Temple Owls(6-6) vs. FIU Panthers(8-4)
Start Time: 8:00 PM EST
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Weather: Game is played in a dome
Line: Temple -7
FPI: Temple 65.8%
Well, the Owls have certainly fallen off from last season when they went 10-4 and won the AAC by blowing out #19 Navy. But they still did better than I thought they would, after replacing a lot of their starters and getting a new head coach in Geoff Collins. 6-6 is nothing to hang their head about. I didn’t even see the Owls becoming bowl eligible.
The Owls offense is pretty explosive (44th in IsoPPP) and is led by WR’s Isaiah Wright and Adonis Jennings. Those two are some of the better wide-outs in the AAC and make QB Frank Nutile’s job easy. Temple sometimes will run weird versions of the wildcat formation and Wright will be at QB. He burnt Army a couple times from this formation. Wright is a threat to make it into the end zone whenever he touches the ball. And oh, by the way, he also returns punts.
Isaiah Wright is a bad, bad man pic.twitter.com/Cqy8CoHVaV
— Barstool Temple (@BarstoolTU) November 11, 2017
Defensively, the Owls are really good at getting to the QB, ranking 43rd in overall havoc rate and 25th in defensive line havoc rate. Guys like Sharif Finch, Jacob Martin, and Quincy Roche have been QB’s worst nightmares this season. Alex McGough better keep an eye out or he will be crushed over and over by this Temple D-line.
The Panthers are bowl eligible for the first time since 2011, after an impressive 8-4 season. I didn’t expect much out of the Panthers this season, but they proved me wrong.
The offense is led by Senior QB Alex McGough, who has thrown for 2,791 yards and 17 touchdowns. McGough has thrown for at least 1,680 yards each of his four years at FIU; he can ball. Interceptions have always been a problem for him though (eight this year, 37 for his career); if he can keep the ball out of the Temple players hands watch out, because the Panthers can score (five games with 30+ points).
Where the Panthers offense will face problems is they give up a lot of sacks and Temple’s strength is their defensive line, this could create some problems for the Panthers offense.
The defense doesn’t get after the QB at all, they are ranked in the bottom half in havoc rate. The fact they don’t blitz well could be a good sign for FIU, as they can sit back and defend, instead of let Temple’s playmakers kill them while being left in one-on-one coverage.
I think this will be another bowl blow out, Temple’s blitz will kill the Panthers. FIU has no run game to counter their run game, they will have to hope they can run screen passes successfully.
Temple’s offense also will be able to take advantage of the lack of a pass rush and Nutile will have time to sit back and hit open receivers.
Temple 38-FIU 17