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Boston College Football Opponents Preview: Temple

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The Owls are worse than the last time BC saw them

Temple Vs Boston College At Alumni Stadium Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Boston College’s 3rd game of the year will be played down in Philadelphia against the Temple Owls on Saturday September 18th at noon. BC is expected to enter this game at 2-0 looking to continue an unbeaten streak.

Previous results

  • Temple went 1-6 last season, their only win coming against USF in a 39-37 nailbiter
  • Temple is 9-11 in two seasons under head coach Rod Carey
  • BC is 29-7-2 all-time against Temple. The Eagles are on a 6-game winning streak, stretching back to 2000 and the last win coming in 2018. Temple’s last win in the series came in 1999.
  • Temple has gone 3-4 against the P5 since 2017
  • Temple’s standing for 2021 in ESPN’s FPI is -11.4, good enough for 115th out of 130 FBS teams and a 4-8 record. For reference, BC’s 2021 preseason FPI is 3.8 (50th place) and an expected 7-5 record. ESPN’s FPI gives Boston College an 82% chance to win.

Coaching

Temple head coach Rod Carey was hired before the 2019 season from Northern Illinois. He went 52-30 at NIU in 7 years, going 0-7 in bowl games in the process and winning MAC Coach of the Year in 2013. He went a good 8-5 in 2019 with Temple, but stumbled to 1-6 last season after starting QB Anthony Russo got hurt and Temple struggled to find a consistent signal-caller for the rest of the way.

Offense

QBs Anthony Russo and Trad Beatty each transferred to Michigan State and Georgia Tech, respectfully, in the offseason, so Temple is left with a big question mark at QB in an offense that struggled terribly last season. Instead they’ll be relying on Re-al Mitchell, who played in just 2.5 games last season without much success, and Georgia transfer D’Wan Mathis, who made just 30 passing attempts for the Bulldogs last season in garbage time.

Their OL is good, giving up an AAC low of 1.7 sacks per game last year, but that’s about the offense’s only highlight. Their leading rusher from last season, Re’Man Davis, transferred to Vanderbilt in the offseason, though their rushing game wasn’t exactly anything to write home about anyway. The Owls are at least bringing back 3 of their top 4 WRs from last season, which should help ease the QB transition a bit.

Defense

Surprise, the defense isn’t much better! They gave up a whopping 37 points (111th) and 433 yards (86th) per game last season. This season’s squad also lost a ton of talent in the defensive front, with Arnold Ebiketie (Penn State), Ifeanyi Maijeh (Rutgers), Khris Banks (Boston College), and Daniel Armstrong (graduation) all departing the program. The Owls have brought in transfers Will Rodgers and Lancine Turay to try to fill that gap.

The rest of their defense has mostly held up. Their linebacking core is still led by tackling leader William Kwenkeu, while the secondary has replaced just a couple departures with new transfers from Northwestern and UConn. The problem is that there aren’t any signs of obvious improvement for a defense that was ranked so low last year, so it’s hard to change any expectations.

Forecast

This should be a win for Boston College. Maybe not quite as easy as the previous two games against FCS school Colgate and FBS bottom-dweller UMass, but a win nonetheless. The BC offense should be able to tear apart the uneasy Temple defense while BC’s great OL gives QB Phil Jurkovec all day to throw. BC’s defensive struggles may not be so obvious when going up against a Temple squad that’s still trying to figure out their new offensive leaders.

Preseason score prediction: Boston College 42 - Temple 19