PHILADELPHIA -- Adonis Ameen-Moore rushed for 57 yards and two touchodwns as Syracuse closed the regular season with three straight wins by defeating Temple 38-20 Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Orange improved to 7-5 to clinch a postseason berth for the second time in the last three years. At 5-2 in BIG EAST play, Syracuse still has an outside chance at sharing the BIG EAST championship if a number of games go their way in the next two weeks.
Temple, which saw its season end at 4-7 overall and 2-5 in BIG EAST play in the Owls' return to the conference, held a 20-17 lead in the third quarter before Syracuse closed the game with 21 unanswered points.
Orange quarterback Ryan Nassib completed 16 of 28 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown. Running back Jerome Smith rushed for 96 yards on 20 carries, while wideout Alec Lemon had game highs wiht five receptions for 74 yards.
Syracuse took the lead for good with 4:32 left in the third quarter on Ameen-Moore's 1-yard touchdown run and the Orange gained an 11-point lead on Prince-Tyson Gulley's 3-yard run early in the fourth quarter. The Oragne defense iced it on Keon Lyn's 31-yard interception return for a score with 2:37 left.
Temple held a 10-0 lead after the first quarter on a 47-yard field goal by Brandon McManus and John Christopher's 12-yard touchdown reception from Clinton Granger. But Syracuse responded with two quick scores in the second quarter as Nassib fould Marcus Sales for a 24-yard touchdown with 13:23 left and Ameen-Moore went in from 18 yards to make it 14-10.
The teams exchanged field goals before halftime, giving Syracuse a 14-13 lead at the break.
Temple reclaimed the lead on Granger's 10-yard run with 8:53 left in the third quarter, but that was the last time that the Owls would find the scoreboard.
Granger threw for 173 yards and a touchdown in his second career start, but was intercepted twice. Temple running back Montel Harris, the BIG EAST's leading rusher entering the game, went for 106 yards on 22 carries to pick up the 27th 100-yard game of his career.