BOWLING GREEN -- Statistically, it doesn't look as if the Bowling Green State University football team's offense played well Saturday.
The Falcons managed just 318 yards, their third-lowest total of the season, and the 13 points BG managed barely outpaced the 10 it had in a loss at West Virginia.
Bowling Green coach Dave Clawson had plenty of praise for his team's offensive effort in a 13-10 win over Temple at Doyt Perry Stadium.
"It wasn't a super-productive day, but it was what we needed to do to beat that team," he said. "That's a really good defense, and we scored more than them.
"There's nobody in our league who's going to get 400-500 yards on that team. We didn't turn the ball over, and we won the field-position battle."
To put the Falcons' total offense into perspective, consider this: It is most yards Temple has allowed this season. BG didn't commit a turnover and found ways to get at least one first down on seven of its first eight drives.
"Our offensive line did a wonderful job of [creating holes], and Anthon [Samuel] did a wonderful job of running," said quarterback Matt Schilz, who completed 20-of-34 passes for 204 yards. "I probably didn't have one of my better games, but we didn't turn the ball over. I ran the ball a couple of times, and I think that was good as well.
"I was smart with the ball, and everyone executed at a very high level."
The offense finished with 114 yards rushing, which was excellent when you consider the Owls had held five of their first seven opponents to less than 100 yards rushing. Samuel, a freshman who finished with 112 yards on 18 carries, became just the second runner to surpass 100 yards against Temple; Toledo's Morgan Williams was the first, gaining 121 yards on 20 attempts.
"[The offensive line] gave me holes to run through, and we gashed them," Samuel said. "Coming into the week [Temple] was talking about stopping the run, so our goal was to run the ball and take the pressure off the passing game."
What helped the Bowling Green rushing attack was the use of multiple tight ends as Alex Bayer, Tyler Beck, and Kendall Montgomery all saw extensive action.
"They were helping us pin the ends when we rolled out, and we had an extra [blocker] in the running game," Schilz said. "And even if they ran a route [instead of blocked], they were taking a defender out of the box.
"Having the tight ends in there helped us in the running game and the passing game."
When the offense was asked to step up, it produced a fourth-quarter touchdown against a defense that had shut out its previous two opponents. Schilz hit Shaun Joplin with a game-winning 24-yard scoring strike with 7:41 to play.
"That was a big drive," Clawson said of the game-winning effort. "In their three MAC wins Temple gave up a total of three points, and we didn't have any illusion that we were going to go up and down the field.
"We stressed to the offense to make first downs, change field position, don't turn the ball over, and keep us in the game. And that's what they did."
BIG PLAYS FOR JOPLIN: Joplin came into Saturday's game with 11 catches for 139 yards in BG's first seven games. Saturday the Southview High School product caught two for 37 yards, including his first career touchdown at BG.
"He's a great athlete, and he works really hard," Clawson said. "I think he gets a lot of pressure because he's a local product and [the media] always wants to talk to him after every practice.
"He plays a position where we have a lot of seniors. He's developing, and he's doing a great job for us."
BIG PLAYS FOR THE DEFENSE: After allowing an average of 559 yards the last three weeks, the BG defense gave up just 284 yards to Temple. That was the Owls' second-lowest mark this season; they had 197 yards against Penn State and had 318 against Toledo.
The key for the BG defense was the play of standouts such as Dwayne Woods, who had 11 tackles.
"It was me being a leader on the team, one of the older players on the defense," Woods said of his performance Saturday. "I thought I had to put the defense on my back, and I've been trying to do that, but I failed the past couple of weeks.
"But I didn't quit and just kept working at it. And I succeeded -- and I look forward to succeeding a lot more this season."
Another fine effort came from Chris Jones, who had three sacks among his six stops.