Temple's main threat, Bernard Pierce averaged 4.91 yards per game this season and stopping him had to be our primary concern. Based on the first drive you can assume the defensive game plan was solid:
Bernard Pierce had:
3.875 yards/carry (1.03 less than his season average)
Temple scored 3 points
We weren't gong to stop Pierce, but holding him to or under his average is the best we could hope for. However our first offensive possession went 3 and out, and took only 1:17 off the clock. The tired defense goes back on the field and the results suffered:
2nd drive Pierce had:
7.71 yards/carry (2.8 yards higher than his average)
Temple scored 7 points
UB defense on the field 90.375% of game.
So lesson learned, need to give the defense time to recover, not exactly, we 3 and outed, managing to stay on the field 1 second longer than our first drive. But Temple, spelled Pierce (another lesson we could learn) on the 3rd drive Pierce ran once for -1 yards, and tired defense got the ball back to us quickly.
We rewarded their efforts by holding the ball for 2 minutes and 4 seconds, which to Quinn must have felt like ages. So we're about 1/3 of the way into the game probably an hour real time, and our defense trots back to the field for their 45th minute of action. To put it in perspective, you strive for at least 50% time of possession and a game is about 150 minutes of action, so you want your defense playing 75 minutes max. Our defense was playing its 45th minute before the 10 minute mark in the 2nd quarter. Whatever our Defensive Line weighed before the game, they are probably 10 pounds lighter today. But back to the game, extremely tired defense, the result:
4th drive Pierce had:
28 yards/carry (23.1 yards over average)
Temple scored 7 points
Yep, 53 yard TD gamebreaker from Pierce.
The final score was 34-0, but the final 17 points were inconsequential, (which makes that fake punt especially annoying), after the Pierce score the game was over. The spread offense is noted for creativity and exploiting match ups. Our offense showed no creativity and was thus not able to stay on the field. Simultaneously, this created the biggest mismatch of the day; a tired UB defense vs Temple's #5 in the nation running attack.
If Temple had scripted any way to start the game, it would have looked exactly like the facts and figures above. When it happens at Tennessee it's about a difference in athleticism. When it happens at Temple, it's simply about bad coaching strategy.