The American Athletic Conference announced the 2019 football schedule on Thursday as the Temple Owls and first-year head coach Rod Carey can officially start to look forward to the new season.
It is a favorable schedule for Carey as the Owls will play at home in seven games and five on the road. The season will start and end with teams that picked up just one win in 2018, and UCF and Memphis - the two participants in last season’s AAC Championship game - will travel to Philadelphia this year.
The date that most Owls fans will have circled is Sept. 28 when former Owls head coach Geoff Collins returns to Lincoln Financial Field with Georgia Tech. AAC play begins the following week, and Temple will have two games nationally-televised - at ECU on Oct. 3 and USF on Nov. 7 - both of which will be on the road. At no point this season will the Owls play away in consecutive weeks. The byes are scheduled for the second (Sept. 7) and tenth (Nov. 2) weeks of the season.
Here is a short breakdown of every game this season:
Date: Saturday, Aug. 31 vs. Bucknell Bison (2018 record: 1-10)
All-Time Series: 16-20-8
Last Meeting: 1970. Temple won, 10-3.
Believe it or not, these two programs played each other for 44 consecutive season for the rights to win “The Old Shoe” and is Temple’s most common opponent in school history. The two programs met in the first ever scheduled night football game in 1930, and after a nearly 50-year hiatus, they will finally meet once again.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 14 vs. Maryland Terrapins (5-7)
All-Time Series: 2-7
Last Meeting: 9/15/18. Temple won, 35-14.
After an 0-2 start, the Owls went into College Park in Anthony Russo’s first start last season and blew the doors off a Maryland squad that was honoring the late Jordan McNair before the game. Temple will look to do the same this season in a battle of two programs with new head coaches.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 21 at Buffalo Bulls (10-4)
All-Time Series: 4-13
Last Meeting: 9/8/18. Buffalo won, 36-29.
The Bulls came into the Linc last year and stunned Temple to put them in that 0-2 hole, but the Owls will not have to worry about Tyree Jackson and Anthony Johnson scorching their defense this season. This game will be played in Buffalo, and the last time the Owls won there (2010) was as members of the Mid-American Conference.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 28 vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (7-6)
All-Time Series: 0-0
Last Meeting: First meeting between two programs
Goeff Collins left Philadelphia for Atlanta shortly after the end of the regular season and took much of the previous staff with him. The Owls have already said they are looking forward to the meeting with their former coach.
Date: Thursday, Oct. 3 at East Carolina Pirates (3-9)
All-Time Series: 8-8
Last Meeting: 10/16/18. Temple won, 49-6.
The Owls will open AAC play in a Thursday night game on national television. Since joining the AAC, Temple is 5-0 against ECU and the combined score in those five games is 164-50.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 12 vs. Memphis Tigers (8-6)
All-Time Series: 2-2
Last Meeting: 10/6/16. Memphis won, 34-27.
No team has won consecutive meetings in their short history against each other so if that is any indication of how this game should go, Temple should get the win. The Tigers have arguably been the most consistent team in the AAC since its inception and should compete for another AAC West title this year.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 19 at SMU Mustangs (5-7)
All-Time Series: 2-1-2
Last Meeting: 10/1/16. Temple won, 45-20.
Fun fact: the first two times these programs met, both games ended in a low-scoring tie. The first meeting ended, 6-6, and the second, 7-7. In the three meeting since, the scores have been 59-49, 60-40 and most recently, 45-20. Talk about how times have changed.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 26 vs. UCF Knights (12-1)
All-Time Series: 2-4
Last Meeting: 11/1/18. UCF won, 52-40.
The consecutive games against the Florida schools will likely determine whether the Owls go back to a conference championship game. The back-to-back AAC champions will come to Philly this season after the Owls gave them a good run for their money in the last meeting.
Date: Thursday, Nov. 7 at South Florida Bulls (7-6)
All-Time Series: 3-2
Last Meeting: 11/17/18. Temple won, 27-17.
The Owls’ second nationally-televised game is against another conference foe that they have traded wins with since joining the AAC. USF is sure to have plenty of hype entering the new year, but that is nothing new.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 16 vs. Tulane Green Wave (7-6)
All-Time Series: 3-1
Last Meeting: 11/19/16. Temple won, 31-0.
Many thought Tulane would be a sleeper team in 2018, but the prediction might have been one year too early.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 23 at Cincinnati Bearcats (11-2)
All-Time Series: 13-7-1
Last Meeting: 10/20/18. Temple won, 24-17.
This could be the make-or-break game for Temple to get into the AAC title game, and it’s on the road against a Bearcats’ team that just won 11 games. Cincy has a rough schedule that won’t allow them to duplicate that mark, but certainly has their sights set on the AAC East crown.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 30 vs. UConn Huskies (1-11)
All-Time Series: 13-6
Last Meeting: 10/20/18. Temple won, 57-7.
If last year is any indication of the things to come, Temple knows they have an easy win to end the season.
Date: Saturday, Dec. 7 - AAC Championship Game
It might be an unrealistic goal for Rod Carey to get their in his first season at the helm, he does have a standard to live up to. After making it to the AAC Championship game in back-to-back seasons and winning it in 2016, the Owls have sat and watched UCF dominate the division.