Stewart Leads Temple Past Miami, 28-10 Print E-mail
Written by Mike Smith   
Sunday, October 05 2008
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Temple's Dominque Harris nearly pulls off intercpetion / Photo: Mike Smith
OXFORD, OH - Redshirt freshman quarterback Chester Stewart threw for three touchdowns as the visiting Temple Owls prevailed 28-10 Saturday in a battle between a pair of one-win teams.

It was big, Owls coach Al Golden said of the victory. The MAC East goes through Oxford . I think (our guys) understand the tradition of Miami University football. I think they understand that, and if you want to be a contender, you have to beat these guys.
Miami, which was opening its conference schedule, falls to 1-4 overall. Temple is now 2-4 overall and 1-2 in MAC play.
In addition to getting a W, Golden was particularly pleased with another solid Owls showing on the road. We won two on the road now, which is big for our program. Obviously, we had a chance to win three on the road, and we lost on the last play of the game (at Buffalo).
He continued, Now that we got our second win, and we only lost (three games) by nine points, I think the guys know that we could be 5-1, Golden said.
Another road challenge awaits Temple next week when it travels to defending MAC champ Central Michigan. Miami, meanwhile, will go to Northern Illinois in search of what is becoming an elusive second win.
After slugging through a very difficult non-conference schedule, the RedHawks had a week off before starting their MAC slate against Temple. While the bye week helped the team get healthier physically, it failed to eliminate some of the problems which have bedeviled the team through the first half of the season.
I felt like we had two good weeks, said a disappointed Miami coach Shane Montgomery after the loss. Were just not a very good football team right now. I think we can be, but were just not complimenting each other well enough.
Both teams seemed to play to their seasonal tendencies through the first stanza.
Miami had been outscored by a total of 41-3 in the first quarters of its first four games. Temples defense, meanwhile, did not allow any opponent including Penn State to score during the opening period of five Owl contests. Both trends continued as the visitors kept Miami off the scoreboard for the entire first half.
For the fifth straight game, we came out and got behind. If we continue to do that, its going to be hard to come back against good football teams, Montgomery said. We stopped them the first three or four drives, but we really struggled offensively. We just didnt make any plays at all and couldnt get any first downs. We made maybe one or two first downs in the first five drives and just kept our defense out there on the field.
One trend did change.
Temple had gone eight quarters without a touchdown. The Owls, however, broke the string with a 25-yard touchdown run by Kee-ayre Griffin with 2:22 left in the first quarter. After recovering a Miami fumble on the next drive, Temple put together an eight-play drive for another TD. Stewart faked a handoff and hit Steve Maneri over the middle to cover the final two yards. Anthony Perlozzos kick make it 14-0.
The RedHawks, who had three fumbles in the first half and lost two of them, were outgained on the ground 104-37 through two periods.  Junior quarterback Daniel Raudabaugh also struggled while connecting on 8 of 18 passes.
We struggled the first four or five series as much as weve struggled this year, Montgomery said.
Temple redshirt freshman QB Chester Stewart passed for three TD's.
Photo: Mike Smith
Given the situation, Montgomery elected to insert red-shirt freshman QB Clay Belton when the RedHawks got the ball in the third quarter.
I decided to go with Clay because I thought we needed a spark, Montgomery said.
The RedHawks did appear energized, and started to open holes for Thomas Merriweather and Andre Bratton. The duo accounted for 32 of 40 yards in a Miami drive that resulted in a 34-yard Nathan Parseghian field goal at 9:07 of the third quarter.
Temple gained eight yards on its next possession before punting. Jeff Wathnes punt  sailed out of bounds after just 24 yards, giving Miami the ball at the Owls 49-yard line.

Merriweather rushed seven times and Belton connected on two passes for a total of 22 yards as Miami covered the 49 yards in nine plays. Merriweathers two-yard TD plunge was followed by a Parseghian kick to make it a 14-10 game.
We ran the ball pretty effectively in the second half and took some pressure off of (Belton), Montgomery said. Merriwether ended up with 133 yards on 26 carries with a long run of 26 yards. Bratton added another 26 yards on the ground and 29 yards in receptions.
They made some great adjustments at halftime, Golden said. They had field position the whole third quarter, and I dont think we got a first down. They could just keep coming after us and pouring it on.
The home crowd had already come to life when RedHawks safety Robbie Wilson stepped in front of DyOnne Crudup to pick off a Stewart pass on the next Owls possession.
Momentum, however, was about to swing. The Owls defense quickly responded by forcing Miami to turn the ball over on downs after four plays.
They score there, and it is a different game. We had our sudden change defense that came out and did a great job there. That stop was as big as any in the game, Golden said, adding, The sudden change defense is one of the situations we work on a lot.
Not only did the Temple defense step up, so did its quarterback.
Midway through the final quarter, as the Owls were facing a third-and-17 situation, Stewart hit Marquise Liverpool for 18 yards and a first down. Two plays later, Stewart found Crudup for a 27-yard gain. On the next play, senior Bruce Francis reached back over his shoulder to grab a 43-yard TD bomb down the middle to put Temple in a commanding 28-10 lead that became the final score.
Were giving up too many big plays in the passing game, Montgomery said. If (Stewart) had three touchdowns, I think weve given up 10 touchdown passes in the last three weeks.
Stewart, who took over for injured red-shirt senior Adam DiMichele two games ago, was significantly limited in practice this week. Golden said Stewart still had a boot on Saturday morning and was not particularly impressive in warm-ups. For the day, Stewart connected on 11 of 23 attempts with one interception and three touchdowns. According to Golden, Stewart was particularly effective when the game was in the balance.
He became a man in the fourth quarter. The game got really tight there, Golden said. To see Chester step up after he threw an interception and things werent going well in the third quarter was extraordinary. He threw four bullets in the fourth quarter. One was dropped. It was a tremendous pass.
Golden said he has often seen Stewarts potential in practice. The future could hold more success. Ive been saying it around Philadelphia for a year now. This kid is a good football player, and I think the kids rally around him, and he can make things happen, Golden said.
Asked what the RedHawks would do with their quarterback position next week, Montgomery indicated coaches would be looking at film and competition during the week. Weve got to become a lot better at that position if were going to get better on offense.
Looking ahead, Montgomery said, Weve got to continue to work on some things that we need to improve on, and there are a lot of things.
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