The combination of AJ Dillon and Ben Glines racked up 281 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, while Anthony Brown threw for two touchdowns and caught another in the first meeting of the former Big East members since the 2004 season.
All three quarterbacks were on the field for the first play of the game for Temple, but it was Anthony Russo who got the majority of the snaps under center. The redshirt-sophomore threw for 255 yards, but also had two interceptions and the quarterback concerns continue on North Broad.
The Eagles opening drive was one full of momentum swings. Boston College moved down the field rather quickly, but Delvon Randall picked off Anthony Brown in the end zone for what looked to be a huge play for Temple. It was ruled an interception on the field, but the officials overturned the play on a somewhat questionable call. Four plays later, Brown found Tommy Sweeney all alone in the end zone with a juggling grab for the first touchdown of the game.
If Temple had its head down after that drive, Armstead quickly got their spirits up again. The senior running back looked like he was shot out of cannon as he took it 75 yards for the touchdown to tie the game.
The ensuing kickoff was returned by BC, but Temple was ruled offside and forced to re-kick. That was a blessing for the Owls as Rob Ritrovato forced a fumble on the second kickoff and Isaiah Graham-Mobley returned it 19 yards for another special teams touchdown for the Owls. It was the third special teams touchdown on the season and fifth straight game with a non-offensive touchdown for Temple.
Boston College quickly responded with an 11-play, 85-yard drive that took only three minutes, 31 seconds to score. Brown found Jeff Smith wide open in the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown pass, but Temple maintained a 14-13 advantage after John Tessitore missed the extra point.
Armstead scored his second touchdown of the afternoon from a yard out for the Owls to take a 21-13 lead with 6:46 remaining in the half. BC went three-and-out on the next possession and the Owls quickly got to midfield on two pass plays. That is when Freddie Johnson had a pass go right through his hands and in the waiting arms of BC cornerback Hamp Cheevers for the interception.
Dillon rumbled for a 52-yard touchdown run and a successful two-point conversion tied the game at 21. Russo would throw another interception a couple plays later and the end result was another Dillon score. A successful field goal with 20 seconds remaining gave BC a 31-21 lead at halftime. In just over six minutes, Temple let that eight-point lead slip away and trailed by two scores.
Some trickery by the Eagles led to the first points in the second half on a reverse pass back to the quarterback. Smith, a former quarterback, returned the favor from the earlier touchdown with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Brown and Temple was down 17 points midway through the third.
Armstead continued to shine as Dillon watched on the sideline with an ankle injury for much of the second half. The Owls rode their star running back on two touchdown drives that ended with his second and third touchdowns from the one-yard line. Temple trailed Boston College by just three points with a little over nine minutes in the game.
Glines stepped in at running back for the injured Dillon and the Eagles moved down the field quickly with the aid of a personal foul penalty on Sam Franklin. The game came down to a fourth-and-goal play from the one and it was tough to see if Glines actually got in, but it was ruled a touchdown.
Geoff Collins told reporters after the game that they weren’t expecting BC to use a lot of tempo and that was a key to the Eagles being so effective on the ground. He also alluded to the 11 penalties and three turnovers in what could have been a much better game for the Owls.
Temple will be back at home next week for conference play against ECU. Kickoff is at noon.