Massachusetts Minutemen vs. Temple Owls
Date and Time: Friday, September 15, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Opening College Football Odds: Temple -14
Massachusetts vs. Temple TV Coverage: ESPNU
The Minutemen have a lot of problems on both sides of the ball right now. The team is 0-3, and about the only optimistic thing you can say is that all three games have been relatively close and have been separated by 10 points or fewer. That, of course, doesn't mean much when you're tallying up wins and losses. Close only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes.
Marquis Young has been a relatively bright spot as the team's top tailback. He was bottled up against the Monarchs, running for just 25 yards on 13 carries, but he does lead the team with four touchdowns and is a force to be reckoned with in the open field.
The Owls were always going to be in for a fight against Villanova last Saturday after the online sportsbooks lined them at just -7 in this "Big Five" battle.
The team came up with a 16-13 victory, just enough to hold on for a victory but not nearly enough to secure the team's first cover of the campaign. By and large, the Owls have been viewed as a disappointment early on, especially after getting run out of South Bend 49-16 by Notre Dame in Week 1.
The biggest issue with Temple in the early going has been on the defensive side of the ball. The team did create the turnover that ultimately won the game against Villanova, but the defense aside from that was abysmal over the course of the day. An FCS team rolled up 402 yards against this Temple side, including throwing for 382 yards, an average of 9.3 yards per pass attempt.
If the Owls can't get their act together on the defensive side this week in practice, they're surely going to at least give up some yards to the Minutemen, if not a boatload of points, too.
13 – The number of sacks Massachusetts has allowed this season, including eight last week against Old Dominion.
It's a big problem when you can't block the opposition, and Andrew Ford is learning all about that. He's not a terrible quarterback, and his stats will certainly support that claim, but these sacks are becoming a huge problem for him and the rest of the offense.
The Minutemen are averaging just 2.65 yards per carry, and that's not even really fair due to the fact that 23 of the team's 273 yards came on the last play of the game against the Monarchs when things were already out of reach.
Massachusetts vs. Temple Free Picks
It's sad to say that this is the easiest test that Temple has had this season, but we're not all that sure that UMass would be a favorite against Villanova right now.
Ryquell Armstead has yet to get started this year for the Owls at tailback, and we think this is the game he's finally set to bust out in. Let's remember that he was just short of a 1,000-yard back last season and averaged nearly six yards per carry. His start to this season has been ridiculously uncharacteristic.
Even though we think Armstead could be big, this is still going to be a big spread on a team that we find to be overstated in the early going this year. This was a team that shouldn't have been anything short of three-touchdown dogs at Notre Dame and was lucky to be favored over Villanova at all. The Owls will win, but we aren't set to lay this many points against a UMass team that has at least stuck close this year.
College Football ATS Pick: Play Massachusetts at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Temple 33, Massachusetts 23