Recap: Vanderbilt vs. Temple
Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Temple defense forced seven turnovers as the Owls crushed the Vanderbilt Commodores, 37-7, in non-conference action at Vanderbilt Stadium.
Temple (1-0), which finished a mere 2-10 last season, held the Commodores to just 278 yards of total offense on the night. On offense, it was P.J. Walker who made the biggest impact as the quarterback converted 23-of-34 for 207 yards and two touchdowns, adding another 21 yards and a score on eight rushing attempts as well.
Stephen Rivers handled the majority of the quarterback duties for the Commodores (0-1), converting 12-of-25 for 186 yards and an interception. While Rivers was sacked only once, fellow signal caller Patton Robinette, who hit on 4-of-6 passes for 38 yards, was sacked three times.
The first points of the night were tallied by the Owls as Walker hooked up with Brandon Shippen on a 35-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-down play late in the first quarter.
Deep in their own end, the Owls were forced to punt from the end zone with just over 10 minutes to play in the second quarter. However, the snap went over the head of punter Alex Starzyk and instead of falling on it for a safety, he failed to make the recovery and it was eventually pounced on by Oren Burks for a Vandy touchdown.
It took a little time for the Owls to respond to their miscue, but with just over two minutes to play in the first half Walker found Jalen Fitzpatrick with a short screen out to the left side and Fitzpatrick did all the rest as he slipped down the sideline and into the end zone from 18 yards away.
The Temple defense then went on the attack, sacking Stephen Rivers and stripping him of the ball, which Averee Robinson then scooped up and rumbled with 55 yards for the score to give the visitors a commanding 21-7 edge at the break.
In the third the Owls extended their lead to 24 points thanks to a 19-yard field goal by Austin Jones and a three-yard TD run from Walker.
On the next Vandy possession, Johnny McCrary had a pass picked off near midfield by Tavon Young, the defensive back returning it to the 14-yard line, but the visitors had to settle for a 28-yard field goal. Young had to INTs on the night, while Robinson was credited with a pair of fumble returns.
The Owls had to settle for a 28-yard field goal by Jones, who later gave way to Tyler Mayes who booted a 25-yard field goal for the visitors for the only points tallied in the fourth quarter.
Last season Temple was tied for 97th nationally in turnover margin (minus-0.50), forcing a total of just 13 miscues in 12 games.
The start of the game was delayed more than an hour and a half due to lightning in the area.Game Notes