When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Gerald J. Ford Stadium in University Park
Records: Temple (7-1, 4-0); SMU (1-7, 0-4)
Last meeting: SMU 59, Temple 49 on Oct. 26, 2013
More than two months into the season, Temple finally suffered a loss – and a tough one at that. Still, the 23rd-ranked Owls have their eyes set on big things as they seek a strong rebound performance Friday against host SMU.
The Temple Owls might be one of the bigger surprises in the game as they are off to the best start in school history. The Owls had won seven straight to begin the season and crack the top 25 before a last minute 24-20 loss to visiting Notre Dame. The Irish had the better offensive showing 467-295 but the Owls recorded a pair of picks near the end zone. Quarterback PJ Walker struggled with accuracy with a 13-30 effort producing 188 yards and a touchdown and pick with Ventell Bryant snagging six balls for 91 yards. The Owls were little more then a four yard per carry team on the ground with Jahad Thomas totaling 82 yards on 21 carries and a score.
Although the Southern Methodist Mustangs haven’t been real competitive on the scoreboard I am absolutely sure the team has taken a positive step forward even though the room to improve is huge. SMU’s biggest issues have been defensively and that trend continued in a 40-31 loss to Tulsa for defeat number six in a row. With each team accumulating over 400 yards SMU’s two turnovers and lack of a rushing attack decisive. SMU averaged around three yards per carry and became a one dimensional passing squad. Quarterback Matt Davis carried the Mustangs offense with 236 yards and three touchdowns with an interception with Courtland Sutton leading all receivers with eight catches for 165 yards and a pair of scores.
The Mustangs have allowed 112 points to a pair of highly ranked teams this season, falling 56-21 at home to then-No. 4 Baylor on Sept. 4 and 56-37 at then-No. 3 TCU on Sept. 19.
Temple and SMU meet for the fourth time. The first two matchups in the 1940s ended in ties, while the Mustangs won 59-49 on Oct. 26, 2013.
Temple – RB Jahad Thomas (Probable, ribs), DL Jullian Taylor (Out indefinitely, undisclosed), DL Josian Bronson (Out for season, ankle).
SMU – LB Kyran Mitchell (out for season, undisclosed), DB Horace Richards (out for season, undisclosed), OL Daniel McCarty (out for season, knee), WR James Proche (out for season, eligibility), RB Daniel Gresham (out for season, neck), OL Seaver Myers (out for season, undisclosed).