The USF Bulls (7-4, 3-4) lost their fourth straight game on Saturday, falling to the Temple Owls (7-4, 6-1) 27-17.
This game started incredibly well for the Bulls. Jordan Cronkrite authored an impressive first offensive drive for USF, breaking free a 49-yard run moments before coming up with a short touchdown run to give the Bulls a 7-0 lead. In the second quarter the Bulls added a field goal early to make it 10-0 and appeared to be poised to take control of the game when Cronkrite ran in another short touchdown with 2:27 to go to give USF a 17-0 lead.
Temple began to turn the tided in the third quarter. Ryquell Armstead, who had a record setting performance against Houston a week prior, scored with 9:41 to go in the third to end USF's shutout bid. Temple then added two field goals (one late in the third, another early in the fourth) to pull within 17-13. Temple took the lead for the first time in this game with a huge special teams play when Isaiah Wright returned a punt 73-yards and a touchdown with 10:05 to go. From there the Owls were able to hold on to the lead until they recovered a Blake Barnett fumble and scored the clincher with 1:37 to go to secure the 27-17 win.
Barnett finished 14-for-23 with 82 yards passing, no touchdowns and two interceptions playing quarterback for the Bulls. The Owls were led by a strong game from quarterback Anthony Russo, who went 20-for-34 with 264 yards passing, no touchdowns and one interception. In the running game, Jordan Conkrite ran 83 yards and two touchdowns for USF, while Temple was led by 64 yards and a touchdown from Ryquell Armstead.
The Bulls now turn their attention to a key War on I-4 that comes up the day after Thanksgiving. USF and UCF will meet in the annual rivalry game on Friday.