Temple University had been the first institution in the U.S. to offer evening classes. Founder and President Russell Conwell wanted people with day jobs to be educated. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Owls for being the first to have classes at night.
The 2015 Temple football team has lived up to its billing as being nocturnal. In fact, seven of the Owls’ first 10 games have been under the lights, including the previous five.
Daylight participation finally returns for the Owls. Temple (8-2, 5-1 American Athletic Conference) hosts Memphis (8-2, 4-2) on Nov. 21 at Lincoln Financial Field with a noon kickoff, the Owls’ first day game since defeating Tulane, 49-10, at Lincoln Financial Field on Oct. 10. The Owls are 3-2 in their last five games (all at night) while the Tigers have dropped their previous two contests.
Memphis, which defeated the Owls, 16-13, in a 2014 conference tilt in Philadelphia on a last-second field goal, has been eliminated from contention in the AAC West. Temple, meanwhile, leads South Florida by one game in the AAC East before the Bulls host Cincinnati on Nov. 20. The Owls could clinch the division with a win against the Tigers and a South Florida loss.
Playing under the lights has produced a 5-2 record, including four weeks ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. During night games, the Owls have led for 209 minutes and 35 seconds, trailed for 144 minutes and 40 seconds, and tied for 67 minutes and 45 seconds. Overall, Temple has led for 305 minutes and 17 seconds, trailed for 191 minutes and 19 seconds, and tied for 103 minutes and 24 seconds.
Opponents have been outscored, 329-210, as the Owls post 32.9 points per game and surrender 21 a contest. While playing under the lights, Temple has tallied 228 points (32.57 ppg) and yielded 167 (23.86 ppg). In their last two games, the Owls put 83 points on the board but allowed 84 (defeated host Southern Methodist, 60-40, and lost at South Florida, 44-23).
From 2011 until 2014, Temple had taken the field 11 times after 6 p.m. (3-1 in 2011, 1-0 in 2012, 0-2 in 2013, and 2-2 in 2014). In those games, the Owls have outscored opponents, 290-199 (138-66 in 2011, 41-10 in 2012, outscored by 66-41 in 2013, and 70-57 in 2014).
By the way, Temple is scheduled to host Connecticut on Nov. 28 at 7 p.m., meaning the Owls would’ve played eight night games in the regular season. That would be the most amount of prime time games during one season in team history.