In its final road game of the season, the University of Cincinnati (UC) came away with a victory over the Temple Owls. UC won the game 23-3 to improve to 9-2 on the season and 6-1 in American Athletic Conference (AAC) play.
"The game is all about November," UC head coach Luke Fickell said. "We've been talking about getting to November and playing well. It's always tough when you go on the road, but these guys came out tonight and didn't worry about what happened earlier or what the opportunities were for next week. They were up for the challenge."
It was a dominant performance throughout, as the No. 25 ranked Cincinnati Bearcats never trailed the entire game. Even after QB Ben Bryant went down midway through the second quarter, being replaced Evan Prater, the offense continued to click.
Before exiting the game, Bryant threw for 130 yards and a touchdown. His lone touchdown was a 42-yard strike to senior wideout Tre Tucker, his third touchdown catch of the season. At Bryant's departure, UC led 17-3, which stayed until halftime.
However, the biggest story of the day was UC’s defense. UC held the Owls' offense to 202 total yards and forced four turnovers.
"Going into the game this morning, I said the number one thing was turnovers," Fickell said. "The offense did a really good job of taking care of the football, being smart with the ball. We got four [turnovers] on defense."
Temple's offense never seemed to find its groove, as it was 1-11 on third downs compared to the Bearcats' 7-18. Safeties Jacob Dingle and Byron Threats each had an interception, as the Bearcats secondary only allowed 167 yards passing.
After three straight weeks of being held to under 70 rushing yards, the Bearcats' rushing attack finally reemerged. As a team, UC ran for 131 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Ryan Montgomery led the way with 58 yards on 14 carries and the lone touchdown, which came on the first play in the second quarter after a Temple fumble on its own 26.
Evan Prater had a solid performance in relief, completing 12 of 17 passes for 127 yards and 24 rushing yards on nine attempts.
"Getting warmed up and getting a feel for the game, I started to feel real good out there," Prater said.
Kicker Ryan Coe continues his phenomenal season, going a perfect three for three on the day and nailing both extra points.
UC will close out the regular season with a Black Friday matchup against Tulane at Nippert Stadium. With Navy's road upset over UCF on Saturday, the winner is guaranteed to host the AAC Championship the following week.