Strong running game leads Temple football past Georgia Tech

Running backs Re’Mahn Davis and Jager Gardner combined for more than 200 rushing yards in Temple’s 24-2 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday.

Freshman running back Re'Mahn Davis carries the ball during the Owls' game against Georgia Tech at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 28, 2019. | JUSTIN OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

On fourth and one on the Georgia Tech 18-yard line, freshman running back Re’Mahn Davis ran the ball into the end zone for a Temple touchdown in the second quarter.

Davis’ touchdown was part of a 195-yard outburst by the running game as Temple (3-1, 0-0 The American Athletic Conference) defeated Georgia Tech (1-3, 0-1 The Atlantic Coastal Conference) 24-2 on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Davis earned the majority of the Owls’ rushing yards, finishing with 135. Davis ended the game with two touchdowns. He scored his second touchdown from the one-yard line with eight seconds left in the first half.

Graduate running back Jager Gardner added 69 rushing yards. 

The Owls only compiled 31 rushing yards in their loss to the University at Buffalo on Sept 21.

“We’ve been stressing that all week,” Davis said. “We wanted to run the ball. We were trying to get the running backs going. [We wanted to] get Jager going and get me going. We just came out and wanted to execute it and do our best we can.”

Redshirt-junior quarterback Anthony Russo only had nine completions on 22 attempts. He finished with 127 passing yards and one interception. 

Only five of the Owls’ players had receptions. None of them surpassed 70 receiving yards. Redshirt-sophomore Jadan Blue led the Owls with 66 receiving yards.

Russo acknowledged he did not play his best game, but he was satisfied with his team’s overall performance.

“The run game was phenomenal,” Russo said. “The offensive line played great. At the end of the day, whether it’s me throwing touchdowns or the running backs running touchdowns, if we’re gonna win at the end of the day, we’re happy. It wasn’t the prettiest game for me. There’s a lot for me to correct.”

The only time the Yellow Jackets scored was in the third quarter. Davis was tackled in the endzone by Yellow Jackets sophomore linebacker Charlie Thomas and junior defensive lineman Antwan Owens.

Because the Owls’ defense was not on the field during Georgia Tech’s safety, it did not allow any points to the Yellow Jackets.

Senior safety Benny Walls recovered a fumble forced by sophomore defensive tackle Ifeanyi Maijeh. Maijeh hit Yellow Jackets redshirt-sophomore quarterback Tobias Oliver, and Walls returned it 74 yards to the end zone in the third quarter. Walls then intercepted a pass from Yellow Jackets redshirt-freshman quarterback James Graham in the end zone and returned it 65 yards. 

Georgia Tech had the ball at the Owls’ 14-yard line before the interception. Walls finished the game with six tackles.

Senior linebacker Shaun Bradley led the Owls with eight tackles. Redshirt-junior linebacker Isaiah Graham-Mobley and redshirt-sophomore cornerback Christian Braswell each had six tackles. Maijeh finished with five.

“Our goal every week is to come out and hold the team to no scores, and we did that,” Bradley said. “They got two points, but it is what it is.”

Temple will have a short week as it goes on the road to take on East Carolina (3-2, 0-1 The American) on Thursday to open up conference play. The game will be played at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, North Carolina at 8 p.m.

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