Inside the Nest Host
Saturday’s game at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis was anything but a clean one. A light drizzle led to several players slipping and sliding on the turf throughout the afternoon. And when the final whistle blew, it was the Owls who found themselves letting one slip away.
“The turf wasn’t ideal,” Wide Receiver Jadan Blue said after the game. “We were slipping, they were slipping, it didn’t matter what cleats you had. It’s going to be like that sometimes.”
The result was a game that had the Owls and Tigers combine for seven turnovers. Temple (1-2, 1-2) finished with four, while Memphis (3-1, 2-1) had three. The bigger difference came down to converting turnovers into points. The Tigers outscored the Owls 24-3 off turnovers in route to a 41-29 win.
“I feel like the whole time we stopped ourselves,” Blue said.
“Just too many mistakes,” Head Coach Rod Carey said. “Plain and simple … You can’t win a game when you have four turnovers.”
The Owls had their opportunities to win this game, leading 15-10 at the half. But the Tigers turned it on after halftime as they have done all season, and outscored the Owls 31-14 in the second half.
“I feel like the defense didn’t play to the standard we have,” Safety Amir Tyler said.
In Tyler’s defense, Memphis was given a short field to work with on several of the Owls turnovers. Temple actually won the total yards battle, 500-489.
“It was a dog fight,” Blue said. “I feel like we could’ve capitalized even more than we did.”
The main turning point came at the start of the second half when the Owls turned the ball over twice on their first three offensive plays of the third quarter. Memphis converted both turnovers into touchdowns, taking a lead it would never give up, 27-15.
“I wish we could get (the third quarter) back,” Blue said. “It crippled us.”
As the Owls look ahead to next Saturday’s matchup against Tulane, Quarterback Anthony Russo is focused on the little things making the big difference.
“Lack of attention to detail,” Russo said. “We’re pretty ticked off that we continue to hurt ourselves.”
Next week's game is scheduled for a 12:00 noon kickoff at Tulane on ESPN+. The Owls come into New Orleans winless on the road, while Tulane is winless at home. It will be a first for whichever team comes out on top next Saturday.