College Football Preview: The 2015 Temple Owls
Temple Owls Preview
2014 Record: 6-6 (6th in the AAC)
Odds to Win National Championship: +160000 See the Latest Odds
Overview: The Temple Owls showed terrific improvement last season after a solid 6-6 season in their second season under head coach Matt Rhule. Temple now looks to make its first bowl appearance since 2011 and could have even bigger goals than that with the amount of talent that’s returning. Let’s just say that Temple fans should have big expectations this season.
Offense: P.J. Walker continues to be an up-and-down quarterback, as he completed just 53 percent of his passes and threw 15 interceptions last season. However, Walker has shown he has the ability to be a solid QB and should perform better with an improved offensive line. Temple is loaded on the OL with talent and experience, especially if Dion Dawkins is going to return to the team. Temple has a versatile playmaker in Jahad Thomas who is poised to have a big season and highly recruited running back T.J. Simmons could be one of the biggest breakout players in the AAC. Temple will finally get a healthy Zaire Williams and Keith Kirkwood is just tapping into his potential after transferring from Hawaii. Temple should be much improved on the offensive side of the ball.
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Defense: Temple is returning 10 starters from a top-25 defense that allowed just 17.5 points per game and forced 30 turnovers. You can just see Rhule grinning from ear-to-ear right now. Whether it’s Tyler Matakevich who has topped 100 tackles three straight seasons, Praise Martin-Oguike who had seven of the team’s 27 sacks or Matt Ioannidis who racked up 11 tackles for loss, the Owls are loaded on this side of the ball. Tavon Young is a ball hawking defensive back with five picks in his last two seasons and Sharif Finch is one of many linemen who gets great pressure up front. Temple’s defense didn’t get as much credit as it should have last season due to playing in the AAC, but this unit is legit and is the reason I give the Owls a legit chance to win this conference.
Special Teams: Austin Jones returns at kicker after making 59.1 percent of his field goals on 22 attempts. Alex Starzyk returns at punter after averaging 38.4 yards on 70 attempts.
Overall: Have I mentioned that I really like the Temple Owls to do big things this season? If not, I’ll go one step further. If Walker improves at quarterback and makes better decisions, I think Temple not only wins the AAC, but can win double-digit games for just the second time in program history. On paper, Temple is the cream of the crop in the AAC this season. You heard it here first.