Temple-Duke a statistical toss-up?

The best thing about the last Temple-Duke game was this pass blocking by current Owls’ Adam Klein and Victor Stoffel.

(Photo and ID courtesy of Zamani Feelings)

Gotta give credit where credit is due so OwlsDaily.com gets a big nod here for finding this gem from ESPN’s Bill Connelly.

OwlsDaily editor Shawn Pastor gets mad at me when I say his shit is better than the Brand X site shit (he wants to keep the peace with the other site) but his shit is objectively better. One site has a trained journalist with 30 years plus of Temple experience and the other relies (mostly) on student writers.

Game, set and match.

Sorry, Shawn, for the unsolicited compliment.

Finding and highlighting stat guru Connelly’s analysis of Temple vs. Duke on Sept. 2 (ACC Network, 7:30 p.m.) is just another example.

If you asked me to analyze Temple vs. Duke a day after Temple’s last football game, I might have said Temple losing by the same 56-27 score it lost to the same team in the Independence Bowl might be the best the Owls could expect.

Things have changed since the last guy left the building and now outside people like Connelly are crunching the numbers together and noticing.

Summer workouts have already begun for the Owls at Edberg-Olson.

Here’s what OwlsDaily.com wrote less than two weeks ago:

“Temple’s season-opening game at Duke should be a coin flip, based on updated SP+ preseason projections for 2022, which ESPN college football writer Bill Connelly released on Monday.  The Owls are rated 118th and the Blue Devils are rated 119th in the new rankings, which Connelly adjusted from the initial 2022 projections that he released in February.  The new numbers are based on transfer portal movement over the past three months and updated rosters for most college teams, Connelly wrote.

“Temple has moved up one spot after being rated 119th in February, while Duke has dropped two spots from 117th to 119th.  Across the entire 2022 schedule (and the entire American Conference), the biggest change over the past three months was Houston dropping from 35th to 44th in SP+.”

The key wording above is “the new numbers are based on transfer portal movement and updated rosters for most college teams.”

Here’s the difference between now that bleak Sunday morning after a 38-14 loss to Navy:

Temple has significantly upgraded its roster since that game and Duke has not made the same splash with impact portal guys as good as Darvon Hubbard, Quincy Patterson and Adonicas Sanders to name a few. Patterson beat a team much better than Duke (UNC) as a starting quarterback and Sanders caught the game-winning touchdown pass for a bad Georgia Tech team in a win over Duke last year.

What we don’t know is the gameday coaching ability of Mike Elko and Stan Drayton since neither has been a head coach anywhere.

On Sept 2., in a toss-up game, that could be the difference.


Pat Kraft hired both Manny Diaz and Rod Carey. His first choice was Mike Elko, who turned him down.

If Elko is anywhere near the equal of Diaz or Carey, bet the house and the farm on Temple.

Especially if the Owls are getting any points.

My guess is that they will be getting at least three before game time, probably more.

Connelly, who has a good history of knowing his stuff, seems to feel it will be closer.

Hell, I hope he’s right and will go one step further. I hope the Owls win as a road favorite at a Power 5 school, which would be the first such win since Vandy in 2014.

That probably won’t happen since the public’s perception of Temple over the last two seasons was sullied by a failed Indiana grad hired by another failed Indiana grad proving only one thing.

Indiana guys should stick to hoops.

Monday: Early game-by-game predictions

3 thoughts on “Temple-Duke a statistical toss-up?

  1. Mike, I am encouraged by your recent posts, keeping us up to date on players, their back grounds and Coach Drayton and staff developing our players. I only have seen Coach Drayton once, which was at the Blue Bell coach’s tour stop a few weeks ago. As always, your actions always speak louder than your words. I was impressed by his presentation and communication to the Temple fans that evening at PJ Whelihans, and have heard many good things about his ability to communicate and motivate. I think it would be fun for you to give us your “W’s and L’s” forecast for 2022, game by game. Sure, it is just a gut feeling at this point, but everyone enjoys doing the same forecast for the Eagles season. What is your gut telling you in June for this season?

  2. Mike

    I am discouraged by the idea that Temple has fallen so far back to be ranked #118/119, the damage done by Kraft and Carey might be too much to recover from.

    My guess is that Coach Drayton’s goals should be to move the team up into the 90’s by the end of the year. What kind of record or what “signature” win might help push up the ranking?

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