With 10 minutes and 33 seconds remaining in the third quarter, senior safety Benny Walls picked up a fumble forced by redshirt-sophomore defensive tackle Ifeanyi Maijeh and ran it back for a 74-yard touchdown, putting the Owls ahead 21-0.
Temple University football (3-1, 0-0 The American) defeated the University of Georgia Tech (1-3, 0-1 The ACC), 24-2, at home on Saturday night.
The Owls defense allowed zero points in the game and stopped Georgia Tech twice in the redzone while forcing three total turnovers.
The Yellowjackets scored their only two points of the game when freshman running back Re’ Mahn Davis was tackled in the Temple endzone for a safety.
“[Keeping them out of the endzone twice] was a huge difference-maker in the game,” coach Rod Carey said. “There were different points in the game where Georgia Tech could have taken the lead, but we caused the first turnover. It was a huge lift to the entire team.”
Redshirt-junior linebacker Isaiah Graham-Mobley forced the first turnover of the game by poking the ball away from Georgia Tech redshirt-sophomore quarterback Tobias Oliver as he was heading into the endzone. Redshirt-sophomore cornerback Christian Braswell recovered the fumble while in the endzone.
The Owls third turnover came with nine minutes and 41 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter when Walls intercepted Oliver in the endzone.
Walls read the quarterback’s eyes when he dropped back and then jumped the route, he said.
“[Shuting out Georgia Tech] means a lot,” Walls added. “Defense wins championships. As long as the other team doesn’t score we have an opportunity to win the game.”
Temple’s defense held the Yellowjackets offense to only 174 passing yards and only 145 rushing yards. Georgia Tech came into the game averaging 173.7 rushing yards per game.
Temple’s defense is holding opponents to 17.25 points per game this season while only allowing a 25-percent conversion rate on third down.
“It’s a great feeling,” redshirt-junior defensive end Quincy Roche said. Roche finished with two tackles, a sack, and a pass breakup.
“Obviously we were going against Coach Collins, it’s added a bit of tension in the game, but we just went out, executed, did what we did. That was a great job.”
The Owls will have a quick turnaround for their next game when they travel to play East Carolina (3-2, 0-1 The American) on Thursday, Oct 3, in their first conference game of the season.
“We’ve got a game on Thursday, we lock back in and get right back to it,” Roche said.