Coming off a double-digit victory over Akron, with 432 yards and an average of over seven yards per play, Temple football appeared to have little problem moving the ball. Then, Boston College came to Philadelphia, and the Owls had to fight for every single yard. At the half, the Owls had a total of two first downs, as the BC defense forced three-and-outs on four of its five drives in the first half.
Not much changed in the second half, as the Eagles’ defense doubled down, and BC (3–0) posted its third victory of the year in as many games, winning 28–3 over Temple (1–2). For the third game in a row, the Eagles never trailed.
“This is a huge statement for us,” linebacker and Temple transfer Isaiah Graham-Mobley said after the game. “This is our standard. … We know we can change the game.”
Travis Levy began the game with a 67-yard return on the opening kickoff, which set the tone for a dominant game out of the Eagles. On just the third play of the game, BC quarterback Dennis Grosel dropped back and fired a strike to wideout Jaden Williams in the end zone, a 19-yard touchdown pass that put the Eagles up 7–0.
Temple’s first three drives went for six, negative two, and nine yards, punting after three plays on each drive. Temple quarterback Justin Lynch couldn’t find open receivers downfield, and the Owls ran the ball four times for minimal yardage. The Owls did not move the first down markers once in the first quarter.
After the Eagles’ three-play touchdown drive to begin the game, and two Temple three-and-outs, BC got the ball back with eight minutes remaining in the first quarter.
In 10 plays that exhausted the first quarter clock, the Eagles handed the ball off to running back Pat Garwo III six times, driving almost all 78 yards on the ground. Garwo finished the drive with a one-yard touchdown, putting the Eagles up 14–0 after a quarter.
For the second game in a row, running the ball was the Eagles’ bread and butter. On 35 attempts, BC ran for 187 yards and three touchdowns. Running backs Garwo, Levy, Alec Sinkfield, and Xavier Coleman all had carries, Grosel ran for 45 yards, and wide receiver Zay Flowers caught a lateral pass that went for 47 yards down the left sideline.
“I thought the O-line played well,” BC head coach Jeff Hafley said. “They brought a lot of guys up and fired through gaps, but we wanted to end the game by running the football and finish them off.”
BC’s special teams play was outstanding, as Levy returned two kicks and four punts for a total of 155 yards, giving the Eagles great field position all day. Three of BC’s four touchdowns were on drives less than 60 yards.
It was a homecoming for Graham-Mobley and defensive lineman Khris Banks, both of whom transferred to BC after playing at Temple in 2020. Graham-Mobley finished with eight tackles, including a massive hit on Lynch to force a turnover on downs. Banks recorded five total tackles and 1.5 sacks.
“That was one of the best defensive performances I’ve been around in a while,” Hafley said.
Grosel filled in for injured quarterback Phil Jurkovec, throwing for one touchdown and one interception and running for 47 yards. The interception marked the first against BC all year.
“It was a team victory, which is so much fun,” Hafley said. “I thought the offense had their moments, special teams was really solid, and like we said, defense was lights out. That’s how we have to win games.”
Featured Image by Tyger Williams / AP Photo