On a key fourth and one with a little more than five minutes left in the fourth quarter, Temple University graduate student running back Tayvon Ruley jumped before the ball was snapped, leading to a false start penalty.
What would have been a manageable fourth down conversion led to a pass play stopped short of the first down by Boston College’s defense.
Defense was not the issue as the Owls (1-2, 0-0 The American Athletic Conference) were not efficient when in scoring positions and lost 28-3 to the Eagles (3-0, 0-0 The Atlantic Coast Conference) on Saturday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field.
A lack of offensive consistency hurt the Owls, with freshman quarterback Justin Lynch recording more completions on the first drive of the second half than in the entire first half.
“Everybody played bad on offense,” said head coach Rod Carey.
Lynch made his second start of the season today, throwing for 161 yards and zero touchdowns, a downgrade from the two-touchdown, 255-passing-yard performance that led to an Owls victory last week at the University of Akron.
Temple’s offense produced 58 yards in the first half and was unable to find their rhythm early on. The Eagles controlled the first half, utilizing their 17 minutes and 46 seconds of possession to record 171 yards and score three touchdowns, shutting out the Owls.
Lynch only had three yards passing in the first quarter, going one of three. The Owls mustered only seven yards rushing to start out the game.
The Eagles scored their first touchdown less than two minutes into the first quarter, with redshirt-senior quarterback Dennis Grosel throwing a 19-yard pass down the seam to freshman wide receiver Jaden Williams. This came off the back of a 61-yard kickoff return by graduate student running back Travis Levy that started off the game.
Levy recorded a touchdown of his own with 48 seconds left in the first half, taking a rush two yards up the middle. The Eagles’ running back duo of Levy and redshirt-sophomore Patrick Garwo III combined for 59 yards and two touchdowns in the game.
Last week, Garwo III rushed for a career-high 160 yards and was named the ACC running back of the week.
The Owls’ defense held their own, with junior cornerback Keyshawn Paul intercepting Grosel on the Eagles’ second drive of the game. They also held the Eagles to just 34 yards passing over the course of the contest.
Redshirt-freshman safety M.J. Griffin, who recorded nine total tackles, looks to the team’s performance as a whole as the key takeaway.
“We win together, we lose together,” said Griffin.
Temple’s defensive line could not contain Grosel, who scrambled for 47 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown with a little more than four minutes left in the game that put the Owls out of it for good.
Eagles’ graduate student linebacker Isaiah Graham-Mobley recorded eight total tackles, while Eagles’ redshirt-junior defensive lineman Khris Banks recorded five total tackles and 1.5 sacks. Both players transferred from Temple this offseason.
The Owls were their own worst enemy this afternoon, converting only one of their 11 third down opportunities, and only one of their three fourth down attempts. Coupled with 11 penalties compared to the Eagles’ two, the Owls’ lack of discipline and inability to convert on key downs kept them down the entire game.
It’ll take day-to-day repetition and work to bring up their execution levels, Carey said.
The Owls face off against Wagner College (0-3, 0-2 The Northeast Conference) at 12 p.m. next Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.