Houston’s phenomenal first season under coach Tom Herman came to an excellent end today when the No. 19 Cougars beat the No. 22 Temple Owls to win this year’s American Athletic Conference Championship Game 24-13.
Houston’s defense showed up and forced two turnovers early, quickly taking a 7-0 lead on a 36-yard drive following a Temple interception. Temple also fumbled in the first quarter and though that didn’t result in a score, Houston’s offense was in fine form. Thanks to quarterback Greg Ward Jr.’s 47-yard run, the team was up 17-3 at halftime.
Ward would add a 10-yard run in the third quarter to make the score 24-3, essentially icing the game despite several last-ditch attempts by Temple, who was limited to just 98 yards on the ground and were just 1 of 4 on fourth down attempts. On the game, Ward had 17 carries for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
Houston, on the other hand, worked like a well-oiled machine. Despite committing five penalties for 40 yards compared to Temple’s two for 15, the Cougars were completely in sync with each other while Temple tried to use its speed on defense to kill Houston’s scoring attack.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work and while Temple will receive a bowl bid of its own, it will not be to one of the New Year’s Six to which the Cougars are headed.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports