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Boston College Defense Shuts Down Temple as Eagles Improve to 3-0

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Boston College v Temple Photo by Cody Glenn/Getty Images

In the first full game post-Phil Jurkovec injury, Boston College downed Temple 28-3. It was a bit of a sleepy game, but they took care of business.

The highlight of the game was the BC defense, which absolutely stifled the Temple offense particularly in the first half. They held the Temple offense to 3-14 on third down, and had three fourth down stops. Isaiah Graham-Mobley and Khris Banks returned to their former homes and played lights out. Mobley had a major fourth down hit on quarterback Justin Lynch in the red zone and made play after play across the field. He led the team with eight tackles. After the game, he shared how he told his teammates how to throw Temple off their game by getting in their heads. Banks notched a sack and a half, with five total tackles and generated great pressure.

The defense started the game with three straight three-and-outs. Tem Lukabu’s unit held the Temple offense to 58 total yards in the first half. The Owls didn’t even have a first down until early in the second quarter. The Eagles tallied five sacks and allowed only 239 yards of offense.

The game got off to a hot start. Picking up right where he left off last week, Travis Levy returned the opening kick nearly 70 yards to set the tone for the game. Coach Thurin’s special teams performed great throughout the game. Grant Carlson had five stellar punts averaging over 50 yards and flipped the field each time. The coverage was equally impressive, particularly Elijah Jones. Danny Longman returned to only kickoff duty and freshman Connor Lytton had extra point duty. No field goal was attempted, but Lytton may have the nod.

BC’s first drive went three plays for 29 yards that ended with a Dennis Grosel touchdown pass to Jaden Williams. Grosel didn’t have his best performance, but it also wasn’t necessary. He finished 5/13 for 34 yards with a touchdown and an interception. While Grosel didn’t attempt many passes, not allowing him to get into much of a rhythm, he still struggled on those few looks. After the opening drive touchdown pass, he underthrew a deep pass to Williams on the next drive that was picked off. The deep ball may be lost without Jurkovec, as Grosel later missed Zay Flowers going deep. He did make plays with his legs however. He converted a third and long and a fourth and short in the first half, totaling 40 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.

Pat Garwo led the way for BC on the ground. He ended with 17 carries and 48 yards. It wasn’t the most efficient day, but he punched in a touchdown in the first half. Travis Levy didn’t get too much work on the ground, but walked in for the final touchdown of the first half to give the Eagles the 21-0 lead. Flowers set up the play on a backwards pass from Grosel, taking it 47 yards with some great blocking downfield by the Eagle receivers.

The second half turned things around for the Temple offense. Some trickery led to a big 29 yard gain. Lynch started the second half 8/8 for 93 yards. Penalties and good defensive play stalled their second possession, leading to a turnover on downs. A quick three and out for BC, Temple would march down the field again. Getting as close as the BC 6-yard line, a penalty and an ensuing sack forced Rod Carey to settle for a field goal.

The teams would trade punts once again. The BC offense capped things off with one final drive entirely on the ground. Alec Sinkfield would carry six times for 35 yards, and Grosel went on to carry it in for the score.

It was a lackluster performance for the BC offense, ending with only 221 yards of total offense. Grosel will need to up his game to keep defenses honest and utilize all the weapons at his disposal. It could be the case that the Eagles still wanted to keep things vanilla against Temple, but with a new quarterback — albeit one with plenty of experience — the team needs to get on the same page quickly. They were able to put up points the past two weeks with ease, and it is concerning how little they were able to generate with the competition improving.