The Temple Owls wanted to build off of the success they had a year ago, a season which saw them in the national rankings throughout the season. Their dreams at being a top 4 team were dashed after they lost to Notre Dame. They also failed to win the conference, as they lost to Houston for the American Athletic Conference. Not to take anything away from Temple’s 10-3 year in 2015, one of the best in school history. Houston has taken firm control over that conference these days, with Temple opening the season at 3-2 and the Cougars still without a loss on the year. The Cougars look like they’re going to run away with it, and possibly go on to compete for the National Championship. It’s only early October, though, with a lot to be decided. Houston has no room for error and will have to win out.
Temple put together a quality game last week, dispatching the SMU Mustangs by a score of 45-20. It was the second consecutive week that the Owls looked good, but the competition level was on the weak side. Beating Charlotte and SMU isn’t going to impress anybody. Their three wins this season have come against Charlotte, SMU, and Stony Brook. You can draw your own conclusions from that trio. Temple has losses against Army and Penn State. Opening the season with a loss to Army was a downer, and they lost as heavy underdogs to Penn State.
We cashed in by fading Memphis last week, as Ole Miss rolled them for a final score of 48-28. It was in stark contrast to the 77-3 drubbing they delivered to Bowling Green the previous week. While I was talking about the easy wins that Temple has had this season, we can’t look past the wins Memphis has had against SE Missouri State, Kansas, and Bowling Green. Kansas and Bowling Green look like they’re the bottom of the barrel, and SE Missouri State plays in the FCS. A win tonight would probably be the most impressive win for both sides. Find my pick below for this college football Thursday matchup.
Temple Owls vs. Memphis Tigers NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Memphis -10(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Temple vs. Memphis Pick:
There is still room for Temple and Memphis to impress. The Tigers really could have turned some heads if they upset Ole Miss, but it was difficult for them to hang around with a team of that calibre. They should have no problems doing that against Temple this evening. I think both are average teams, who will find a bowl game, but don’t expect something in the top-tier. Memphis needed to turn to a new quarterback this season, following Paxton Lynch going to the NFL. Lynch isn’t an easy guy to replace, and up to last week Riley Ferguson was playing just fine. And then Ole Miss went to school on him and his numbers took a dip.
Ferguson passed for 343 yards but also had 3 interceptions. Lynch struggled against Auburn last year, so the SEC has been able to prey on their offense in recent memory. The Tigers have scored 45.8 points per game thus far this season, 6th in the nation. They still managed to score 28 points after Ferguson threw 3 interceptions. Memphis was able to move the ball, but mistakes will turn an otherwise close game into a blowout rather quickly. I expect Memphis to move the ball, and cash in on their opportunities this week. Ferguson passed for 11 touchdowns and 2 interceptions before the Ole Miss game. I think he will respond with a nice outing against Temple.
Temple have allowed only 20.4 points per game this season, but there were a bunch of sad offenses on their schedule to date. Memphis will be the best offense they’ve played in 2016. Army, who never throws the ball, also helps their pass defense numbers out quite a bit. The Owls’ offense has been okay, but Philip Walker has been a turnover machine. He has thrown for 6 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Memphis is ranked 28th against the pass, and this was after they had to play the prolific Ole Miss offense. Memphis should be able to make life difficult on Walker, and pull away late to cover the number.
PICK: MEMPHIS -10 (-110)