for a 58 yard touchdown pass. The defense began to figure out Wake Forest’s offense and neutralize the Demon Deacon run game. The hard hitting that helped the Owls win the American Athletic Conference returned. They even knocked Wolford out of the game. Temple would eventually close the gap to five points. However, the early deficit was too much for them to overcome, settling for field goals instead of touchdowns and not converting on third down.
Wake Forest would later seal the game on a 30 yard field goal which was set up by a Mike Weaver 65 yard kickoff return.
The Owls now head into the offseason with a lot of questions and a new head coach. Despite the loss, one thing is certain. The 2016 edition of the Temple Owls is one of the best teams in school history.