Not Much of a Homecoming

Leading up to this week’s matchup with Boston College, some Temple players talked about their contempt toward their Big East Conference foes. Most of it had to do with the belief that Boston College was

Leading up to this week’s matchup with Boston College,
some Temple players talked about their contempt toward their Big East Conference foes. Most of it had to do with the belief that Boston College was one of the first teams in the Big East to vote out the
Owls out of the conference two years ago.

Asked if his players would use this as a motivation earlier this week,
Temple coach Bobby Wallace said, “I don’t know if
they do or not, but I sure do.”

While the Owls are set to leave the Big East after next year, Boston College secured a spot as the 12th team to join the Atlantic Coast Conference. An announcement came prior to the game.

Boston College seemed buoyed by the decision. With the help of running back Derrick Knight’s legs, the Eagles (4-2, 1-1) rolled over the Owls, 38-13, Saturday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field before a Homecoming crowd of 21,862. The Eagles’ offensive line opened up gaping holes for Knight, who totaled 158 yards rushing on 21 carries and took the Owls (1-5, 0-1) out of the game early.

Temple defensive coordinator Raymond Monica did not have an antidote for the potent BC offensive attack. The Eagles had 413 total yards in the first half alone and finished with 648 yards. Quarterback
Quinton Porter shredded the Owls’ porous secondary, passing 18 of 24 for 308 yards and two touchdowns.

“Well, it was pretty ugly from our side,” Wallace said. “BC whipped us in every way they could in the first half. I don’t ever remember giving up 400 yards in a half.”

BC jumped all over the hapless Owls from the outset. On the game’s opening drive, the Eagles drove down field with considerable ease with the help of Knight, who had runs of 34, 11 and 11 yards. Less than two minutes into the game, Horace Dodd capped the drive with a scoring run that gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead.

The Owls looked to be in good position to respond, but faltered. Buoyed by a 47-yard kickoff return by junior Jamil Porter, the Owls got down to the Eagles’ 19. McGann went for the end zone, but underthrew the ball, and BC cornerback Will Blackmon intercepted it at the six.

After an incompletion, Knight busted loose for a 42-yard run. Four plays later, Porter found receiver Grant Adams for a 16-yard scoring strike and a 14-0 BC lead with 10:11 still left in the first quarter. Knight rushed for over 100 yards in the first quarter alone.

Boston College coach Tom O’Brien admitted he was still concerned, despite his team’s quick start. He noted Temple’s resolve in its first win of the season last week at Middle Tennessee State, where the Owls trailed 14-0 before reeling off 41 unanswered points.

“I don’t think they were unprepared,” O’Brien said. “I thought they came out ready to play. They won a game last week after falling behind 14-0.”

Things would continue to disintegrate for the Owls.

The Eagles scored on their third straight possession, using a 65-yard TD pass from Porter to defensive back-turned-receiver Larry Lester for a 21-0 cushion with four minutes still left in the first.

Temple wideout Zamir Cobb said a couple of players gave emotional speeches at the half as the Owls tried to collect themselves in an
attempt to mount a comeback.

“After the halftime speeches your perception is we’re going to come out and hopefully have a turnaround,” Cobb said. “But a speech is what it is: words. And we just didn’t put it together.”

“Most of my halftime was dealing with the problems that we’re having on defense,” said Wallace, whose record at Temple now stands at 17-44. “I think we got issues there that deal with selfishness and undiscipline, and things like that I’ve got to address.”

The only real bright spot of the first half for the Owls was Zamir Cobb’s 9-yard reception as the first quarter ended. The catch gave him the
school record for career receptions, previously held by Terrance Stubbs with 130. Cobb finished the game with six catches for 44 yards.

But Temple’s problems did not stop after the first quarter. With 9:56 left in the third quarter, Owls quarterback Mike McGann tossed his second interception of the game. BC took advantage of McGann’s miscue when Porter, looking to his right, found tight end Sean Ryan uncovered for an 18-yard TD pass.

The Owls eventually got on the board once Wallace inserted backup quarterback Walter Washington late in the third quarter. The former junior college all-American connected with another former JUCO all-American, Phil Goodman, for a 6-yard scoring play, closing the defecit to 28-6. The two would hook up again on a 29-yard TD pass.

By then, however, the game had already been decided.

Washington put up good numbers against BC’s second stringers, going 12 of 22 for 116 yards and two touchdowns. He also had nine carries for 47 yards. McGann completed 14 of his 25 attempts for 96 yards and two picks.

Boston College has now defeated the Owls four straight times, with a combined score of 138-40.

“It was a team effort of not playing well,” Wallace said. “We got to regroup. I don’t feel like this team is coming together like a close-knit team.”

Temple’s itinerary does not let up. The Owls travel to Coral Gables, Fla., next Saturday to play the second-ranked Miami Hurricanes.

Before the Owls know it, they could fall to 1-6.

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