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2018

Temple Owls

College Football

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Temple managed a bowl win in Geoff Collins’s first season in charge and that’s about all fans could ask for. The Owls finished 7-6 and closed with four wins in five games with help from new quarterback Frank Nutile. A little more is expected from them this year, mostly because of Nutile and because UCF and USF won’t be as good as a season ago. Temple has an over/under of 6.5 wins at 5Dimes Sportsbook, placing them in the category just above bowl eligibility with +2300 odds to win the AAC.

Nutile isn’t a complete game breaker at quarterback, but he’s better than his predecessor after 12 TDs and 7 INTs with a 60.8% completion rate and he was surprisingly listed in Heisman odds at +20000. The experience around him should lead to a better overall attack that surpasses last year’s 25.1 points per game. Running backs David Hood (562 yards, 4 TDs) and Ryquell Armstead (553 yards, 4 TDs) will again fight for carries, while Isaiah Wright (41 receptions, 595 yards) is the do-it-all receiver complemented by Ventell Bryant and freshman Sean Ryan. The line returns two full-time starters, but all five guys have experience so that’s another area that could see improvement. As long as Nutile builds off what he did at the end of last year, the offense should take a step forward.

The defense only had trouble against the best offenses last year and there’s a good chance this group improves in the second year under Collins, the former defensive coordinator at Mississippi State and Florida. Sophomore Quincy Roche is expected to be a monster on the edge after seven sacks as a freshman and he’s helped by two returning tackles, namely senior Michael Dogbe. Linebacker is also set with Sam Franklin and Shaun Bradley, the team’s leading tacklers from last season. Safety Delvon Randall is the lone returning starter in the secondary, but he’s also one of the best in the AAC, which should make up for the lack of experience around him.

Temple barely got past Villanova and UMass last year, so there’s no guarantee to how some of these non-conference games will go. The unfortunate part of the schedule is that they travel to both Maryland and Boston College, both looking like losses. That means four AAC wins will be needed again to reach a bowl and five to hit the over. Road games at Navy, UCF and Houston all stand out and could be the main problem for Temple in its quest to battle for the East division. While this team may be improved, the schedule isn’t favorable and could lead to a similar record and bowl game. That said, the Owls are in a much better situation at quarterback than a year ago and the offense should be more consistent. If the defense can improve again under Collins, there’s no reason seven or eight wins isn’t do-able, especially with expected drop-offs from other teams in the AAC.

 

2018 Temple Owls Football Schedule

Sept. 1 vs. Villanova

Sept. 8 vs. Buffalo

Sept. 15 at Maryland

Sept. 20 vs. Tulsa

Sept. 29 at Boston College 

Oct. 6 vs. East Carolina

Oct. 13 at Navy

Oct. 20 vs. Cincinnati

Nov. 1 at UCF

Nov. 10 at Houston

Nov. 17 vs. South Florida

Nov. 24 at Connecticut

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