Previewing 2018 BC Football: Temple

Temple quarterback Anthony Russo throws to a receiver in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Maryland, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in College Park, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

After getting rolled over by Purdue, Boston College football has lost the No. 23 spot in the NCAA poll and has even fallen out of the receiving votes section. With this disappointing loss, BC (3-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) has suffered a setback, but have since stressed that its motivated and have worked hard this week in preparation for this Saturday’s home game against Temple (2-2). The Eagles are angry and realize they need to have a strong performance this Saturday to put their season back on the right path, especially with many of their biggest ACC rivals in front of them. They will have plenty more opportunities to get back in the rankings, but they can’t look too far ahead—first they need to take care of business at home against a tough opponent, who is also looking to build its resume and would love to take down a favored BC team on the road.

Saturday should make for a great game day environment, especially since its Parent’s Weekend. BC’s stands will be packed with excited fans looking to get back into the swing of things with redemption and hope on the horizon.

Last weekend, the Eagles managed to stay with Purdue in the first quarter, but once the second quarter hit, they seemed lost. Their strong play turned into bad calls with no execution. Temple, on the other hand, just won their first home game of the season and has been playing stellar defense. On offense, they have been scoring plenty of points, while the defense has been especially stingy. The Eagles are favored and expected to come out on top this Saturday, but after last week’s play nothing is certain.

Who is BC playing?

Temple

When is BC playing?

Saturday, Sep. 29, 12 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

How to Watch:

The game will be broadcasted on ACC Network Extra and livestreamed on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) A.J. Dillon had a season low of 21 yards on 11 carries in the first half against Purdue. He finished the game with a season low of 59 rushing yards on 19 carries. It was the lowest single-game rushing total for Dillon since Oct. 2017.

2) BC, as a team, registered a total of five sacks. The Eagles also had nine tackles for a loss of 48 yards. Overall, they had 14 first downs on the way to a total of 229 yards of offense. They were 3-for-12 on third down conversions and had seven penalties, accounting for 60 yards.

3) Michael Walker played a great game on special teams. He recorded 213 yards on three kick returns, including a 60-yard run in the first quarter that put the Eagles in a prime spot for a touchdown drive. His 213 kick return yards ranks second-most in BC single-game history.

Temple:

1) Linebacker Shaun Bradley led the Owls last week against Tulsa with 11 tackles, 7 of which were solo, and also had a fake punt run for 28 yards. Cornerback Rock Ya-Sin had 10 tackles and an interception. Also contributing was Chapelle Russell, Michael Dogbe, Sam Franklin, and Quincy Roche, who all had eight tackles.

2) The Owls are averaging 3.7 yards per carry. Against Tulsa, the Owls had 57 plays for 300 yards.

3) Ryquell Armstead exceeded 2,000 career rushing yards and has 2,078 after The Owls game against Tulsa. He is one of nine Owls who has rushed over 2,000 yards in their career. He has 22 total rushing touchdowns, tying him for fourth-all-time in rushing touchdowns for Temple. Against Tulsa, he also recorded his first career sack and ran for 108 yards—making him just the third player to ever have 100-yards rushing and a sack in a game.

Last Meeting:

The Eagles last meeting with Temple was all the way back in 2004 in Philadelphia, Pa., where BC beat the Owls 34-17. The Eagles were ranked 19th at the time and on their way to a conference title with Matt Ryan as their freshman quarterback.

Outlook:

This game is very important for BC. After a worrisome loss, they really need a win here to get back on track. Hopefully, this loss has infuriated the Eagles and motivated them to step it up even further. The coaching staff has really ingrained in BC this week that they need to be on their A game against Temple.

A.J. Dillon needs to execute and find key opportunities to get yards and help score touchdowns. Brown needs to find his players and limit turnovers—he had a four interceptions last week against Purdue. On offense, the Eagles need to remain consistent and control the ball, limiting silly mistakes and turnovers. They can’t allow their play calling to be too predictable like they did last week against Purdue. The Eagles need to stay out of third-and-long and have better plays and execution on first and second downs.

On defense, BC has to be tougher and play stronger. It can’t let the other team’s offense easily rack up yards and control the ball. It has to maintain pressure and close up the running lanes. It’s defense was especially bad on third downs against Purdue, which are crucial plays in determining the outcome of the game. Temple has played really well on defense and against Tulsa they forced a total of five turnovers—three interceptions, four fumbles, and two fumble recoveries—which allowed them to come out on top. BC has to be on its A game and execute well on offense to get passed a really tough defensively minded opponent.

Photo by Patrick Semansky / AP Photo