Battle of the birds on Saturday at the home of the . . . Eagles? Phil Jurkovec may be lost but the game must go on. Coach Hafley isn’t making any excuses and by all accounts the team has had some energetic practices this week.
Taking on the Owls means returning to the scene of the [Hidden] Temple Heist. A number of Eagles share their roots around the Linc. Isaiah Graham-Mobley and Khris Banks were with the program just last year, and Aaron Boumerhi (although lost for the season) once suited up in the cherry and white as well. Pat Garwo is from the Philly area, and even AD Pat Kraft held the reins at Temple only until about a year ago.
Dennis Grosel finds himself in a position he has been in each of the past couple of years. He chose to stay this year to be a part of this team and step in if and when the time came. He has the experience, and we’re going to get a genuine look at how far his development has come under Coach Cignetti after getting a glimpse against Virginia to close the 2020 season.
We should get our first look at safety Deon Jones this season. He was back at practice this week and the hope is to get the veteran leader back in the mix. Receiver Jaelen Gill was running at practice this week, but it will likely be a bit longer before we see him out on the gridiron.
What To Watch For
All eyes may be on Grosel, but he’s been in this position before. The key matchup for me is on the outside, the first real test for the BC secondary. The Temple receivers are legit. Randle Jones and Jadan Blue will be a handful for the likes of Brandon Sebastian, Elijah Jones, and Josh DeBerry. Their performances will likely determine how close of a game this really stays. It will also be interesting to see how the Eagles deploy the freshman defensive backs in Shawn Asbury and CJ Burton with the competition level rising.
The backup role behind Grosel is yet to be defined, and per Coach Hafley may change throughout the season. Daelen Menard has the edge in part due to experience, but Matthew Rueve and Emmett Morehead are right behind. The staff will take this as an opportunity to push their development sooner than expected.
Penalties and the kicking game. Penalties have been an issue since last season and cropped again last week to the tune of 11 for 99 yards. We will have to see how that trends here on out. While the kicking game didn’t pose any problems against UMass, I hope to see some more opportunities before this comes down to a critical situation.
The line has come down to BC -14, with a -630 on the ML
This one may look close, but BC should have things under control.
33 - 17 Eagles
BC still has a bit to go before they really find their footing. Grosel exuded confidence and poise, and at times it felt as though the offense didn’t miss a beat. The entire team really leveled up their game without their dear leader. The sky may not be the limit for the Eagles this year, but the upper bounds of the troposphere just might be.