Temple Owls (2-10) at Vanderbilt Commodores (9-4)
|Date & Time||Thursday August 28, 2014, 9:15 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Vanderbilt Commodores -16.5 -- Over/Under: 52
The Vanderbilt Commodores and the Temple Owls face off on Thursday in Nashville as the kick of their 2014 college football schedules.
The Vanderbilt Commodores have been a bowl regular in recent season but with head coach James Franklin gone and Derek Mason in it should be a season of change. The QB spot still hasn’t been decided from a 3-way battle but Stephen Rivers may have the inside track. Jerron Seymour and Brian Kimbrow are back at running back but it is a fresh start at receiver where it will primarily be freshmen and sophomores including Jordan Cunningham and C.J. Duncan. The new defense is a 3-4 so there will be some shuffling as Vince Taylor looks to be a force on the nose but Kyle Woesterman moves to OLB The entire secondary from last season is gone though Paris Head saw action and the Commodores don’t seem too concerned with the players they have to work with. Mason comes over from Stanford where he was the defensive coordinator and he hopes to carry over the success he had there.
The Temple Owls had a tough season last year but there is a silver lining as they found a QB in P.J. Walker who excelled as a freshman and who should only get even better. Walker loses his top two targets at WR but he does have Jalen Fitzpatrick back. The Temple running game was poor last season but Kenny Williams and Zaire Williams are back and get a chance at redemption but don’t expect much help from an offensive line that lost four starters from last year’s team. Temple defense returns it’s entire starting LB group including Tyler Matakevich who led the nation in solo tackles last season. Sharif Finch moves from linebacker to defensive end and he leads the defensive line that is primarily freshman and sophomores. The Temple secondary wasn’t good last year but they have a few JUCO tranfers in Alex Wells and Shahid Lovett who should help out right away. The Owls kicking game was atrocious lst year hitting just three field goals and missing five extra points.
Vanderbilt is 15-7 against the spread in their last 22 home games and 4-1 against the spread in their last five games. Temple is 4-0 against the spread in their last four road games, 7-1 against the spread in their last eight games, and 3-7 against the spread in their last 10 non-conference games.
This is a tough one because while I know Vandy is the better team, this is a big number and teams that have struggled like Temple usually get way too many points because of the public perception. For the time being I will take Vandy but I would check back as I am still really digging into this one.
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