2012 Overall Rank #87
# 7 Big East Conference
The Temple Owls had a very good campaign a season ago, compiling an impressive 9-4 record and capping it off with a bowl win, under the newly hired head coach, Steve Addazio. The Owls, winners of four straight, are looking to take the momentum from last season and carry it into their upcoming season, but they will be competing in a new conference, the Big East.
2011 record: (9-4, 5-3)
2011 Bowl: New Mexico Bowl vs Wyoming (37-15)
Coach: Steve Addazio (9-4 at Temple, 9-4 Overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Ryan Day
Defensive Coordinator: Chuck Heater
Rushing: Bernard Pierce, RB, 1,518 yards
Passing: Chris Coyer, QB, 463 yards
Receiving: Deon Miller, WR, 253 yards
Tackles: Justin Gildea, DB, 51
Sacks: Ahkeem Smith, LB, 3.5
Interceptions: Five tied with 1
Other Key Returnees: RB Matt Brown, RB Kenny Harper
Key Losses: QB Chester Stewart, DB Kevin Kroboth, LB Stephen Johnson
The Owls running game is far and away their best asset on offense. They ranked 7th in the nation in rushing yards per contest a season ago and are returning their top rusher in Bernard Pierce. They ended the season on a tear, winning four straight games after quarterback Chris Coyer took over. He was an upgrade as a passer, but also proved a deadly dual threat and took Temple’s offense to a whole new level. They also were very good at protecting the football, having a positive turnover margin, which played a major role in their successes.
On the other side of the ball the Owls were dominate as well, holding opponents to just under 14 points per game. If the Owls can replicate that success they will once again have a good season, but they need to replace several key players on the defensive side of the ball.
The Owls offense relied solely on the running game as their passing attack struggled last year. Although the unit improved under Chris Coyer, who is returning for this season, their passing game is still the weak point of this team. They only were able to muster up 127 yards per game through the air, 116th in the nation. It will not be easy for Temple to improve this area of their team, as they need to replace their three top wide outs. They also allowed way too many sacks per game, ranking 47th nationally. The passing game needs to be improved if Temple wants to make the next big step and have a chance to win the Big East title.
The Bottom Line:
The Owls are moving into a new conference and that transition will not be easy. However they are a talented team that possesses one of the most potent rushing attacks in the nation. They also should have a better aerial assault than they did a season ago. Their defense was one of the best units in the nation last year, but will face a big challenge, not only in upgraded competition but also in replacing several key players on that unit. If that unit can play to the level they did a season ago, the Owls could be a dangerous sleeper in the Big East.
Projected Bowl: None
2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 256.54 (7th in the nation, 1st conference)
Passing Offense: 126.77 (116, 12)
Total Offense: 283.31 (63, 7)
Scoring Offense: 30.62 (39, 4)
Rushing Defense: 123.92 (27, 1)
Pass Defense: 187.85 (15, 1)
Total Defense: 311.77 (12, 1)
Scoring Defense: 13.92 (3, 1)
Turnover Margin: .69 (17, 3)
Sacks: 2.54 (21, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 1.62 (47, 6)
*Conference rankings are from the Mid-American Conference