2018 Temple Owls Season Win Total Picks and Predictions for NCAA Football
2017 Record: 7-6
2018 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 6.5*
2018 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Over'
If you're looking for a potential sleeper in the AAC this year then look no further than Philadelphia. Temple played in back-to-back AAC title games in 2015 and 2016, meaning that the Owls' senior class will be gunning toward a second potential title and third championship game in four years.
A lot of Temple's success this year will depend on Geoff Collins. The second-year coach came to Temple after stints at Mississippi State and Florida, and he is still sculpting this program. But Collins has one of the league's top defenses and six senior starters on offense, giving him one of the more experienced groups in the AAC.
Quarterback Frank Nutile was a revelation at quarterback in the second half of last season. Nutile guided the Owls to wins in four of his six starts while completing 61.3 of his passes with nearly a 2-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Now the unquestioned starter, the senior signal caller is the X-factor for this offense.
Temple still has an unproven offensive line. But they have a lot of skill talent back, including their top four runners and four of their top six receivers.
Defense has been a staple of Temple's success over the last seven years. However, last season's unit was one of the weakest the Owls have fielded in four years. They have six starters back from last year's group, and they held seven of their last nine opponents below 30 points. As long as they keep trending that way then they should be good enough to keep Temple in contention into November.
The Owls open with Villanova, an intercity rival that they beat by only a field goal last season. They also get Buffalo and Tulsa at home in the opening month, with their first road game coming against a Maryland team that is dealing with all kinds off-field issues.
Temple has three winnable home games against East Carolina, Cincinnati and South Florida (in November). The trick will be finding some road wins. The most likely candidates are at Navy and at Connecticut.
So if the Owls are for real they will get off to a strong start. They should win at least three of their first four. And if they can pick off Maryland and start 4-0 then this team should sail over this season win total.
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