Golden's Owls hope third time is the charm

Jordan Todman (23) scored three times for Connecticut last week. Temple is 0-2 against UConn under coach Al Golden.
Jordan Todman (23) scored three times for Connecticut last week. Temple is 0-2 against UConn under coach Al Golden.
Posted: September 17, 2010

The two times that the Temple football team has taken on Connecticut under fifth-year coach Al Golden, the results were heartbreaking losses for the Owls.

They get another shot at the Huskies on Saturday in a nonleague game at Lincoln Financial Field.

In 2008, when remnants of Hurricane Hanna ruined the day in the Philadelphia area, UConn took a 12-9 victory in overtime after the Huskies answered a Temple field goal with a touchdown in the extra session.

In '07, the Owls lost, 22-17, on the Huskies' home field when an apparent touchdown pass by Temple with 40 seconds remaining was ruled incomplete. The call was upheld on review.

"We talk about it some, but it's not brought up in meetings or anything," said Temple tight end Vaughn Charlton, a fifth-year senior who was a member of the team both years. "They were two totally different teams from what they are this year. So we're really focused on what they have."

Temple enters its rematch with Connecticut, which competes in the Big East Conference under coach Randy Edsall, with a 2-0 record that gives the program its first such start since 1981. When the Owls met the Huskies the previous two times, they were in a rebuilding mode.

They are now the preseason favorite to take the Mid-American Conference championship.

The Owls' first two games this fall turned out to be narrow wins. They defeated Villanova, 31-24, in the Mayor's Cup at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 3 when a field goal by Temple kicker Brandon McManus with three seconds remaining proved to be difference. And the Owls' 13-10 victory over defending Mid-American Conference champion Central Michigan last week was decided by McManus' three-pointer in overtime.

UConn (1-1), which didn't embarrass itself in falling at Michigan, 30-10, on Sept. 4, came back last week to put a 62-3 shellacking on visiting Texas Southern.

It was 45-0 at halftime.

Junior halfback Jordan Todman (5-foot-9, 193 pounds) rushed for 151 yards on 15 carries with three touchdowns, and 6-0, 203-pound backup Robbie Frey ran for 105 yards on 12 carries with two scores. Quarterback Zach Frazer threw the ball only nine times, but had two touchdown passes.

"If we execute the schemes we have in place, we should be OK," Edsall said. The Huskies average 305 pounds on their offensive line.

"Their offense is really tough," said Temple middle linebacker Stephen Johnson, a redshirt junior who is starting after being put on scholarship just last summer. "They have big, tough, physical linemen, and they have a great running back. They run the ball really well, and we're going to have to go out there and be tough and physical, because they're tough and physical."

Golden was asked about Temple's most recent encounters with UConn.

"It's not a function of what happened two years ago, or three years ago," he said. "We're a different team. They're a different team. Obviously, it's a real physical team. I think [the Temple players] know that there's very little margin for error here. They take care of the ball and they don't give up big plays on defense. It's going to be a great test for us."

Notes. Emily Frazer, a freshman outside hitter on the Temple volleyball team, is the sister of the UConn quarterback. . . . Owls linebacker Michael Doty's older sister, Caroline, is a guard for the Connecticut women's basketball team. . . . Temple's game at Penn State on Sept. 25 at 3:30 p.m. will be broadcast on WIP-AM 610.


Contact staff writer Kevin Tatum at 215-854-2583 or ktatum@phillynews.com.

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