'Best' and 'Worst' Awards: Temple vs. Syracuse

Temple's Kenneth Harper makes a catch against Syracuse. (David Swanson/Staff Photographer)

My look at some of the best and worst performances from Syracuse’s 38-20 victory over Temple on Friday at Lincoln Financial Field:

Player of the game:  This was a tough one, because Syracuse reserve running backs Prince-Tyson Gulley and Adonis Aimeen-Moore both had stellar games.  But it’s hard to overlook someone who rushed for a game-high two touchdowns.  So I had to give it to Aimeen-Moore. The 5-foot-11, 239-pound sophomore’s second touchdown gave the Orange the lead (24-20) for the good with 4 minutes, 32 seconds left in the third quarter. Aimeen-Moore finished with 57 yards on 10 bruising carries.

Worst performance: Once again, this has to go to Temple’s defense. The Owls didn’t make any meaningful stops after intermission. The killers were the back-to-back 75-yard scoring drives they surrendered that put the game out of reach. Temple also gave up 475 yards of total offense..

Best defensive performance: Syracuse’s Keon Lyn gets this award after compiling two interceptions and three tackles. The junior cornerback returned his first interception 31 yards for a touchdown with 2:37 remaining.

Worst statistic: Temple made just 4 of 11 third-down conversions. That inability to convert on third downs doomed the Owls after the opening quarter. Temple made just 1 of 6 third-down conversions during the final three quarters.

Best surprise: That award goes to Temple’s C.J. Hammond, the underachieving wideout. Hammond made two receptions for a team-high 64 yards. His highlight was a 45-yard reception over the middle to the Cincinnati 10 to set up Juice Granger’s touchdown run on the next play. Hammond only had two catches prior to the game.

Worst of the worst: Temple tailback Matt Brown being sidelined with a left hamstring injury. The senior deserved to play more than any other teammate. Showing grit, the 5-5, 165-pounder was able to play on a high-ankle sprain this season. But last week's hamstring injury knocked him out of this game. That just seems unfair to the heart and soul of the program.