Temple and Ohio had entered the contest tied with Miami of Ohio for first place in the division. The Owls, now 8-3 overall and 5-2 in the MAC, fell behind Ohio (8-3, 6-1) and Miami (6-4, 5-1).
Last fall, Ohio's 35-17 victory over visiting Temple in the last game of the regular season ended the Owls' title hopes. The Bobcats represented the East Division in the league championship game.
Temple, which was the preseason favorite to take the MAC championship, will end the regular season at Miami this Tuesday.
"We have competed two years in a row to make the MAC championship, and we're obviously disappointed," Golden said. "But we're building a program and we have a long way to go."
Ohio had a seven-point lead at intermission, and that was the difference going into the fourth quarter.
The Bobcats added a touchdown with 9 minutes, 30 seconds to go after defensive tackle Carl Jones plucked a pass from Temple quarterback Mike Gerardi out of the air and returned it 25 yards to the Owls' 23-yard line. After a personal foul on the Owls moved the ball to their 11, running back Dante Harden scored for the visitors from 2 yards out.
With 4 minutes, 28 seconds remaining, Ohio tacked on another score when running back Vince Davidson made a 41-yard scamper for his second touchdown of the game. That gave the Bobcats a commanding 31-10 lead, but Temple fought back.
With 2:16 left, Gerardi teamed with wide receiver Michael Campbell for a 21-yard touchdown pass.
Temple's Amara Kamara forced a fumble with 1:36 left that was recovered by teammate Muhammad Wilkerson at midfield.
Gerardi hit Campbell again for another TD, this one from 17 yards out, with 1:13 remaining. Kicker Brandon McManus missed the extra point.
On Temple's first play from scrimmage, a 67-yard run by running back Bernard Pierce to Ohio's 15-yard line was called back because of an illegal-procedure penalty. At the end of the play, Pierce appeared to be hobbled, and he stayed down momentarily before heading for the sideline.
Temple wound up punting on the possession. Pierce, who did not play against Ohio last year because of a shoulder injury, was seen getting treatment on his left hamstring and did not return.
Ohio quarterback Boo Jackson, who was questionable for the game because of an eye injury, started and shared time with backup Phil Bates.
Linebacker hurt. Temple's Elijah Joseph, who was an all-MAC first-team linebacker last year, went down and was carted off the field with 2:21 remaining in the second period. The nature of his injury was not immediately known.
Contact staff writer Kevin Tatum at 215-854-2583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.