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2017

Temple Owls

College Football

Betting Preview

Schedule

Temple has quietly stayed relevant in the football world and put in another 10-win campaign last season, which saw them beat Navy in the AAC title game. Even after an early loss to Army, the Owls still managed to win their final seven games before falling to Wake Forest in their bowl. New coach Geoff Collins, formerly a defensive coordinator at Florida and Mississippi State, has big shoes to fill in his first year as a head coach.

It won’t be easy because Temple will be without its record-setting quarterback Phillip Walker, who has started most of the last four seasons. Now, the Owls will turn to an inexperienced sophomore (Logan Marchi) or freshman (Anthony Russo) so nothing is guaranteed. Ryquell Armstead (919 yards, 14 TDs) should see a heavy load in his first season as starting running back. However, the offensive line has some new faces as well with only two returning starters in the group, both on the left side. To help the new quarterback, wide receiver will have plenty of experience with top guys Ventell Bryant (895 yards, 4 TDs), Keith Kirkwood (648 yards, 4 TDs) and Adonis Jennings (474 yards, 4 TDs) all returning. Still, a drop off is expected from the offense after scoring 32.4 points per game a year ago and that could make a lot of games closer than needed in AAC play, no matter how good the defense is.

Defensively, the Owls were one of the best in the country last season allowing 18.4 points per game and only 152 passing yards per contest. But with only three starters back from that group, there could be growing pains on this end, as well. Seniors will be the building block for the unit with Sharif Finch on the line (joined by tackle Michael Dogbe) and one of the best safety duos in the league in Sean Chandler and Delvon Randall. But while the talent is there at other positions, this defense is set to have five new starting sophomores with three of them at linebacker. It’s going to be difficult for them to stay as good with so many new faces.

We’ll know soon enough just how good they can be as Temple travels to Notre Dame in the opener. But even with a loss there, a couple easy wins follow before getting thrown to the wolves with the AAC opener at USF, the conference favorite. Without another win over USF, Temple may need to win the rest of its games to have a shot at the East title again. While the Owls don't have an extremely difficult schedule, they have to travel to Cincinnati and draw Navy, Houston and Tulsa out of the West division.

A good goal for the Owls in Collins’s first season as head coach would be to reach eight wins. With a new quarterback and so many different pieces on defense, it’ll be hard for them to replicate 10 wins. That said, the defense should still be a solid group and with plenty of skill players on offense, Temple should at least reach seven or eight.

 

2017 Temple Owls Football Schedule

Sept. 2 at Notre Dame
Sept. 9 vs. Villanova
Sept. 15 vs. Massachusetts
Sept. 21 at South Florida

Sept. 30 vs. Houston
Oct. 7 at East Carolina
Oct. 14 vs. Connecticut

Oct. 21 at Army
Nov. 2 vs. Navy
Nov. 10 at Cincinnati
Nov. 18 vs. UCF
Nov. 25 at Tulsa

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