Tulsa Golden Hurricane (2-4, 0-2 American) vs Temple Owls (2-4, 0-2 American)
Time and Date: 7:30PM ET, October 21
Broadcast Network: ESPN 2
Location: Lincoln Financial Field - Philadelphia, PA
ESPN FPI: Tulsa 77.3%
Line: Tulsa -12.5*
Point Total: Over 52.5*
All-Time Series: Tulsa and Temple are tied at three wins each in the series.
Last Meeting: Tulsa 44, Temple 10 - November 20, 2021
Current Streak: Tulsa, 1
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
If you believe in moral victories, Tulsa had them against Ole Miss and Cincinnati. They were then supposed to capitalize on their momentum and beat Navy. Instead, Phillip Montgomery’s misery against the Midshipmen continued as his squad were thoroughly embarrassed 53-21 in Annapolis. Now, the Golden Hurricane are on a three game skid and are struggling to see a route to bowl eligibility.
Tulsa has two star players on their team in the final year of eligibility. Davis Brin and Keylon Stokes are statistically the best players in their position in school history. Brin is an impressive QB who has thrown for 1839 yards and 14 TDs through six games despite nagging injuries. Roughly 40% of those yards are going through star WR, Keylon Stokes. Stokes likewise has been hampered by injuries but is still 4th in the FBS in receiving yards with 765.
Keylon Stokes 76 yards #AmericanFB x @TulsaFootball pic.twitter.com/vhHcumT5ha— American Football (@American_FB) October 8, 2022
So why aren’t Tulsa winning more games with their dynamic duo? The major concern for Tulsa is their offensive line, which had no returning players. The unit can’t give Brin enough time to find Stokes. The Golden Hurricane also don’t pose a threat to run behind their line so defenses can scheme to double cover Stokes every play. Tulsa sits at 121 out of 131 in the FBS at sacks allowed and yards per rush.
Unfortunately, things are even worse on defense. Tulsa are giving up 38.8 points per game, which is bottom ten in the FBS. The unit is consistently outmatched regardless of competition level. The Golden Hurricane gave up 35 to both a 7-0 Ole Miss team and 2-5 Northern Illinois.
Things are not so different on the Temple sideline where the Owls also suffered their most embarrassing loss of the season last week against UCF. The Knights blew Temple out 70-13. Temple fell to 1-4 against FBS competition this season.
Given the final score, you may think Temple was horrid for the entire game. However, the Owls’ defense typically starts games strong, but gets overpowered as the game moves on. Against Memphis two weeks ago, Temple’s defense didn’t surrender a point until the offense gave the Tigers a short field with two minutes left in the third quarter. However, the aforementioned attrition problem caught up with the Owls as they gave up 17 points in the 4th quarter in a 24-3 loss.
A similar thing happened in the UCF game, albeit much earlier in the contest. More than halfway through the second quarter, Temple hit a field goal to move within 1 against UCF. However, the Knights proceeded to score three touchdowns in five minutes of action before the halftime break. In the second half, the defense was out of gas and they surrendered 35 consecutive points.
While the defense is bad, Drayton was brought into Temple to fix the offense. So far, it has been tough sledding for the Owl’s offense who were scoreless in the second half versus UCF’s second and third string. Ultimately, Drayton is building for the future as a majority of his starters on offense are underclassmen. True freshman QB E.J. Warner has shown flashes so far as well including throwing for 115 yards and a TD on 8/11 passing before the wheels fell off. However, Drayton is going to need more than spring ball to sort out the offense. He needs more time to recruit and to fully implement his playbook.
TOUCHDOWN OWLS! Warner finds Barbon for 7yd TD! Owls take 10 - 7 lead with 2:23 left in the 1st#TempleTUFF @elijah13warner @JoseBarbon24 pic.twitter.com/yijAcgQJvL— Temple Football (@Temple_FB) October 13, 2022
While Tulsa are looking for bowl eligibility, Temple is likely looking to evaluate its players for the rest of the season and focus on recruiting. This matchup may be drastically different next year. However, this is an eighth-year head coach whose been to bowl games in back to back seasons versus a first-year head coach trying to rebuild a program. Tulsa will win convincingly, 34-17.