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Temple Football Preview
by Matt Fargo - 08/18/2008
No. 94 Temple Owls
2007 Record ~ 4-8 SU ~ 7-5 ATS
Starters Returning ~ Offense (10) Defense (11)
It is not very often that there is enthusiasm surrounding the Temple football program but that is the case in 2008. Temple won four games for the first time since 2002 and actually matched the wins from the previous four years combined. With all but one starter back, the Owls have a chance to make some noise in the MAC and shoot for their first bowl game since 1979. Head coach Al Golden is in his third year of rebuilding and you know things are working when UCLA came calling and he turned the Bruins down.
Offensively, Temple struggled last season finishing 116th in scoring offense, 108th in rushing offense and 112th in total offense. There is a new coordinator, a healthy quarterback and playmakers that can make things happen. Quarterback Adam DiMichele has recovered from a broken leg that shelved him after the eighth game last season. The offense averaged 20.4 ppg with him but just 8.5 ppg without him so a season of health is important. The running game needs to get better as balance will be key.
The defense could have been one of the biggest surprises in the country last year. The Owls finished 44th in the nation in total defense and 1st in the MAC. Finishing tops in the MAC may not seem like a huge deal but after allowing over 41 ppg in 2006, that is an enormous step. Temple was first in the country in redzone defense and with everyone back, there is no reason to think the unit cannot be even better. The defense allowed more than 23 points only once in the final seven games last season.
The non-conference schedule is not overly tough with the worst being a game at Penn St. The Owls also travel to Army and Navy and get a break in hosting Connecticut. Of their eight conference games, they miss Bowling Green and Ball St. while getting Western Michigan at home. Games at favorites Central Michigan and Miami are the toughest of the bunch. Temple is known for losing but has still found a way to go 48-41 ATS over the last eight years. Expect another winning season against the number.