Temple football lost to Virginia Tech 35-0 on Saturday at Veterans’ Stadium.
This is the second consecutive week that the Owls have failed to reach the end zone or the goal posts against two nationally ranked squads.
“Today was not a whole lot different than the last four weeks,” coach Bobby Wallace said.
That’s for sure. The past two games, Temple has been able to hang in there with the big boys for at least the first half.
The beginning of the game seemed promising for the Owls. They opened their first drive with a 13 yard reception to wide out Sean Dillard from quarterback Mike McGann.
Those would be the only passing yards McGann would have against the Hokies. He was pulled from the game after playing only three series due to sitting out practice most of the week. McGann will start against West Virginia next week, according to Wallace.
On the Owls next play from scrimmage, tailback Tanardo Sharps broke into the open field for a 31-yard scamper to put the Owls in Hokie territory early on.
But that would be the reoccurring theme of this game: the Owls had excellent field position early but failed to get any points on the board.
“Anytime we seem to get in the red zone we come out our own worst enemy,” Wallace said.
Early on the offense was on the Virginia Tech 19-yard line when a McGann pass was picked off by DeAngelo Hall.
Later on in the quarter Tech quarterback Grant Noel connected with Andre Davis for a 41-yard TD pass.
Jairo Almonte, who sacked Noel in the third quarter, said coming into the locker room at halftime Wallace told the team “to keep playing hard. All they had was two big plays.”
The Owls best opportunity of the second half came after a 5-yard punt by Virginia Tech to put the Owls on Tech’s 38-yard line. But quarterback Mac DeVito couldn’t complete a pass and got a delay of game penalty to push Temple back.
On the ensuing drive, freshman tailback Kevin Jones rushed for an 87-yard TD to put Virginia Tech ahead 21-0.
“It’s been the same thing every game,” Almonte said. “We come into the second half and there is such a shift in momentum. It’s frustrating.”
It must be frustrating when you start most of your drives already in the opponent’s territory and not being able to score, not even a field goal. Temple missed on their only try, a 43-yard attempt by Cap Poklemba.
The Owls had 177 passing yards compared to Virginia Tech’s 134, but the Hokies hurt the Owls in the running game where the Owls only had 60 yards, opposed to Virginia Tech’s 257, including 161 yards from Jones.
All the Owls can do is put this game behind them and focus finishing the season on a positive note with at least getting some offensive production, let alone winning next week’s game against West Virginia at a hostile Mountaineer Field.
“It’s no fun to be shutout,” Wallace said. “It is embarrassing.”