Date: Saturday, September 21, 2019
Kickoff Time:3:30 p.m. ET
Location: UB Stadium, Buffalo, New York
All-Time Series: Buffalo leads series, 13-4
Last Meeting: 9/8/18. Buffalo 36 - Temple 29
Betting Lines: Temple -13.5, O/U 53,5
Temple Owls Outlook
It’s incredible how things can completely change in one season. At this time last season, the Owls were 0-2 following a home loss to Buffalo, with a road game against a 2-0 Maryland team that was a double-digit favorite. Anthony Russo was set to make his first career start in the meeting against the Terrapins, who were honoring the late Jordan McNair in their regular season opener. Temple took it to Maryland, defeating them 35-14, by limiting their offense to just 195 yards.
Temple’s defense is coming off another terrific effort against Maryland, led by Ifeanyi Maijeh, Shaun Bradley and Harrison Hand. All three levels of the defense were incredible in a game where the special teams was really bad and the offense sputtered for the most part. The defensive line got pressure all day, the linebackers came up huge inside the red zone and the secondary did not allow any big plays in the passing game. Some around the country may have been shocked by the outcome, but not Temple. They knew they could keep pace with the Terps.
Flash forward a year later, Temple is 2-0, just knocked off a ranked Maryland team, and travels to Buffalo for their third game of the season. The Cherry and White will be looking for revenge in this meeting of former Mid-American Conference foes.
Buffalo led the entire game in last year’s meeting as the Owls could do nothing to stop the Bulls offense. The combination of Tyree Jackson and Anthony Johnson torched Temple - and just about everyone they played for that matter - scored with under a minute to go to give Buffalo the win.
Things will be much different in 2019 as Jackson and Johnson are both gone and the Bulls aren’t expected to compete for a conference title this season. Rod Carey knows how to win against Buffalo as his 7-5 Northern Illinois team defeated the 10-2 Bulls to win the MAC Championship game last season. That Bulls team had firepower on offense that they are lacking this season.
Buffalo Bulls Outlook
Temple is not the only team that had an overhaul since last meeting. Buffalo is coming off the best season in program history, winning the MAC East for the first time since 2008. They are now without Jackson, Johnson and Khalil Hodge, some of the best to ever wear a Buffalo uniform.
After a 1-2 start to this season, it’s hard to gauge where the Bulls stand at this time. They are coming off a loss to Liberty in which they were the road favorite. The Flames led 28-7 at halftime in a game that was never in doubt.
A week prior, Penn State had their way in a convincing win. Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold told reporters this week that “Temple looks like a Big Ten team.” The Owls would like nothing more than to repeat the score that their in-state rivals posted, without trailing at half like the Nittany Lions did.
Matt Myers is the new quarterback, and Antonio Nunn has been his go-to receiver thus far. But the main focus for Temple will be to contain Kevin Marks, who rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the last matchup. The redshirt sophomore recorded 13 touchdowns last year and is at 5.1 yards per carry to start the new season.
This could be a let down spot for most teams after a big win against a ranked team, but Temple is still embarrassed about the loss last year. The Owls defense just made a statement against a high-octane offense, but have something to prove after lackluster performances from the offense and special teams.
Russo was not the starter until after last year’s meeting and the Owls have gone 10-3 since. Carey compiled a perfect 5-0 record against Buffalo in his time at Northern Illinois, and should have no problem picking up his first win with Temple this week.
Temple 35 - Buffalo 17