PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Raymond Kirkley scored two fourth-quarter
touchdowns and Tyler Palko threw for another score, and Pittsburgh
rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat Temple 27-22 on Saturday at
Lincoln Financial Field.
Pittsburgh (3-2, 1-1 Big East), which trailed 16-3 before Josh
Cummings' field goal late in the second quarter cut the Owls' lead
to 10 at halftime, rebounded from a loss to Connecticut in its Big
East opener last week.
After a scoreless third quarter, Palko found Greg Lee alone
behind the Temple defense off a flea flicker pitch from Kirkley for
a 50-yard scoring play that pulled the Panthers within three,
16-13. The Pitt defense forced the Owls (1-5, 0-1) to punt after
just three plays on the ensuing possession and Palko guided the
offense to the Temple 1. Kirkley powered his way into the end zone
from there to put the Panthers in front 20-16.
Temple, which accumulated 356 yards through three quarters,
failed to move the ball again and Kirkley muscled his way into the
end zone from the five to give Pittsburgh a 27-16 advantage.
Palko finished 13-of-18 for 191 yards, and Lee had eight catches
for 159 yards.
Walter Washington threw a career-high three touchdown passes,
but Temple dropped its final Big East opener and lost in conference
play for the ninth straight time.
Washington, who also posted career highs in completions (30) and
yards (314), ran for 82 yards on 23 carries. Washington threw a
touchdown pass to Phil Goodman in the final minute, but the Owls
failed on the 2-point conversion attempt.
Temple has not beaten a conference opponent since knocking off
Rutgers near the end of the 2002 season. The Owls, who were 0-7 in
Big East play last season, have not beaten Pittsburgh since a 34-33
victory at Pitt Stadium in 1998 and fell to 8-26-1 against the
The Temple defense, which allowed opponents to average over 40
points over the first five games, held the Panthers to just a pair
of first-half field goals despite playing without one of their
leading tacklers, linebacker Rian Wallace. The junior was suspended
for the contest for a violation of team rules.
The already injury-plagued defense sacked Palko in the end zone
and Washington threw TD passes to Tim Brown and Ikey Chuku to give
Temple a 16-6 halftime lead.
Temple scored on its first possession of the game, moving 79
yards on nine plays to take a 7-0 lead on 8-yard pass from
Washington to Brown. Pitt responded immediately, using a 52-yard
return by Marcus Furman on the ensuing kickoff to setup a 45-yard
field goal by Cummings.
The Owls recorded their first safety since the 2000 season when
Palko was pulled down in the end zone by Eric Carpenter less than a
minute into the second quarter to increase the Temple lead to 9-3.
Midway through the second quarter, Washington rolled right and
found Chuku behind the defense at the Pitt 5. Chuku, who adjusted
nicely to get under the pass, crashed into the end zone to give the
Owls a 16-3 advantage with 6:53 remaining before halftime.