PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A whole lot of defense and a little bit of a pounding running game kept Boston College undefeated as its non-conference schedule winds down
Pat Garwo, Travis Levy and Dennis Grosel scored rushing touchdowns and Boston College cruised to a 28-3 victory over Temple on Saturday.
Grosel – who stepped into the quarterback spot following the injury to starter Phil Jurkovec during last week’s win over UMass – also added a touchdown pass to Jaden Williams.
The Eagles defense recorded four sacks of Owls quarterback Justin Lynch, who was under constant pressure the entire afternoon. Boston College was especially effective on 3rd down, where they held Temple to 3-for-14 overall.
“It was a team victory, which is makes it a lot of fun ” Boston College coach Jeff Hafley said. “The offense had its moments. The special teams was really solid and the defense was just lights out. That’s how we’re going to have to win games.”
Boston College (3-0) set the tone for the game with Levy’s 66 yard return of the opening kickoff just inside the Temple 30. Two plays later, Grosel found Williams on a slant in the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown pass.
That would be the highlight of the passing game for Grosel, who completed only 5 of 13 passes for 34 yards with an interception during his first start. However, the Eagles running game piled up 190 yards on 33 carries with Garwo, Grosel and Zay Flowers all rushing for over 45 yards.
“We have to learn how to win and play well on the road,” Grosel said. “There are things we can work on, but I think we did that in a lot of ways.”
Garwo would dive through a hole in the middle of the Owls defense from 1 yard late in the first quarter while Grosel capped off the scoring on a quarterback sneak on fourth and goal from the 1 midway through the fourth quarter. Levy’s one-yard score came late in the second quarter to pad the lead to 21-0.
That’s all the offense that the Eagles would need on the afternoon, as the Boston College defense kept taking advantage of some gaps within Temple’s offensive line. The Owls had five three-and-out drives and turned the ball over on downs on three other occasions.
“Everything opened up,” said defensive tackle Khris Banks, who had 1½ sacks of Lynch. “We played together and we were telling each other different keys that we saw on the field. It was a great performance by the defense and by the D-Line.”
Temple (1-2) got a 33-yard field goal by Rory Bell early in the fourth quarter to prevent BC’s first road shutout for since a 21-0 win at Kent State on August 30, 2008. The Owls also committed 11 penalties for 66 yards.
“I’m obviously disappointed in the outcome of the game,” Temple coach Rod Carey said. “When you have all these penalties and give up the first return and touchdown, you have to correct that and get better at that. But all he penalties and the key situational football that we failed in led to that.”
For Isaiah Graham-Mobley and Banks, walking into Lincoln Financial Field wasn’t just stepping into an opposing stadium. For the two Boston College defensive standouts, it was returning to the place that they called home last year as members of the Owls defense.
“It was real supportive,” Banks said. “I was able to see my family and friends, some friends from campus. It was wanted to keep everything in the moment,” Banks said. “You wanted to come out and be fired up, but not get overly emotional.”
Boston College will likely get some more Top 25 consideration in the poll thanks to its first 3-0 start in three seasons. A game against 2-1 SEC opponent Missouri next week will offer the Eagles their biggest non-conference test before opening ACC play at Clemson on Oct. 2.
Temple’s offense has been looking for some spark after losing Georgia transfer quarterback D’Wan Mathis to an injury against Rutgers. While Lynch was able to move them more effectively in the second half, the Temple offense needs to upgrade before heading into the American Conference schedule.
Boston College will host Missouri next Saturday in their final non-conference game.
Temple will play FCS school Wagner next Saturday in Philadelphia.
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