Thomas had 31 carries, including touchdown runs from the 12, 22 and 21, while Ventell Bryant snagged a 3-yard pass from P.J. Walker for another TD. The Owls (6-0, 3-0 American Athletic Conference) made two-point conversions after both of Thomas' fourth quarter TDs.
Temple became bowl eligible with the win, which gave the Owls their first 6-0 season start since 1974.
Central Florida (0-7, 0-3) was held to just 137 yards of total offense but took a 16-14 lead in the third quarter with a 41-yard field goal by Matthew Wright, who also sent 48- and 27-yard kicks through the uprights. The Knights' only touchdown came from Shaquill Griffin, who intercepted Walker's pass in the second quarter and returned it 81 yards.