Temple Owls 2023 College Football Preview
June 23, 2023
Record – 3-9
ATS – 8-4
The Owls struggled during year one of the Stan Drayton experience and posted their second consecutive record of 3-9. The expectations were extremely low given the rebuilding project at hand but some GREEN SHOOTS of growth appeared during the season. They found a starting QB and endured close one-score losses to Houston and East Carolina down the stretch.
Can the Owls improve in the win-loss column this year?
Temple Owls 2023 Outlook
Things are looking up in Philadelphia as the Owls appear to have a QB that they can count on for a number of years. E.J. Warner had a good freshman campaign LY (3,028, 18-12 TD to INT) and he’s a smart distributor of the football in the THROW GAME. We don’t love the WR situation but at least they add a legit target from Colorado St in Dante Wright. It certainly helps to have a sweet TE duo in Jordan Smith and David Martin-Robinson who combined to catch 58 balls LY (6 TD), so all is not lost. #1 RB Edward Saydee is back for battle (639, 6 TD) and there’s decent depth behind him. Three starters are retained up front and they add an intriguing LT transfer in Diego Barajas (6-6, 300) from something called Laney College. The Owls will lack explosiveness but they’ll have success moving the chains gradually on many of their opponents.
There’s lots of room for improvement as the Owls ranked #112 in the nation in run defense (193 YPG) and #104 in pass efficiency defense. On the bright side, they did well on 3rd downs (#45, 36%) and were able to achieve impressive PENETRATION (38 sacks, #13). Nine starters come back for another tour of duty so we expect the Owls to be much improved from an overall statistical standpoint. They’ll miss sack leader DE Darian Varner (7.5) but return almost everyone else of consequence including star LB Layton Jordan (2nd Team AAC, 18.5 TFL) and the entire starting secondary. This won’t be a brick wall by any stretch but it looks like Temple has the ability to play “average AAC defense”.
The Owls might have a devastating weapon at PK in Camden Price (13-14 FG LY) but they’ll need to introduce a new punter. They could also use some spice in the return game as they ranked in the bottom-10 in the FBS in both PR and KR in 2022.
Overall – It doesn’t look too bad. They start with three winnable games (Akron, at Rutgers, Norfolk St) and miss Tulane in conference play. Sadly, they must face SMU, UTSA, and Memphis, but at least all three of those BAD BOYS are at home.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing overly-spooky is noted.
Season Win Total
Market consensus June 23
Over 5.5 -105
Under 5.5 -115
The Owls are a much better team on paper than they were last season but we still view them as a 50-50 shot to achieve bowl eligibility. If you wanna take a stab at the over we recommend shopping around for a flat ‘5’ as there are several out there as we approach press time.
Humanity breathed a sigh of relief when the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1993 World Series. Nobody outside of Philadelphia wanted to see a bunch of fatso drug addicts and freakshows ** take down a World Championship.
Fast forward to present day, Philadelphia is best known for stolen elections and rampant crime.
** needs fact check
There’s definitely some potential brewing within the Temple football program. It never hurts to have a legit starting QB and a defense that can get to the quarterback. There are still plenty of holes to plug but the Owls are just one of several teams in the revamped AAC that can jump up and SHOCK the WORLD in 2023. We project them at five or six wins and would love to see them make a bowl game and become a regular contender in the conference. HOOT HOOT, Go Owls!