By Harry Allison
Temple and Villanova kick it off at noon on Saturday at the Linc.
The Wildcats went 5-6 last season, with one of the top defenses in FCS, allowing just 16.1 PPG (9th). On defense the Wildcats allowed 258.3 PYPG (107th) and 76.2 RYPG (4th).
Villanova was weak against the pass and Temple will expose that. Offensively, Villanova struggled, but they suffered a lot of injuries. The offense averaged 290.2 YPG (100th) and 21 PPG (84th).
They bring back most offensive starters, including QB Zach Bednarczyk. While the skill players have more experience, they’re going to struggle to score points on a strong Temple defensive unit.
The Owls went 6-6 last season and then won the Gasparilla Bowl against FIU (28-3). Temple brings back QB Frank Nutile and their leading WR from last season (Isaiah Wright).
Temple averaged 251.8 PYPG (45th), 136.4 RYPG (98th) and 25.1 PPG (93rd) on offense last season. They bring back a lot of key contributors so the offense should be better with more experience.
This game will be a great test for Temple.
Defensively, the Owls allowed 206.8 PYPG (40th), 174.6 RYPG (76th) and 25.8 PPG (58th). They should have little problem shutting down the Villanova offense.
The question is whether or not Temple can cover the big point spread that they’ll be favored by. Last season they required a last minute FG to win. Temple is a team that plays ugly and rarely dominate a team.
Villanova is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games.
Villanova is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Temple.
Temple is 11-5 ATS in its last 16 games at home.