PHILADELPHIA — USF fans will be cursing UConn for months after the Huskies' disappointing showing in Saturday's regular season finale.
Following a critical win over then-No. 13 Houston last weekend, UConn fell flat on its face without Bryant Shirreffs under center, falling at No. 25 Temple 27-3.
UConn (6-6, 4-4 American Athletic Conference) did not reach 100 yards of total offense until there were eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Huskies finished with only 138 yards. Temple had 318.
UConn somehow managed to keep within 10 in the first half. The only real damage from Temple was on a touchdown drive led by Jahad Thomas, who barreled into the end zone from nine yards out.
The Huskies did a good job of limiting the Owls after that. Ellis Marder made a couple nice defensive plays, breaking up passes from P.J. Walker, but he hurt the Huskies in the second quarter. On a third down from the 26-yard line, Walker looked for the end zone, but Marder interfered with the receiver. Had he turned around, he had a good shot at an interception. Instead, Temple got a fresh set of downs at the 11. UConn did a great job of holding Temple to a field goal.
The offensive numbers were disturbing for the Huskies in the first half. UConn gained 61 yards total and punted on four of six possessions. Another possession ended with a fumble on fourth down. The sixth closed out the half.
UConn could not get out of its rut in the second half. The Huskies managed four yards of offense in the third quarter, while the defense continued to try to push Temple away from the end zone, but with so much possession for the Owls, it was an overwhelming task.
Andrew Adams looked to have an interception late in the third that would have set up UConn 30 yards from the end zone down 13. He was called for defensive holding after clearly pulling at the jersey of Cole Boozer, the intended receiver. A few minutes later, P.J. Walker hit Romond Deloatch in the end zone for a touchdown.
Thomas returned to the end zone with about 8:40 to play, busting through the line and storming ahead for a 60-yard score. The junior finished with 115 yards on 19 carries.
UConn's leading rusher was Ron Johnson, who finished with seven yards on three carries. Arkeel Newsome had one yard on 13 carries.
The Huskies had no answer for linebacker Tyler Matakevich. The Connecticut native destroyed UConn in his final home game for Temple. Matakevich had 11 tackles, four for a loss, and Temple University—already dominating the game—also won the social media aspect of the night.
Dear Nutmeg State: Thank you for giving us No. 8. Love always, Temple pic.twitter.com/OgOXDkTO7g— Temple University (@TempleUniv) November 29, 2015
UConn quarterback Tim Boyle completed 12 of 20 passes for 121 yards. Noel Thomas caught five of those completions.
The Huskies will await news on who they will play in a bowl game.