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Temple Owls Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Temple season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Temple Owls Preview
Head Coach: Stan Drayton, 1st year at Temple
2021 Preview: Overall: 3-9, Conference: 1-7
Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Temple Top 10 Players | Temple Schedule & Analysis
Temple Owls Preview 2022
It wasn’t all that long ago that Temple appeared to be a steady, winning program that was allowed to assume good records and bowl appearances.
But last year the team couldn’t score in the 3-9 season, and before that was an ugly 1-6 2020 without much of anything going right.
Rod Carey was a strong head coach at Northern Illinois, but he struggled in his three years. Before him, Geoff Collins had a winning record before going to Georgia Tech, Matt Rhule went 28-23 before going on to Baylor and then the Carolina Panthers, Steve Addazio had a winning record, and Al Golden turned around the impossible program before going off to Miami.
Now it’s Stan Drayton’s turn.
The first time head coach has been a whale of a running back coach at several levels over the years, and now he’s getting his shot to take the Temple program and shape it how he wants to.
It’s not going to be easy. He has to get the lines in place, but the skill parts are solid, he’ll make the running game great, and there aren’t any expectations for now.
But it really is possible to win at Temple. Drayton might just need a year or so to do it.
Temple Owls Preview 2022: Offense
The new coaching staff has to find something it can rely on. The Owls were 125th in the nation in total offense last year, couldn’t run, had no downfield passing game, and it failed to score more than 14 points in nine games and in any of the last seven games. On the plus side, there’s experience, and there are some new options to change things up fast.
Head coach Stan Drayton knows how to coach up running backs. That’s how he made his name as an NFL assistant, and making the ground game go will be Job One.
Sophomore Edward Haydee led the team with just 330 yards and three touchdowns last year – averaging under four yards per carry, but he’ll be fine with room to move. Darvon Hubbard is coming in from Texas A&M and Jakari Norwood is moving in from Illinois as part of a rotation.
The line has to be better at keeping defenses out of the backfield. Three starters are expected back, Peace Addo from Duke and James Faminu from Houston will push for time, and there’s enough size to blast away a bit.
Can the quarterback situation be settled fast? Former Georgia transfer D’Wan Mathis has a whole lot of talent, but he needs the line to give him time to work after an injury-plagued – but promising – season. Quincy Patterson is coming in from Virginia Tech to add another option to the mix.
The receiving corps should be a plus. Leading receivers Randle Jones and Jaden Blue are done, but Jose Barbon was second with 39 catches with 431 yards and two scores, and Amad Anderson added 24 grabs. This is one of the team’s deeper areas, helped by getting Ian Stewart from Michigan State.
Temple Owls Preview 2022: Defense
The defensive side has more ready-to-roll parts than the offensive side. Last year’s D fought the good fight. It didn’t generate a pass rush, but it was great at coming up with tackles for loss and ended up fifth in the nation in pass defense. The run defense had problems, but as long as the secondary can hold up again, the D will be okay.
Leading tacklers Amir Tyler is done at safety, but Alex Odom is a good-sized hitter who was second with 65 tackles, and there’s good depth to play around with at the position.
There weren’t a whole lot of picks, but the corner combination of Keyshawn Paul, Cameron Ruiz, and Elijah Clark has size and can hold up. South Carolina transfer Dominick Hill will be an instant factor.
The front three will be active. 285-pound Darian Varner was second on the team with seven tackles for loss, Zach Gill is a 295-pounder, and 300-pound Demerick Morris is one of the team’s bigger bodies inside. Now the front has to get to the quarterback.
Jordan Magee is one of the better pass rushers and top tacklers at one outside linebacker spot, Kobe Wilson is a quick 215-pound hitter in the middle, and there are enough options and help from the transfer portal – Jacob Hollins is a promising backup from Fresno State and Illinois before that – to form a solid corps.
Temple Owls: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats NEXT
Temple Owls: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats
Temple Owls: Key To The 2022 Offense
Yeah, duh, that’s sort of the point of having an offense, and for Temple, doing that starts with moving the chains.
The offense converted just 28% of its third down chances, couldn’t go any sustained marches, and it didn’t do a good enough job of putting itself in a position to score.
Last year the offense scored 14 points or fewer nine times – and lost all nine games. It scored more than 14 point in the other three games, and won all three with 34 points or more in each.
Going back to the end of 2020, Temple has failed to get more than 14 points 12 times in 16 games. The O has to give the D a chance.
Temple Owls: Key To The 2022 Defense
Stop getting pounded on by running games.
Temple wasn’t gouged by the run as much as it dealt with a steady trickle of pain. It allowed 4.8 yards per carry – not good, but not totally miserable – but it allowed over 199 or more rushing yards in each of the last eight games.
It allowed under 175 yards three times. Those just so happened to be the three wins, and those were the only three games when the defense didn’t give up multiple touchdown runs.
The program is 1-13 in its last 14 games when it allowed two or more rushing scores.
Temple Owls: Key Player To The 2022 Season
QB D’Wan Mathis, Soph.
A great story beyond anything to do with football, Mathis was a huge recruit for Georgia, had a life-threatening brain cyst discovered by the school’s medical staff, and turned out to be fine after the surgery.
He had a few nice moments last year at Temple – he threw for over 600 yards and five touchdowns in a two-game stretch against Wagner and Memphis – but he struggled with injuries the rest of the way.
If he’s healthy and gets time, he can take the offense up a ew notches.
Temple Owls: Key Transfer
OG Peace Addo, Jr.
Temple will want to get everything going on the ground by blasting away with power. There isn’t a ton of size on the offensive front, and that’s where Addo might fill in.
The former Duke Blue Devil saw a little time at tackle – and he might work on the outside – but it would be a huge help if he could find a role somehow in the rotation to get his 6-6, 345-pound bulk on the field.
Temple Key Game To The 2022 Season
Rutgers, Sept. 17
This isn’t going to be an easy game, and it’ll be an upset if the Owls can pull it off, but it’ll be a good moment to see where the program is at compared to last year – and how far it has to go.
Last year the Owls got rocked in the season opener 61-14. It turned the ball over five times, couldn’t get anything going offensively, and it got ugly fast.
In a dream world, with Lafayette before and UMass after, win this, and it could be a 3-1 start – assuming a loss at Duke – before diving into the AAC season.
Temple Owls: 2021 Fun Stats
– 4th Down Conversions: Opponents 24-of-31 (77%) – Temple 11-of-25 (44%)
– Touchdowns Scored: Opponents 59 – Temple 24
– Points Per Game: Opponents 37.5 – Temple 16.3
Temple Owls Season Prediction, What Will Happen NEXT
Temple Owls Season Prediction, What Will Happen
The new coaching staff will bring a new energy, there will be a good focus on the lines and getting the running game working, and there are enough decent parts in place and enough experience to be far, far more competitive.
The defense will be fine – not amazing, but fine – and the offense can’t be any worse after having a disastrous time trying to score more than two touchdowns a game.
The talent level might not be special, and it’s still going to take a while through the transfer portal and the recruiting classes, but the Owls should be stronger after the 3-9 dud of a 2021.
Set The Temple Owls Regular Season Win Total At … 4
Outside of something crazy happening, the Owls should at least match last year’s win total. They should beat Lafayette and UMass, and they have a few winnable home games USF, Tulsa, and possible even East Carolina by the end of the season.
It’s going to take an upset or two, though, to get to more than three wins, and it’s more likely that this bunch gets to five than it hangs on three.
Overall, the key will be to keep on improving. As long as the team is better, the tone will be set for 2023.