EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – Temple finished the regular season with a big win in a bowl game, while sending UConn into the NCAA notebook for all the wrong reasons.
The owl recipient, Isaiah Wright, a Connecticut native who plays high school football at the near West Hartford, ran for touchdowns and returned kickoffs for the others as Temple directed the 57-7 Huskies on Saturday.
The Owls (8-4, 7-1 American), who started the year 0-2, finished the regular season with three consecutive wins and wins in six of their last seven matches.
Temple needed just two minutes to go 71 yards for the first score of the game, an 18-yard run from Wright, who took the pitch at the game of choice. After UConn tied the game 7 minutes later, Wright grabbed the kickoff at the 1-yard line, and went 99 meters straight into the center of the field for touchdown.
"Before playing UConn, I never really did what I felt I should," said the junior. "So, entering this game, I just want to make sure I don't feel the same as before."
Owls scored seven of eight first-half possession and led 40-7 after two quarters. They never released their feet from the accelerator and finished with a total of 516 meters.
"They continue to play," Temple coach Geoff Collins said. "If we go down in the first round or if we go up to 33 at half-time, we just want to play our football. "This is a good brand."
UConn, on the other hand, has some work to do with its football reputation.
The Huskies (1-11, 0-8) this season give up the most yards (7,409), yards per game (617.4), points (605) and points per game (50.41) from every major college football team in NCAA history .
At one point during the second quarter, UConn threw interception and fumbled three times in successive offensive dramas. The Huskies recovered the last two fumbling, but threw another interception in the next drama, which was re-run by Temple's Christian Braswell for touchdown.
"2018 is finished, 2019 starts tomorrow," said UConn coach Randy Edsall. "And people must have the determination to work and become bigger, faster, stronger, because that's the only way you will be able to compete."
Kevin Mensah rushed 24 times 94 yards for UConn, giving him 1,045 yards for the season.
UConn: The Huskies don't beat FBS opponents this season. The Huskies also went winless at the conference playing for the first time since then 0-4 at the Yankee Conference in 1954.
Temple: Wright now has three returns for this season's score. He also received a return from 73 meters against the USF and 59 meters against East Carolina this season. Defense or special Temple teams have scored in nine of Owl's 12 games.
"(Wright) is as dynamic as kick and kick back because it's in college football," Collins said. "I am really proud of who he is and the type of competitor and his playmaker."
NO RUSSO, NO PROBLEM
Temple Quarterback Anthony Russo is not dressed and sidelines with a cast in his right hand. Backup Frank Nutile, who started the first two games of the season, finished 9 of 12 passes for 184 yards and interception. Freshman red shirt Todd Centeio goes 3 for 3 for 39 meters and touchdown. He also ran six times for 32 yards and a score.
The temple ran back Ryquell Armstead (five carry, 56 meters), coming limping after a 31-yard run in the second quarter which set a touchdown. He did not return. Collins refused to say whether he or Russo would be ready for a bowl game.
UConn's season ends.
Temple waited for the bowl offer.
More campus AP football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.