Temple — Syracuse football scouting report

Football coach Steve Addazio speaks to reporters. Mandatory Photo Credit: AP Photo, Stew Milne.

Temple’s season has been one of highs and lows, leaving them at 4-6 and still alive for a bowl game. This Sunday’s matchup with the Orange will be their season finale, if they win and there aren’t enough .500 teams, Temple could still go Bowling.

Temple’s best case finish is 5-6

The Ups:

  • Temple had their first Big East winning streak in school history, starting 2-0 with wins over USF and UConn.
  • Montel Harris recorded 351 and 7 TDs last week in a 62-33 win at Army, both Temple and Big East single-game records.

» Related: See Andy’s breakdown of Temple from earlier in the year

The Downs:

  • Temple’s young defense has been atrocious, giving up 180+ points in their mid-season four game losing streak.
  • Temple’s passing game has been worse. Chris Coyer, last years emerging QB has been benched in favor of Clinton “Juice” Grainger. Juice was trusted to throw the ball a whopping four times last week against Army.

The MVPs:

  • While most would think Harris would claim the offensive prize, Matt Brown has to be the choice here. Matt has returned a punt and kickoff for a TD this season, and kept the offense afloat earlier in the season while Harris was knicked up with hamstring issues.
  • The defensive MVP is actually a special teams player, kicker/punter Brandon McManus. He’s averaging more than 45 yards a punt, often pinning teams deep in their own territory, which is the only chance Temple’s defense seems to have to stop anyone. He’s also made 12 field goals and became the school’s all-time leading scorer.

» Related: Who has been the biggest surprise on offense for the Orange?

The Prediction:

Back in August I predicted a 24-23 Owls win here. My brain says that Syracuse should easily handle the Owls now that the evidence is out there. Montel Harris can take over a game, but the offense is severely one-dimensional due to the lack of a passing game, and the Syracuse staff should be waiting for him. On the other side, Ryan Nassib should pick Temple’s inexperienced secondary apart. So it isn’t going to be 24-23. But I can’t go against my Owls, so I’ll say Temple by one point, 45-44.

Andy Cliver double majored in Temple (undergrad and law school) and currently practices law in Philadelphia. Look for him in parking lot section K4 tailgating before every home Temple game.

For more Syracuse coverage, Like our Facebook page and follow us @TheJuiceOnline.