Friday, October 17, 2014

Houston Cougars dominate Temple Owls with 31-10 win

Houston QB Greg Ward Jr. has his helmet knocked off as the
result of  a vicious hit during the Cougar's 31-10 win over Temple.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 18, 2014) The Houston Cougars upped their season record to 4-3 for the season and 2-1 in conference play with a 31-10 win over the Temple Owls at TDECU Stadium in Houston on Friday evening, October 18, 2014.

The much needed win put them over .500 for the first time this season and extended their hopes for a high finish in the conference and a possible bowl bid.

The Cougars wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, when they scored their first 10 points within eight seconds of each other.

After driving 61 yards in 15 plays, Houston had to settle for a field goal by Kyle Bullard. The sure-footed kicker from Boerne, Texas split the uprights from 34 yard to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead at the 7:12 mark in the first quarter.

After the ensuing kickoff, Temple quarterback P.J. Walker threw on first and ten, with the pass being immediately picked off by free safety Trevon Stewart.

He returned the ball 29 yards for the pick-six touchdown. Bullard followed up with the extra point to give Houston a 10-0 lead; with the field goal, touchdown and extra point scored in a mere eight seconds.

Temple answer with no time remaining in the quarter with a 22-yard field goal by Austin Jones.

The Cougars took possession of the ball after the Owl field goal at the beginning of the second quarter.

Quarterback Greg Ward Jr. started a nine play, 63 yard drive that resulted in running back Kenneth Farrow rushing the final four yards for the touchdown. Bullard again split the uprights to give Houston a 17-3 lead with 11:30 left to play in the first half.

Farrow’s touchdown run gave him back-to-back games with a rushing touchdown for the third time in his college playing career. The back-to-back touchdown game in 2013 for his first for the current season.

The Owls got the ball with 3:04 left in the half; driving 76 yards in plays with Walker connecting with wide receiver Keith Kirkwood for a 39-yard pass reception and the six points. Jones added the extra point to cut the Cougars’ lead over the Owls to seven points.

In the third quarter, Walker hit Jahad Thomas with a screen pass, which promptly allow Thomas to scramble 74 yards down to the Houston one-yard line. Walker then attempted to carry the ball into the end zone on a first-and ten play. He has hit at the goal line and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by linebacker Steve Taylor inside the end zone.

The play was ruled a touchback and Houston took over on their own 20-yard line.

Ward Jr. began another one of his patented drive which stalled, forcing the Cougars to punt.

After a seven play, 34 yard drive by Temple, Houston got the ball back and began a 34 yard drive that concluded with another Ward Jr. to Greenberry pass for a seven yard reception and another touchdown. Bullard again did his job and kicked the extra point for the Cougars; allowing them to increase their lead to 24-10.

Temple got the ball back with 1:42 left in the third quarter when Walker again could not connect with his receiver, allowing Houston to pickoff another pass.

The Cougars drove the final 26 yards when Ward Jr. passed to running back Ryan Jackson for another Houston score. With Bullard booting his fourth extra point of the game, Houston led going into the fourth quarter by the score of 31-10.

The fourth quarter saw little action, with no scoring and with Houston having control pf the ball in the final minutes of the game, they just road out th clock for their fourth win of the season.

Ward, Jr. was virtually unstoppable: completing 29-of-33 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball 13 times for 44 net yards.

Greenberry caught 10 passes for 63 yards and one touchdown while Markeith Ambles caught six passes for 96 yards.

Farrow carried the ball 28 times for 56 yards and one touchdown.

Defensively, Steven Taylor had seven tackles and with Efrem Oliphant accounting for six.

With the win, Houston raises its series record with the Owls to 4-0.

The Cougars now have next weekend off as they prepare to face USF on the road on November 1. They will return to TDECU Stadium on November 8 to play Tulane in the Cougars’ annual homecoming game.


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