Owls Travel to take on Boston College

The Owls have seemingly found their stride, winning their previous two games on the road at Maryland, and at home against Tulsa last Thursday night.

After beginning the season 0-2, with losses to Villanova and Buffalo, the Owls have played their two best games of the season, in a stretch of games that are quickly becoming must win if Temple wishes to return to its fourth consecutive bowl game.

Awaiting the Owls are the previously nationally ranked Boston College Eagles, led by former Temple head coach Steve Addazio. The Eagles were ranked 23rd in the nation heading into last weekend and their road matchup with Purdue, who handed Boston College their first loss of the season with a 30-13 victory.

The Matchup

After averaging over 52 points per game in their first three matchups, including scoring 62 against Holy Cross, the Eagles were held to just 13 points against the Boilermakers.

Boston College is led by sophomore running back AJ Dillon, who has rushed for just under 500 yards on the young season, to go along with 4 touchdowns. After winning ACC Rookie of the Year as freshman, Dillon was voted the ACC Preseason Player of the Year as well as a Preseason All-American. He has lived up to the hype so far this season, averaging over 120 yards per game on the ground, and over a touchdown per game, as he has 1 receiving touchdown in 2018.

A.J. Dillon has rushed for 491 yards and 4 touchdowns this season. (Credit: Athlon)

With redshirt sophomore Anthony Brown under center, the Eagles have a balanced passing attack, and like throwing the ball downfield to a couple of deep threats on the outside.

Wide receivers Kobay White and Jeff Smith will look to stretch the field on Saturday, each is averaging over 20 yards per reception on the season. The collective group of receivers already has 14 touchdowns through the air on the season, and are led by White, who has caught 3 touchdowns already this season.

Lining up against Dillon and the talented Boston College offense is a Temple defense that has been forcing turnovers at will amidst its two-game winning streak.

The Owls are led by a pair of veteran linebackers in Shaun Bradley, and Chapelle Russell. Bradley leads the team in total tackles with 29 followed closely by Russell with 26.

Along with the linebacker duo, Temple is stout on a defensive line that includes two AAC defensive players of the week for weeks three and four. Last week, Roche totaled 8 tackles, 2 sacks, and a pair of forced fumbles against Tulsa. Dogbe continued his hot play to start the season totaling 8 tackles as well, a week after registering 2.5 sacks, and 3.5 tackles for loss against Maryland.

Quincy Roche was named AAC defensive player of the week for week four. (Zamani Feelings)

Trying to put up some points come Saturday afternoon is a Temple offense that has seemingly found its stride under redshirt-sophomore quarterback Anthony Russo.

While the numbers don’t jump off the page, Russo has performed well in relief of Frank Nutile. Russo has only thrown one touchdown on the season, but his 2-0 record speaks for itself, as he has helped to steady what was a lackluster offense in the first two weeks of the season.

He has certainly been helped by a resurgence by running back Ryquell Armstead, who is averaging over 91 yards per game on the ground. The senior running back for over 100 yards in back to back games and has once again become a formidable threat out of the backfield.

As for the receiving game, Brenden Mack has emerged as a go-to target for Russo, as the redshirt-sophomore is leading the team in receiving touchdowns, and is second on the team in receiving yards behind Ventell Bryant.

Lining up against Russo and the Temple offense is an Eagle defense that has been equally as good on the early season. The Boston College defense has already picked up 16 sacks on the season, led by Connor Strachan and Tanner Karafa, each with 2 sacks in 2018.

The Eagles also field a talented secondary unit with 6 interceptions so far on the campaign.

Both teams will look to take a step forward, with the Owls looking for their third consecutive win, and the Eagles looking to bounce back, and get their fourth win on the season.

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