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Rod Carey aims to clean up penalties and rid Temple football of ‘self-inflicted wounds’

Temple recorded 11 penalties for 66 yards against Boston College, continuing a trend from its first two games of the season.

Temple coach Rod Carey, speaking with a referee during the fourth quarter of a game against Boston College on Saturday.
Temple coach Rod Carey, speaking with a referee during the fourth quarter of a game against Boston College on Saturday.Read moreTYGER WILLIAMS / Staff Photographer

Temple head coach Rod Carey wants his team to get back to the basics and avoid penalties.

Whether it’s an offensive lineman moving before the snap or the defensive line being called offside, Temple’s unforced errors have yielded terrible field position in their first three games.

“All the penalties today and key situational football that we failed in led to that,” Carey said after Saturday’s 28-3 loss against Boston College at Lincoln Financial Field.

Temple’s penalties put them at a disadvantage that Boston College jumped on in the Owls’ home opener.

» READ MORE: Temple’s defense is stout but not enough to hold off Boston College

With about eight minutes left in the first quarter and Temple trailing 7-0, Eagles running back Patrick Garwo got into the end zone for an easy one-yard touchdown. Temple had helped along the way, being called for three different penalties during the drive, including a declined offside call on defensive end Will Rodgers on the scoring play.

The same situation played out with cornerback Cameron Ruiz on the extra point. And prior to that, Boston College quarterback Dennis Grosel was sacked by defensive end Manny Walker, but safety Amir Tyler was called for holding on the play, which led to a 10-yard gain and a first down at Boston College’s 41-yard line. A tough drive for the Owls put them into a 14-point deficit after the first quarter ended.

When the Owls got the ball back in the second quarter, freshman quarterback Justin Lynch, who threw for 161 yards and was sacked four times, had nothing going. In fact, when Lynch ran the ball for a gain of two yards, even that was taken away after center C.J. Perez was called for a false start.

The penalty cost Temple five yards on third down, and Lynch then put together a six-yard run and came up a yard short. The Owls punted again.

The only points recorded by Temple’s offense came in the third quarter on an an 11-play drive as Carey settled for a field goal.

Despite Temple recording an advantage in yards and time of possession, the Owls totaled 11 penalties for 66 yards against the Eagles, who had two penalties for 25 yards in the game.

In the Owls past two games against Rutgers and Akron, Temple had a combined 13 penalties. The Knights and Zips recorded under five penalties for less than 35 yards.

“Those key situational penalties were just ... self-inflicted wounds are what we call them, pre-snap controllable penalties, combat penalties,” Carey said. “I usually don’t get worried about them.”

» READ MORE: Penn State defense comes up big in fourth quarter, leads 28-20 win over Auburn

Luckily Wagner, who Temple plays at noon Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field, has lost all three of their games and dealt with the same penalty issues. In their first game against Buffalo, the Seahawks recorded 14 penalties for 90 yards.

The only way for the Owls to fix their mistakes going forward is through repetition, Carey said.

“Even with the mistakes that we made in that game and how frustrating that was at that time, we’re getting better,” Carey said. “There’s just some situational things that we need to get better at.”