Notre Dame-Temple Preview

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, the Owls of Temple University are undefeated over halfway through the season! Stop the presses! Give them College Gameday! Get excited! TEMPLE IS UNDEFEATED! They’re in the Top 25! And they’re welcoming in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to continue their roll!

Guys, come on. Really? Let’s get excited about Temple football? Every single sports news outlet is amazingly excited. Everyone is jumping on the Temple bandwagon. I mean, they’re doing it as if they’re challenging for a playoff spot. Or as if they play in a real conference or against real competition. Or as if they’re actually good! The best team Temple beat this year is Penn State, who is a mediocre-at-best Big 10 team. That’s unimpressive. They’ve taken down “powerhouse programs” such as East Carolina, UCF, and Cincinnati. Relax about Temple.

If there’s one thing I’ll give them credit on, it’s their 14th ranked defense. But again, look at their competition. They’ve not yet played a team with a back who is as good as CJ Prosise or seen a receiving core with the talent this one has. Everyone knows about Will Fuller, but I don’t think they can stop Amir Carlisle or Chris Brown. The best quarterback they’ve played against is Christian Hackenberg, who is atrocious. Honestly, Hackenberg sucks, it doesn’t matter what “draft experts” say. For a third year starter, his numbers are pedestrian, at 14 touchdowns, 2 picks and around 1,400 yards passing. DeShone Kizer has 10 passing touchdowns, 4 picks, over 1,300 yards passing to go with almost 200 yards rushing and 3 more touchdowns. Keep in mind Kizer is a redshirt freshman who was thrust into a starting role. I’ll go as far to say that he’s the best QB that Temple will see this year. And I’m not sure their defense has an answer.

Offensively speaking they’re still not impressive. On the surface, quarterback PJ Walker doesn’t look bad. But when you realize that four times this season he hasn’t been able to complete 60% of his passes in a game (one of those games was below 50%), then he’s in trouble. The Irish defense hasn’t blown anyone away this season. And to be honest, they’ll probably let up 20-24 points tomorrow night. But Temple won’t challenge this D any more than they already have been. I expect a big day out of the pass rush, and more specifically, out of Sheldon Day.

Notre Dame’s playoff hopes are still alive.  The Big 10 and SEC have beat up on each other. There doesn’t appear to be one, single dominant team. If ND does their part, they could make it to the playoff with some outside help. But they need a big win come Saturday night, by at least two scores. And I think they’ll do that.

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