Temple vs. Villanova fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 1
Game Time: 12:00 pm ET
Venue: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Temple (0-0) vs. Villanova (0-0) Game Preview
Always interesting in the college basketball world, it’s always a big deal on the football side, too, even if it’s FBS vs. FCS. Last year, Temple survived in a 16-14 fight, and this year might be just as much of a fight.
Despite going 5-6 last year, the Wildcats are ranked in the top 20 in the preseason FCS poll thanks to a killer defensive front and hope for an improved ground game.
Temple can’t look past this game, or the date against a loaded Buffalo team the following week, and then the schedule only gets harder. This should be a strong enough team to get to six wins and a bowl game, but lose to Villanova, and it might be a bit of a battle to get there.
One Reason Why Villanova Will Win
Temple has a decent passing game coming back, but this isn’t an offense that will put up big points in bunches. If everything is working correctly, the Owls use their good group of running backs to try pounding away behind a bit of a rebuilding line.
The problem for Temple is the Villanova run defense that finished fourth in the FCS.
Linebackers Ed Shockley and Jeff Steep lead a nasty D that gets around the ball in a hurry and is strong at forcing takeaways. Temple doesn’t have the type of O that will put up a big number on the board – the Wildcats should stay in this game for four quarters on that defense alone.
One Reason Why Temple Will Win
Temple can play a little bit of defense, too.
Amazing at getting into the backfield last season, the Owls cranked up 39 sacks and 102 tackles for loss with the best D in the American Athletic Conference at getting behind the line. Villanova might have a ton of experience returning, but the offensive line had a big problem keeping good defenses out of the backfield.
Temple might have a tough time getting its ground attack going, but Villanova struggled a bit against the efficient passing teams.
The Owls should be able to move the ball and stop the Wildcats from getting into any sort of an offensive groove. As long as there aren’t a slew of turnovers – a massive issue last season – Temple will be okay.
What’s Going To Happen
As always, this is going to be a spirited and fun city showdown with both defenses rising up and keeping this close throughout.
This might be a better Villanova team than last year’s version, but it’s a stronger Temple team, too. The Owls will find enough on the ground to balance out the offense, while the defense will come up with key stops time and again, forcing field goals instead of touchdowns early on.