Temple will face a dual-threat quarterback in junior Matt Davis, who leads SMU in rushing (450 yards) and rushing touchdowns (seven). Raymond Carlin III/USA Today Sports
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The # 23 Temple Owls (7-1,4-0) once again travel ahead of the Eagles, heading to Dallas to face the SMU Mustangs (1-7,0-4) in an American Athletic Conference match up. Temple’s biggest opponents this week may be recovering from the hype of last week, and the injury bug, It has already been determined that the leader of the offensive line C Kyle Friend will miss the game, after 41 straight starts, as will Tight end Kip Patton, because of “academic and disciplinary reasons, nothing severe,” according to Temple Head Coach Matt Rhule. Among other dinged up Owls who may or may not play are RB Jahad Thomas, DE Nate D. Smith, WR Ventell Bryant, CB Tavon Young, and OT Dion Dawkins. As for getting over last week’s emotional contest Rhule said after a practice this week where it was reported some players were asked to leave “I don’t know that our team has let it go yet – and that’s a scary thought,” Rhule said of that practice. “You have to let it go. Life moves on. No one cares about what happened. I don’t know if all our coaches have let it go.”
Asked if there was something he could do to wake everybody up, Rhule said, “I’m trying to do it right now.”
SMU may be 1-7 allowing the most points in the AAC, 43.6 PG, but they also score 28.8 (2 less than Temple) and they have outscored their opponents 86-75 in the 1st qtr – thought that is the only qtr they have done so . The Mustangs QB JR Matt Davis can hurt you on foot leading the team in rushing (450 yards) and rushing touchdowns (seven), and w/ his arm, 137 of 243 passes for 1,779 yards, with 14 TDs and four interceptions. Their other offensive weapon is 6-foot-4, 215-redshirt FR WR Courtland Sutton, with 38 receptions for 719 yards and nine touchdowns, and those two should give Temple’s #9 in scoring defense, (15.8 points a game) all they can handle.
As mentioned though SMU has one of the worst defenses in the league and P.J. Walker, Robby Anderson, and back up RB Ryquell Armstead will have to pick up the slack w/Thomas at best diminished capacity.
SMU is on a 6 game losing streak – last winning on Sept. 12 at home against North Texas, a 31-13 victory.
Temple, even coming off their 1st loss of the season last week can still earn a few 1sts and long times w/ a win this week including first 5-0 start on the road ever, first 5-0 start in conference play since 2009, first win over a Tx team since 1939 (defeated TCU) and win in Texas since 1935 (won at Texas A&M), but what is more important is to shake off last week’s disappointment and keep the Owl eyes on the prize of winning the AAC, and earning as high a bowl bid as possible to keep the future looking bright for the program.
Kickoff: 8:00 PM Stadium: Gerald Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX (32,000)
Mack Brown.Color Analyst
Paul Palmer.Color Analyst