Temple upsets No. 21 East Carolina 20-10

The Sports Xchange

November 01, 2014 at 12:38 pm.

P.J. Walker (11) and Temple got a big win over East Carolina. (John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports)

— The tenor came early and didn’t stop.

East Carolina watched its season dissolve on a raw, drizzling, chilly Saturday against struggling Temple at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Pirates lost five fumbles, despite moving the ball almost at will up and down the field.

The No. 21-ranked Pirates killed themselves with more than 100 yards in penalties and costly turnovers, and Temple gladly took advantage, upsetting East Carolina, 20-10.

It marked the first time Temple beat a nationally ranked team since the Owls upset No. 14 Virginia Tech, 28-24, on October 17, 1998.

Before that, you have to go back to Sept. 19, 1987, when Temple beat a ranked opponent, upsetting Pittsburgh, 24-21.

It marks the first time that Temple has ever beaten a ranked opponent at home.

Temple improved to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the American Athletic Conference and substantially helped its chance of grabbing a bowl berth, while East Carolina fell to 6-2 and 3-1 in the AAC.

East Carolina, which entered the game fourth in the nation with an average of 566.9 yards a game, was stymied by five turnovers and Temple held to Pirates’ quarterback Shane Carden to 216 yards passing.

Carden had thrown for more than 400 yards in four of the Pirates’ last five games.

The Pirates still moved the ball well, outgaining Temple, 431-142, in total yards. But the 10 points was a season-low for the Pirates, who entered the game leading the AAC averaging 39.6 points a game.

Temple led, 14-3, at halftime, made possible by the first two East Carolina fumbles.

The Owls had the edge, despite being outgained, 236-52, in total yards in the half. East Carolina pounded the Owls for 17 first downs, to a mere three for Temple.

East Carolina fumbled four times in the first half, and lost three—two that resulted in both Temple touchdowns.

East Carolina’s first miscue came on its second possession. Running back Breon Allen fumbled at the Temple 37, and Tavon Young scooped up the loose ball and returned it for a 63-yard touchdown.

On the Pirates’ next possession, Allen fumbled again, and Temple converted it into another score on Ken Harper’s 1-yard run. That was it for the Owls offensively, with 40 of their 52 total yards coming on that series.

With the exception of the three fumble recoveries, Temple never crossed midfield in the field in the first half. The Pirates averaged 4.7 yards a play in the half, and Temple averaged 2.4 yards a play.