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Know Thy Foe: Temple Owls

UCF destroyed Temple last season and could very well do the same this season

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 08 Temple at Cincinnati
Temple Owls quarterback D’Wan Mathis
Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We continue previewing all 12 opponents the UCF Knights will face in 2022 with the Temple Owls, who were on the business end of UCF’s most dominant performance last year.

Week 6: Temple Owls

Kickoff: Thursday, October 13th, 7 p.m., FBC Mortgage Stadium


Series: UCF leads 7-2, 3-1 in Orlando

Last Meeting: Last year — UCF won 49-7 in Philadelphia

UCF beat the brakes off the Owls, not surrendering a point until the final 28 seconds of the game.

Mike Keene was 15/21 for 229 yards, 5 TDs and one interception, and hit both Ryan O’Keefe and Alec Holler for two scores each. he became the seventh UCF QB to throw for at least 5 TDs in a game.

About the Owls

This Season: Picked last of 11 teams in The American’s Preseason Media Poll

Last Season: 3-9, 1-7 in The American

Temple started up-and-down in the first five games, winning three, including a 34-31 upset over Memphis in Philly. But then they completely collapsed, dropping their last seven games, and getting out-scored by a combined total of 299-59 — an average of 43-8.

Cincinnati’s 2021 Team Stats and Rankings

Category Offense AAC Rank FBS Rank Defense AAC Rank FBS Rank
Category Offense AAC Rank FBS Rank Defense AAC Rank FBS Rank
Rush Yards 173.3 4th 56th 149.1 5th 62nd
Pass Yards 241.2 6th 58th 169.2 1st 2nd
Total Yards 414.5 5th 58th 318.4 2nd 10th
Points 36.4 2nd 13th 16.9 1st 5th

Key Stats: Last or next-to-last in The American in offensive yardage stats.

Head Coach: Stan Drayton

NCAA FOOTBALL: APR 12 Ohio State Spring Game
Stan Drayton (R) as an assistant at Ohio State in 2014
Photo by Khris Hale/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

An offensive assistant at the college and NFL level for nearly 30 years, Drayton finally gets his first head coaching job in Philadelphia, taking over after being at Texas since 2017. He has also coached at Florida, Ohio State, Syracuse, and Tennessee, as well as the Bears and Packers in the NFL. He has two national title rings, from Florida (2006) and Ohio State (2014).

Key Players

#11 D’Wan Mathis — QB

Redshirt Sophomore | 6-6, 210 lbs | 2021: 116/195 (59.5%), 1,233 yards, 6 TD/4 INT, 82 rush yards, 1 rush TD

Mathis was a highly-touted recruit who came to Temple after failing to get into the rotation after two seasons at Georgia. His raw talent was readily apparent at times, but no more than in Temple’s best win of the season against Memphis, where he went 35.49 for 322 yards and 3 TDs, plus 53 yards rushing.

#23 Jordan Magee — LB

Redshirt Sophomore | 6-3, 225 lbs | 2021: 54 tackles, 6.5 TFLs

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 21 East Carolina at Temple
Jordan Magee returning an interception in 2020
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Temple’s lone bright spot was its pass defense which was somehow 5th in the nation last year. Magee and the rest of the front seven will have to step it up against the run for Temple to overcome its dreadful offense, if things don’t improve.

Other Stuff To Know

  • UCF has won five in a row over the Owls and has not scored fewer than 38 points in those five wins.
  • The Owls posted back-to-back 10-4 seasons — their only ten-win campaigns in the program’s history, which dates back to 1894 — under Matt Rhule in 2015 and 2016.
  • UCF faces another former Temple head coach in 2022 in Geoff Collins, who left the Owls for Georgia Tech.
  • In 2002, the Big East voted to kick Temple out of the conference due to a “lack of competitiveness,” among other issues. They are the only FBS team to have been booted from a conference. They had won just 16 conference games in 14 seasons. They were allowed to stay in the league until 2004 before becoming independent for two seasons and then joining the MAC. They re-joined the Big East — now The American — in 2012.
  • Temple has had a historically bad program in the recent past. From 1991 through 2006 (as members of the Big East and MAC, they recorded no winning seasons and a combined record of 31-148. That included 7 one-win seasons and one winless season.

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