Steve Addazio's concern was warranted.

Coming off last week's huge victory over Maryland, the Temple coach wondered how his team would respond against a tough Toledo team.

The answer was less than stellar.

The Rockets defeated the Owls, 36-13, in Saturday's Mid-American Conference game before a crowd of 21,705 at Lincoln Financial Field.

Judging by comments from Temple players, they were basically defeated before the game started.

"We were being lackadaisical" at this week's practice, Owls running back Bernard Pierce said. "We beat Maryland and everybody wanted to play around. We didn't have that drive this week."

Temple (3-2, 1-1 MAC) committed four turnovers, including two in the first half that led to Toledo (2-3, 1-0) touchdowns. The last two came as the Owls moved the ball in Rockets territory.

"The tale of the game is in the turnovers," Addazio said. "It forced the momentum against us. And the opportunity to tilt the momentum didn't happen."

One week after completing all nine of his pass attempts, Stewart, a fifth-year senior, completed 10 of 20 passes for 173 yards and two interceptions against the Rockets. Stewart did have a 55-yard touchdown pass to Evan Rodriguez, and he rushed for 47 yards on 15 carries.

"Mechanics, mechanics, it is not finishing throws," Stewart said of his interceptions. "It is mis-timing. The one [in the fourth quarter] to [backup running back] Matt [Brown] was miscommunication."

The Owls' other turnovers came when Brown fumbled a first-quarter punt at Temple's 10-yard line and when Pierce lost the ball at the Rockets' 30 in the third quarter.

Three plays after Brown's miscue, Austin Dantin scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper. Then Eric Page's 2-point conversion gave Toledo an 8-3 advantage with 5 minutes, 58 seconds left in the first quarter.

"As leaders we try to keep guys up, but it is definitely a momentum swing for them to get a short field and quick score," Stewart said. "That hurts a team and it is hard to come back from. We tried and we just couldn't get it done.

"Once you lose momentum like that, they now have momentum and confidence, and we try to build our confidence back up, but it is hard."

Pierce, who entered the game as the nation's leading scorer, rushed for 75 yards on 24 carries, and for the first time this season did not score a touchdown. He had only four carries for 4 yards in the third quarter and didn't rush the ball in the fourth.

"We had to start throwing the ball to get ourselves back in the game," Addazio said. "We couldn't use him in the fourth. We had to push it down the field fast. We had to make the decision and we made the right one."

Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 215-854-2939, kpompey@phillynews.com, or @pompeysgridlock on Twitter. Read his blog "Owls Inq," at www.philly.com/owlsinq. View the videos "Owls Insider With Steve Addazio" at www.philly.com/owlsinsider