The record was the same for Temple in 2022 as it was in 2021, but despite a 3-9 mark, there was improvement in Stan Drayton’s first year as head coach.
Temple, which was 1-7 last season in the AAC, was a more competitive team. Using Rutgers as a barometer, Temple lost its 2021 season opener at Rutgers, 61-14. Last year in a home rematch against the Scarlet Knights, Temple lost just 16-14.
The Owls played hard for Drayton and lost four games by a touchdown or less, including a season-ending 49-46 home defeat to East Carolina.
While it appears way too early for contention, Temple should be looking for improvement in Drayton’s second season.
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Temple Football’s AAC Title Odds
Temple has the 11th-best odds to win the AAC at +3000, via BetMGM.
Temple Football’s Over/Under Win Total
Temple’s win total Over/Under is 5.5, with Under 5.5 at -145 and Over 5.5 at +120.
Temple Football Schedule
9/2 vs Akron
9/9 at Rutgers
9/16 vs Norfolk State
9/23 vs Miami
9/28 at Tulsa
10/7 vs UTSA
10/14 at North Texas
10/20 vs SMU
11/4 vs Navy
11/11 at USF
11/18 at UAB
11/25 vs Memphis
Bold indicates AAC contests.
Key Temple Football Returners
2022 All-AAC 2nd Team
LB Layton Jordan
E.J. Warner Enters Year 2 of Leading Temple’s Offense
After a few years of instability at quarterback, Temple now is set at the position with true sophomore E.J. Warner.
The son of NFL Hall of Fame QB Kurt Warner, E.J. was named the AAC Rookie of the Year last season. Warner completed 60.5% of his passes for 3,028 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.
The Owls also return their leading rusher, redshirt junior Edward Saydee. He rushed for 639 yards and six touchdowns. He had a breakout game in a 54-28 win over South Florida, rushing for 265 yards and three touchdowns and adding four receptions for 69 yards.
The Owls must replace leading receiver Jose Barbon (72 receptions, 918 yards, and two touchdowns) who signed as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys. The team’s leading returning receiver is senior Amad Anderson Jr., a graduate student. Anderson, who began his career at Purdue, had 38 receptions for 479 yards and four touchdowns last season for Temple.
Redshirt junior receiver Dante Wright, a transfer from Colorado State, should help the passing game. Wright played two games before redshirting last year, but in 2021 he had 43 receptions for 538 yards and three scores for the Rams.
Graduate student David Martin Robinson could be among the better tight ends in the AAC. He had 33 receptions for 366 yards and two touchdowns in nine games last season.
A strong addition to the offensive line is junior tackle Diego Barajas, a junior college transfer from Laney College in Oakland. A key returning player on the offensive line is redshirt senior Richard Rodriguez, who started eight games last year while lining up at center and guard. Redshirt junior guard Wisdom Quarshire made nine starts, playing both guard and center. Redshirt junior Victor Stoffel missed the first five games due to injury but started the final seven at right tackle.
Temple’s Defense Possesses Strength At Linebacker
Temple graduate student Layton Jordan made a successful transition last year, moving from defensive end to linebacker. Jordan led the Owls with 18.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks and tied for the team lead with two interceptions, both of which he returned for touchdowns. He also had 53 tackles and three forced fumbles while earning second-team All-AAC honors.
Two other impact linebackers are graduate student Jordan Magee and redshirt junior Yvandy Rigby. Magee led the Owls with 86 tackles while also recording nine tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. Rigby was second on the team with 82 tackles and had 5.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.
The defensive line is the biggest question. Among the more experienced players is graduate student Jarquavion Mahone, who moved into the starting lineup in the third game and had 24 tackles and six tackles for loss.
The leader in the secondary is junior free safety Alex Odom, who was third on the team with 75 tackles and tied for first with two interceptions.
Redshirt sophomore cornerback Jalen McMurray had a strong first season as a starter. He had 49 tackles and one interception and led the Owls with seven pass breakups.
Temple Football Season Prediction
The Owls are not ready to contend for the AAC title and have too much road to climb to be a .500 team.
Even getting over five wins will be difficult. One of the keys will be the development of Warner. He came on much stronger than many expected during his first season, and now the next step will be to cut down on his interceptions. Saydee and Anderson are two players who had solid years but are capable of taking their games up another level, and Temple will need that.
For all of Warner’s growth, this offense only averaged 21.9 points per game, which was tied with Navy for last in the AAC. If Warner, Saydee, and Anderson improve, so will the offense.
There are questions on the defensive line and the defense as a unit. Still, there are plenty of playmakers on that side of the ball, led by Jordan and Odom. Temple allowed 29.3 points per game, which was seventh in the AAC. Like the offense, there is potential for gradual improvement.
Still, while Temple should be better, it’s difficult to find too many more wins on paper.