PHILADELPHIA (AP) Shane Buechele threw four touchdown passes, two to Tyler Page, and No. 18 SMU broke away from undermanned Temple 47-23 Saturday.
The game was pushed back from its original Thursday date while Temple dealt with virus-related issues. The Owls were missing 15 players who were in COVID-19 protocol.
SMU led 20-16 before Buechele connected with Kylen Granson on a 24-yard TD pass on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Mustangs (7-1, 4-1 American Athletic Conference) scored four touchdowns in the first 7 1/2 minutes of the period.
Temple (1-4, 1-4) scored on the first play of the game, with wide receiver Randle Jones going 75 yards on a screen pass from Trad Beatty.
Page, who came into the game fifth on the Mustangs this year in yards receiving, caught nine passes for 131 yards.
Playing in the slot most of the game, Page took advantage of a soft middle of the Temple defense and then used his speed to rack up most of his yards after making the catch. Buechele was 24 for 35 for 355 yards.
Tayvon Ruley's 3-yard touchdown run helped Temple build a 13-10 halftime lead.
Buechele put SMU ahead for good when he found Page with a 44-yard strike on the first drive of the second half.
In the fourth quarter, Buechele added a 33-yard TD toss to Rashee Rice while Tyler Lavine had a 2-yard touchdown plunge and TaMerik Williams added a 49-yard scoring scamper.
The Owls added a touchdown in the final minute on an 11-yard pass from Re-al Mitchell to tight end Aaron Jarman. It was the first touchdown pass at Temple for Mitchell, a redshirt sophomore who transferred from Iowa State.
SMU: The Mustangs outscored their first seven opponents by a combined margin of 159-89 in the first half. But Temple's 13-10 edge marked only the second halftime deficit of the season for SMU. The only other time was in the Mustangs lone loss to nationally ranked Cincinnati.
Temple: The Owls were without starting linebacker Jordan Magee, one of the players in COVID-19 protocol. Temple also was missing starting quarterback Anthony Russo for the second straight game with a shoulder injury.
After a bounce-back win against Navy kept the Mustangs securely in the Top 25 following the loss to Cincinnati, the Mustangs will look to move up in the rankings following a 24-point victory.
SMU: At Tulsa next Saturday.
Temple: At University of Central Florida next Saturday.