Boston College turns to Dennis Grosel at QB against Temple

NCAA Football

Boston College will have a new starting quarterback when it visits Temple in a nonconference matchup on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.

Eagles junior Phil Jurkovec had an operation on his throwing hand Monday, and his chances of returning this season are uncertain.

Fortunately for the Eagles (2-0), the running game came up big in a 45-28 rout of in-state foe Massachusetts last Saturday after Jurkovec departed late in the first quarter.

Sophomore Pat Garwo III earned ACC Running Back of the Week honors after rushing for a career-high 160 yards on 15 carries. Garwo’s previous high in rushing yardage was 36 against Pittsburgh last October.

Graduate running back Travis Levy was named the ACC’s Specialist of the Week after returning a kick 96 yards for a touchdown against UMass. He also had a 20-yard rushing touchdown and finished with 43 yards on seven carries.

After two games, Boston College’s rushing attack ranks 35th in the nation among FBS teams at 214 yards per game.

“We’ve been working on the running game from camp all the way to the first game and the second game,” Garwo said. “It’s a big emphasis because we know we can hit it. We have a lot of good backs. We trust in everyone.”

Jurkovec, who will miss Saturday’s game against the Owls, completed 3 of 4 passes for 22 yards before exiting against the Minutemen. Jurkovec was listed as questionable to return at halftime but did not come back into the game.

The injury represents a big blow for Boston College after Jurkovec passed for 2,558 yards, 17 touchdowns and five interceptions in 2020.

In his stead last weekend, the Eagles turned to senior backup Dennis Grosel, who threw for 199 yards and a score on 11-of-14 passing. Grosel saw limited action in the Eagles’ season-opening 51-0 rout of Colgate, totaling 44 yards on 5-of-6 passing.

Grosel also filled in for an injured Jurkovec against Virginia on Dec. 5, 2020, and tied the school record of 520 passing yards established by the legendary Doug Flutie in 1982.

The Eagles’ offense ranks 10th in the country in scoring, averaging 48 points per game.

Temple (1-1) bounced back from a 61-14 thrashing at the hands of Big Ten opponent Rutgers in the season opener with a 45-24 win against Akron. The Zips held a 17-7 lead early in the second quarter before the Owls rattled off 38 unanswered points en route to the blowout victory.

“They executed at a higher level (in the first quarter),” Temple coach Rod Carey told the Temple News. “We dug ourselves out.”

Owls freshman quarterback Justin Lynch threw for 245 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 19-of-23 passing. Senior wideout Randle Jones caught seven of those passes and both TDs, totaling a career-high 170 receiving yards.

“Having trust in your teammates is key,” Lynch told the Temple News. “I had to get the ball in my receiver’s hands.”

Owls graduate linebacker William Kwenkeu was named the AAC’s Defensive Player of the Week after finishing with seven tackles (three for loss), a pair of sacks and a 38-yard scoop-and-score in the Akron game.

Saturday’s contest marks the home opener for the Owls and will be the first time they faced off against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field since a 34-17 win for Boston College in the finale of the 2004 season.

–Field Level Media

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