PHILADELPHIA, PA 9/28/2019 – Yes, it can be a game of emotions as Georgia Tech Coach Geoff Collins returned to the Linc to face the Temple Owls, the team he coached last year. It was the first time a former coach played against his former team from the previous season. Temple Coach Rod Carey let the team provide direction on how to handle it.
“We knew we had to focus on us,” said Carey. “I let them (the players) take the lead on that.”
But for Collins and Carey, the real meaning for this game was to bounce back after tough losses the week before. Game on!
A stellar effort by the Temple defense lead the Owls to a 24 – 2 win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at the Linc. Senior safety Benny Walls was instrumental in the victory scoring a touchdown on a 74-yard fumble return, then picking off a pass in the endzone to snuff out a Georgia Tech scoring chance. Walls had a interception, fumble recovery, and 6 solo tackles.
“The fumble recovery, the pick, and playing and all over the field playing like a senior,” Carey said about the play of Walls. “If you’re going to have a good football team, possibly a great one, your seniors have to play like seniors. They have to play the best football of their lives in their senior year in college.”
With 10:33 to play in the third quarter defensive end Ifenyi Maijeh forced Tech quarterback Tobias to fumble. Walls picked up the loose ball and took it back up the right sideline to give the Owls a 21 – 0 lead. In the fourth quarter. With just under 10 minutes on the clock Walls intercepted a James Graham pass in the endzone returning it 65-yards to the Tech 35-yard line ending the drive. Keeping Tech from crossing the goal line gave the defense a lift.
“It means a lot,” said Walls about keeping Tech from scoring. “Defense wins championships. If you don’t let them score you have a chance to win.”
Temple held Georgia Tech to their lowest offensive rushing output of 131 yards. Tech turned the ball over 3 times, took it away once, and converted only 2 of 14 third-down chances. All of the Yellow Jackets drives started on their side of the field.
The Georgia Tech defense put points on the board when Charlie Thomas tackled Re’Mahn Davis in the endzone for a safety.
It started as a defensive battle. The Owls defense held the Yellow Jackets from scoring early in the second quarter when quarterback Tobias Oliver appeared to be going in from 8 yards away, but just before he got to the goal line he was hit by linebacker Sam Franklin and fumbled. Christian Braswell recovered for Temple.
The Cherry and White finally got the offense untracked behind the running game. Re’Mahn Davis scored on an 18-yard burst on fourth and one capping a 58-yard. Temple forced a three and out on the next drive. Starting from their 27-yard line the Owls drove to the one where Davis would cross the line for the second time and a 14 – 0 lead with only 8 seconds on the clock to halftime. Davis ran for 84 yards in the first half, 135 for the game, his first 100-yard game as an Owl.
“It was amazing, and I hoped to get it at some point,” Davis said about the milestone 100-yard game. “If it wasn’t for the offensive line, I never would have gotten it.”
The 3 – 1 Owls have a short week to prepare as they play a Thursday night game at East Carolina University.
Written By: Glenn Papazian