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Georgia Tech vs. Temple: Geoff Collins returns to Philadelphia

The former Temple head coach returns after leaving for the Georgia Tech job.

NCAA Football: ACC Media Days Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Saturday, September 28, 2019

Kickoff Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Watch: CBS Sports Network

All-Time Series: First ever meeting

Betting Lines: Temple -9.5, O/U 49


Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Outlook

Temple fans will recognize the man on the opposing sidelines this week. Geoff Collins is the head coach at Georgia Tech, leaving the Owls program just weeks before their bowl game last season. It wasn’t expected to be an easy transition for Collins as he adjusted from the AAC to the ACC, but a 1-2 start, including a loss to The Citadel, was certainly not what he expected.

The 27-24 loss at home to Citadel has some Yellow Jackets fans questioning the hiring of Collins. And while that is expected after a loss to a FCS team, this is unfortunately not new territory for Collins. As head coach of the Owls last season, he lost to Villanova, a FCS program. The Owls would go on to win seven conference games and finish 8-5 on the season.

It was only the second time that Georgia Tech has lost to a FCS team, and to make matters worse, the Citadel runs a triple option. The Yellow Jackets are transitioning away from the style of offense that Paul Johnson ran in Atlanta for over a decade.

The change in offensive philosophy has led to mixed results. They still haven’t figured out who is the main man at quarterback as they have alternated between Lucas Johnson and Tobias Oliver. Johnson has been the better passer between the two, while Oliver has been more effective on the ground.

Collins’ calling card has been on defense, but after three games, they are struggling on that side of the ball as well.Teams are averaging nearly 275 yards on the ground and 414.3 yards of offense per game. They’ve only recorded five sacks and opposing teams are 42 percent on third-down conversions.

Temple Owls Outlook

To say that Temple came out flat in the loss to Buffalo would be an understatement. They got nothing going on offense until the fourth quarter once the game was out of reach, leaving us with more questions than answers.

It is another year in which Temple defeated Maryland, but lost to Buffalo. It’s another season in which the quarterback play has been shaky after a couple weeks. Anthony Russo turned the ball over four times this week, and after leading the AAC in interceptions last season, he’s back on top of the list. Special teams remains a huge concern after another botched punt last week ultimately led to a touchdown.

And yet, Vegas still has the Owls as a near double-digit favorite against a P5 team. Temple has typically picked up steam at this point of the season, but this is a new coaching staff that still has some kinks to work out. It’s surprising they are favored after what we saw a week ago.

Prediction

While these two programs have yet to meet, there will be a bit of animosity between them as Collins makes his return to Philadelphia. Temple’s student athletes will be looking for a win over the coach that spurned them for another job, while Collins’ new team wants to win for their head coach.

The familiarity that Collins has with Temple’s personnel and a bye week to prepare for this meeting is an advantage in Georgia Tech’s favor. The Yellow Jackets will keep it closer than the projected line, but with this game being played in Philadelphia and the Owls having more to prove, they get the win this week.

Temple 30 - Georgia Tech 24