This sudden concept of a Philadelphian college football wonderland, built around an ambitious Temple, figured to cease after No. 9 Notre Dame arrived and revved up its Power Five talent. Instead, the whole giddy hope lasted almost all the way to midnight Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field, because the 2015 version of the Owls do not stop clawing.
Not until 11:33 p.m., when Notre Dame’s KeiVarae Russell leapt for a clinching interception, did Temple relent in a 24-20 loss. Not until 68 seconds remained did Temple’s march to 7-0 and a No. 21 ranking seem sure to ebb to 7-1, while Notre Dame’s College Football Playoff hopes stayed vibrant.
Through all but the final minute of a taut second half, all the way to Notre Dame’s winning touchdown pass with 2 minutes 9 seconds left, the 69,280 witnesses, including abundant Irish fans, got to sense that this Temple revival might reach a stage inconceivable to most when coach Matt Rhule took over in 2013 and went 2-10 off the bat.
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