Game-by-game predictions for Temple football in 2024

Navy v Temple
Navy v Temple / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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Sept. 21: Utah State (W)

Whenever I’m doing these schedule walkthroughs, I make a point of looking out for “trap games”, and I gotta tell you, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a better example of one than what we have this week.

The Utah State Aggies are not a tough team by any stretch of the imagination, but on most days of the week, they’re considerably tougher than the Owls. That is until they have USC and Utah before them and Boise State after them.

Each of those powers are better than both the Aggies and Owls, and the former themselves are aware of that. When they’re fatigued by the Trojan-Ute combo and looking a few weeks ahead at a potential statement win in Boise, do you honestly think they’re going to be highlighting a winless Temple squad as one to also look out for? Probably not, and that’s how the Owls are going to catch them with their pants down.

It’ll be a tight victory, over an opponent that is far from their biggest under lights that are far from their brightest, but if there were ever a time where “a win is a win” would be an acceptable phrase, it’d be this week.

Sept. 26: Army (L)

The Army Black Knights have had just one losing season since 2015, and Jeff Monken is unbeaten against Temple in his time coaching them. Therefore, this game should drag the Owls back down to reality before they’ve even forgotten what it’s like.

Oct. 5: at UConn (L)

This one may be a bit controversial, but I have the Huskies downing the Owls, too.

Reasons for controversy would include the Huskies also going 3-9 last year and the Owls having more time to rest up thanks to the Army game being on a Thursday. However, reasons why I don’t give a hoot include UConn hosting and just how much tougher of a 3-9 team it was.

Don’t believe me? UConn’s 2023 schedule had four winning Power Four opponents (NC State, Duke, Boston College, and Tennessee) — Temple’s had two (Rutgers and Miami, both finished 7-6). UConn’s had nine opponents that ended up making the postseason — Temple’s had six.

With those numbers, UConn tying Temple’s record is impressive regardless of how it did so, but when we insist on digging into that as well, we see that it looks even worse for the Owls, as they had eight double-digit losses to UConn’s five.

To wrap this segment up, let’s just say that this battle consists of two terrible teams, and the one that’s blatantly less terrible is at home. I don’t care how much more prep time the Owls have, it’s not enough for me to give them the win in that heavy of a mismatch.