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Massachusetts Minutemen vs. Temple Owls Preview and Prediction

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Temple needs stronger play from their offense if they hope to get a win against UMass.

Villanova v Temple Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Start Time: Friday, September 15th, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. EST

Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

TV: ESPNU

Live Coverage: 97.5 The Fanatic and WHIP Radio

All-Time Series: 1-0 vs. UMass

Last Meeting: 9/19/15. UMass 23 - Temple 25

Betting Line: Temple -14.5

Temple Owls Outlook

Many expected the Owls to respond well after a solid showing against Notre Dame in Week One. Instead, there are plenty of questions of what to expect from Geoff Collins, and more importantly, offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude, moving forward.

Temple's offense has been dreadful to say the least. Villanova is no slouch as they are a ranked FCS team, but it was a game that Patenaude should have gotten Logan Marchi into some type of rhythm as they inch closer to their conference schedule. Marchi has yet to turn the ball over, but he's led the Owls to just three touchdowns in the first two games. What's more troubling is that they have failed to get All-AAC running back Ryquell Armstead going in either game.

Fortunately for the Owls, the defense has kept them in games. They held their own for three quarters in the outing against Notre Dame, and then held the Wildcats in check by limiting their solid offense to just 13 points. However, a week after getting shredded on the ground by the Irish to the tune of 422 yards, they allowed 382 through the air last week.

Massachusetts Minutemen Outlook

Mark Whipple is a name some Temple fans may remember from his time as an assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles. This is his second stint with UMass after spending nearly a decade in the NFL, but it's been a rough start to the 2017 season as his is team the only one in college football with a 0-3 record. The Minutemen have been competitive in each game, despite the winless start. They lost by three points to Hawaii on a last-minute touchdown to kick off the season, and have lost two back-to-back games by 10 points against Coastal Carolina and Old Dominion.

Andrew Ford leads the Minutemen's attack and has two solid receiving options in wide receiver Andy Isabella and tight end Adam Breneman, who both average over a 100 yards a game. Ford and company have to be licking their chops after seeing Villanova throw for 382 yards last week.

Former Western Michigan defensive coordinator Ed Pinkham has taken over on that side of the ball and it remains to be seen what to expect from that unit. They allowed 30-plus points in their first two matchups before holding ODU to 17 points their last time out. With the struggles that Temple has had on offense, this could be a good game for Pinkham to gauge how well the Minutemen make the transition to his style of play.

Prediction: Don't expect a high-scoring affair as the Owls have yet to show they can score points on a consistent basis. In order for Temple to get the win here, they need to get Armstead going as UMass has allowed 1,270 rushing in its first three games. Expect Patenaude to establish the running game early and ride that to a win, but the Owls should be on upset alert.

UMass 20 - Temple 27