After an hour and 37 minute lighting delay, the Temple defense decided to light up Vandebilt Stadium in a 37-7 stunner of a win in front of 31,731 fans. The night was highlighted by an amazing performance by the defense, which included two forced fumbles by Averee Robinson and only allowing the 'Dore to 107 total yards in the first half.
On the first drive of the game, the Owls looked promising, but failed to convert a first down and freshman Alex Starzyk was forced to punt it away.
The first drive for the Commodores didn't end in anything, as the 'Dores were held to only 3 total yards, with the assistance of Matt Ioannidis and Tyler Makatevich tackles on first- and second-down respectively. The 'Dores were forced to punt for the first time after Sharif Finch sacked Pat Robinette.
The Owls were the first to score as Vanderbilt running back Brian Kimbrow was the victim of a Nate D. Smith forced fumble, which was recovered by Averee Robinson at the Vanderbilt 40. From here, Kenneth
Harper fumbled the ball, but Walker was able to recover it quickly. The four play, 40 yard drive ended with a 35-yard pass from Walker to Brandon Shippen, the first catch of his career.
Vanderbilt opened the second quarter by punting the ball away, after Praise Martin-Oguike sacked Robinette, which marked the third sack of the half for the Owls.
The Owls then tried to get a something going, after facing a 3rd and 21 situation, after a chopblock penalty was called on both Kyle Friend and Brendan McGowan. However, the Owls are forced to punt it away, but the 'Dores would catch a break after Alex Starzyk was unable to get a grip on a high snap. Oren Burks recovered the fumble in the end zone, tying up the game.
Once the Owls got the ball back and Walked had completed a pass to Khalif Herbin, the ball was put back into the 'Dores hands, as the ball was stripped and Jake Sealand recovered at midfield. However, Vanderbilt was unable to capitalize on the mishap.
With a little over two minutes left before the half, Walker was able to launch a rocket to Jalen Fitzpatrick in the endzone, following a successful 11-yard completion to Nate Hairston on 4th and 7.
Even though Vanderbilt had the ball back following the Temple touchdown, the 'Dores once again were unable to get any movement, after Stephen Rivers was sacked and Robinson recovered his second fumble of the night, running it 55-yards for the touchdown, making the halftime score 21-7 in favor of the Owls.
The third quarter started with Vanderbilt receiving the ball, but were unable to score, as Hayden Lekacz's field goal attempt went to the left of the uprights.
Once again, the Owls shined through the rest of the third quarter, as Jahad Thomas was able to recover a fumbled punt catch by Darrius Simms. This set up Austin Jones' field goal to make the score 24-7.
Vanderbilt decided to switch up their quarterbacks, adding Johnny McCrary into the game. However, his first pass was intercepted by Tavon Young, who was chosen to wear the coveted number 1 jersey this week.
Walker was able to run the ball four yards in for another Temple touchdown. On the next Vanderbily play, slight movement was made as they were able to make it out to their 34-yard line. But, Young was able to make his second interception, which accounts for five of the last seven Temple picks. The Owls settle for a Jones field goal on the drive.
Vanderbilt once again hits a sour mark, after the kickoff is fumbled and Aretrell Foster is able to recover it. However, the Owls are unable to score as time runs out. But, once the final quarter is underway,
Jones is unable to put his kick through the uprights.
The night ended for the Owls with a Tyler Mayes field goal, which sealed the deal at 37-7.
Walker went 24-34 with 207 yards of passing and two touchdowns, along with eight carries for 21 yards and 1 touchdown. Jones was responsible for three field goals and three point-after attempts, racking his numbers up to 12 points.
The Owls will face Navy on September 6 to open the home season at Lincoln Financial Field.