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Cincinnati Bearcats Opponent Preview: Temple

East Carolina v Temple Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bearcats are set to trade blows with the Temple Owls on October 8th.

Last year, the meeting between the two clubs was cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols. Last year, these two teams had strikingly dissimilar seasons as well. Cincinnati had their best season in more than a decade while Temple looks to put 2020 in the rearview mirror.

Rod Carey, now entering his third year in Philly, was unable to have his team scrimmage until October. In the seven contests they managed, this Temple team went 1-6. This is in no way a reflection of the culture and success that the Owls have over an impressive half-decade stretch under previous coaches Matt Rhule, Geoff Collins, and now Carey. Before the debacle of 2020, the Owls had enjoyed five consecutive winning seasons.

I expect such success to return to Philly this fall.

The Owls return the majority of starters on both sides of the ball. On offense, Temple returns an impressive array of perimeter weapons including 2019 All-AAC receiver Jaden Blue, Purdue transfer wideout Amad Anderson, and veteran speed perimter speed burner Randle Jones.

Georgia transfer D’Wan Mathis is a 6’6 dual-threat passer with an excellent arm. The Owls also return four starters on their offensive line.

Defensively, the Owls have more question marks. The squad is fairly veteran across the board but frankly, the Owls didn’t show much on defense last year. They did not once hold an opponent under 28 points. The clear leader of this unit is standout middle linebacker William Kwenkeu, a senior and a captain who led the club in tackles last year and may be the best tackler in the conference. He will certainly be busy in 2021 as offenses try to assert the ground game against a defensive front that proved rather porous in 2020.