Saturday, May 26, 2018
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UT backup QB Cochran sees action

PHILADELPHIA - University of Toledo quarterback Bruce Gradkowski got school career records for passing yardage and completions, as expected, during its 42-17 win over Temple at Lincoln Financial Field.

He also got hit on the last play of the first half and struggled all during halftime to catch his breath.

So backup Clint Cochran took the controls for the first series of the second half and was in for two other possessions later in the game.

Coach Tom Amstutz said he planned to play Cochran anyway, but that Gradkowski's problems "made it a good time to get him in. Clint has played in all of our games and we want to keep him in the rotation so he can keep getting experience. It's always important to give the No. 2 guy as much time on the field as possible so that he'll be ready to run your team if something should happen."

Something happened to Gradkowski on a fourth-down scramble inside the Temple 30 with about 25 seconds left in the first half.

"I took a little shot on the tackle and it knocked the wind out of me," Gradkowski said. "So, Clint opened the second half. It made sense. He was going to work some anyway."

Gradkowski was soon back in action, though, and accounted for two fourth-quarter scores, running for one touchdown and passing for another.

Gradkowski was 20 of 29 for 182 yards and four passing touchdowns against Temple. It was his fourth career game with four or more TD passes. Cochran completed all three of his pass attempts for 15 yards and is 14-of-16 passing in three games.

FOURTH VISIT: Yesterday's game marked the fourth time UT has traveled east to meet Temple and it marked the fourth different venue the Rockets have visited.

They played the Owls at old Temple Stadium in 1961, were part of a somewhat bizarre indoor game at the Atlantic City (N.J.) Convention Center in 1984, and then met the Owls at the University of Pennsylvania's venerable Franklin Field in 2001.

This fourth visit was to Lincoln Financial Field, the 68,532-seat stadium shared by Temple and the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles. The crowd was announced at 9,055.

THREE-DOT DATA: A 57-yard punt by UT's Brett Kern in the second quarter was one yard shy of matching his career long kick The Rockets lined up for one other punt during the first half, but shifted late into a single-back formation. Richard Davis took the direct snap and gained the two yards needed for a first down Temple got a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from backup quarterback Colin Clancy, a left-handed freshman, to pull within 42-17, then successfully executed an onside kick Tyrrell Herbert, a first-year starter for the Rockets at free safety, was credited with a team-high nine tackle participations to go along with a forced fumble early in the game.

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