It was not pretty by any means, but it was enough. The Memphis Tigers won their fourth game in a row by beating the Owls of Temple 24-3.
The defense was the standout performer for Memphis on a day when the offense had nothing going for them.
A dual of punts was the theme of the first half, with both teams combining for nine punts and unable to make any ground.
Temple was the only one to break through in the first half, with a 47-yard field goal by Camden Price barely making it over the crossbar to give the Owls a 3-0 halftime lead.
Memphis quarterback Seth Henigan and the rest of the Tiger offense could not get anything past the Temple defense, and were met with a smattering of boos as they left the field.
It is worth noting that Memphis was missing two of their starting offensive line, Jonah Gambill and Austin Myers. They were injured in last week's game against North Texas.
Their absence was significantly noticed, as Temple pressured Henigan all game long, forcing him to scramble for his life and sacking him four times.
Henigan's offseason training of bulking up and being more willing to shuffle came in handy for the sophomore. He avoided pressures and was the most effective runner for Memphis. He finished the game with 60 yards rushing to go along with 195 passing yards and a touchdown.
The Tigers seemed to have gotten a newfound intensity in the second half, alluding that they had an unpleasant talk with their coaching staff during the break.
The offense took advantage of the excellent field position given to them by the defense with three touchdowns in the second half. Brandon Thomas scored two touchdowns from short yardage, powering through to the goal line.
The defense came through with three interceptions in the fourth quarter to stifle any attempts by the Temple offense to mount a comeback. The defensive play of the day came on a Xavier "Zay" Cullens interception in which he snagged the ball after star safety Quindell Johnson knocked the ball into the air.
Cullen talked about it after the game saying, "Big shoutout to Quindell Johnson, you know, he really knocked the ball up."
A victory formation by the offense cemented hard fought but relieving victory.
"Our offense has to improve. We have to be more consistent. That's a word I've used the last two weeks," head coach Ryan Silverfield said after the game.
"We're trying to sit there and say, 'Okay, how do we find ways to win,' and we're never going to apologize for wins when it's all said and done," he added.
Seth Henigan spoke highly of the defense after the game, saying, "… just a testament to our defense, coach [Matt] Barnes and all the defensive players doing a great job. They're keeping us alive in games."
Memphis will have a short week as they take on the Houston Cougars on Friday night, October 7th, at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium at 6:30 pm CST on ESPN2.