UNC: Best Bowl Opponent TU has ever faced

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Every single UNC loss was a close one

At first glance, a matchup between an 8-4 Temple team and a 6-6 North Carolina team looks like a pretty even game.

Vegas agrees and has set the line with the Tar Heels as a 5.5-point favorite, which is, by any calculation, a competitive game.

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The 14-day forecast projects game day temperature to be slightly above average or around 49 degrees. It won’t be the 68-degree temperature of 2016, but certainly better than the 11-degree temps of 2009.

It still might be.

A closer look reveals that this is probably the best bowl opponent Temple has ever faced. Better than FIU in 2017 and Wyoming in 2011 without argument. You might get some folks thinking the 6-6 teams of Wake Forest (2016) and Duke (2018) were just as good.

I don’t agree.

Not, though, since the 1979 California squad that was 6-5 have the Owls faced a team this good. Consider this: Of the six losses. UNC could have won every single game. In fact, this team might be better than that Cal team that lost to unbeaten USC by 10 and beat four winning (then) PAC-10 squads. (Err, the PAC-10 was way better then than the PAC-12 is now).

The Tar Heels lost to Clemson by one, the only team to give Clemson a game.

They beat a South Carolina team that beat Georgia and lost two games in overtime to bowl teams (Virginia Tech and Pitt). The other losses were by a touchdown to Wake Forest and Virginia.

If the Owls win this game, and that’s a big if, it’s going to be a slugfest until the end. It’s pretty clear from these scores that UNC is not going anywhere in this game and, if it’s going to be a blowout, the Owls are the vulnerable team (UCF and SMU come to mind) and not the Tar Heels.

That said, a good game plan will attack the weaknesses of your opponent and accentuate your own strengths.

In bowl games, Rod Carey is 0-6 with such game plans. He might want to reconsider what he did those previous half-dozen times and do the exact opposite.

Monday: The Other AAC Bowls

Wednesday: The Newest Dirty Word

Friday: The Early Signing Period

Monday (12/23): All-Americans

Christmas Day: Off

Friday: Game Day

Saturday: Game Analysis

Monday (12/30): Total Season Review

New Year’s Day: Return to Twice a Week Post Schedule


10 thoughts on “UNC: Best Bowl Opponent TU has ever faced

  1. UNC is a very talented team with quite a few overall all-ACC players. Those players will not skip the game.


    Carey is unfortunate. He is 0-6 in bowl games, now vs a well coached and very talented squad with a legit pro-prospect QB, third team all-ACC. Howell has more raw talent than Buechele.

    Temple vs Duke redux.

    Cincy UCF, and SMU were smart, they picked the most winnable bowl games. Temple was left with the least probability of win.

    • Infante doesn’t have to flip the Ohio State commit (Kyle McCord, who was his quarterback) but he should be able to keep the pipeline open to St. Joseph’s Prep and make sure the Benny Walls’ types keep coming here. It would be amazing if McCord came to Temple, though. 🙂

    • I would agree with KJ, Mike and John Belli with thinking that Infante not being more “visible” with local recruiting, especially at St Joes Prep and the Catholic League. I would say if he isn’t a key recruiter locally by next season he better be the best Xs and Os guy on the field

  2. Trey Blair, a phenomenal athlete from Haverford has agreed to sign with the Owls after decommitting from Buffalo. That’s some good news given all of the recent negativity.

  3. From ESPN:

    “There are two QBs this season who completed 60% of their throws, tossed at least 35 touchdowns and 3,300 yards, and threw less than 10 picks. The first is Heisman trophy winner — Joe Burrow. The other is UNC freshman Sam Howell. If you’ve not seen Howell play yet this year, you’ve been missing out.”

    Time for Russo to be all he can be in a big game.

  4. Howell’s highlight reel from 2019:

  5. Hey. I must have missed this but who is our newest top running back for this recruiting season ? I thought he might be 6′.0″ at 215 lbs and running 4.4,
    Well ?

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