Preview: Southern Methodist at Temple

When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 1, 2016
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

After exciting shootouts in each of the last two meetings, Temple and visiting SMU will renew acquaintances Saturday in the American Athletic opener for both squads. Last year's encounter saw Temple win 60-40, and the previous matchup was a 59-49 Mustangs' victory in 2013.

Temple enters this matchup off a 48-20 triumph against Charlotte as Phillip Walker threw two touchdown passes and Jahad Thomas racked up 117 yards from scrimmage and a score. “Our kids have really grown up in the last week,” Owls coach Matt Rhule said, referencing early-season losses to Army and Penn State. “We’re just trying to be truthful about the way we play. This is what we did right. This is what we did wrong. We’ve opened up our team because we trust our veteran leadership.” SMU, meanwhile, managed only a first-quarter field goal in last week's 33-3 defeat to TCU, and the team was outscored 27-0 after intermission. "It was very disappointing the way that we responded in the second half, especially after playing as hard and as well as we did in the first half," SMU coach Chad Morris said following the loss.

TV: Noon ET, ESPNews. LINE: Temple -12.5

ABOUT SMU (2-2, 0-0 AAC): On the bright side for SMU last week, Ben Hicks tied his career high with 19 completions and finished with a personal-best 244 passing yards, although he did throw a pair of interceptions. Also, Jordan Wyatt set a career high against TCU by recording nine tackles, in addition to his second forced fumble of the season. Still, the month of September was a certain success for SMU, which hung with TCU for a half and already has matched its win total from last season (two) and surpassed its win total from 2014 (one).

ABOUT TEMPLE (2-2, 0-0): The Owls need Walker to continue to play mistake-free football, as he did not throw an interception against Charlotte after throwing five in the first three games. Keith Kirkwood is his No. 1 target, entering this weekend with team highs of 14 catches and 191 yards, although Thomas is certainly considered the team's top playmaker. Temple plays four of its next six games on the road, so the Owls cannot afford a home loss to SMU if they have any hopes of repeating as the AAC's East Division champion.


1. SMU WR Courtland Sutton is averaging 24.9 yards per catch and has gone over 100 yards receiving three times this year.

2. Thomas and Ryquell Armstead (154 rushing yards) each have four rushing scores on the season, although most of Armstead's production came while Thomas missed the first two games with a thumb injury.

3. The Mustangs have 10 interceptions, matching their total from all of 2015.

PREDICTION: Temple 23, SMU 20

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Southern Methodist 2-2 L1 19.8 27.0 1-1 1-1 0-1 0-0 0-0
Temple 2-2 W1 31.5 20.5 2-1 0-1 2-2 0-0 0-0

Last Meeting

Southern Methodist Temple
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/6/15 TEM 60 SMU 40 397 185 212 536 268 268

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
SMU M. Davis 58.6 167 1 1
TEM P. Walker 72.0 268 4 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
SMU M. Davis 17 102 6.0 1
TEM J. Gardner 6 110 18.3 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
SMU J. Gaines 2 50 25.0 1
TEM V. Bryant 2 84 42.0 1
TDs Player TD
SMU X. Jones 2
TEM R. Anderson 1
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
SMU B. Hicks 50.0 827 2 7
TEM P. Walker 57.8 846 5 5
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
SMU B. West 66 375 5.7 2
TEM R. Armstead 37 154 4.2 4
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
SMU C. Sutton 18 449 24.9 4
TEM K. Kirkwood 14 191 13.6 2
TDs Player TD
SMU C. Sutton 4
TEM R. Armstead 4

Quickchart Matchup

Southern Methodist Off vs  Temple Def
448 yards
327.2 yards
4.9 yards/rush
4 yards/rush
7.1 yards/attempt
6.4 yards/attempt
Temple Off vs  Southern Methodist Def
345.8 yards
449.8 yards
3.9 yards/rush
3.9 yards/rush
7.5 yards/attempt
6.7 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Southern Methodist Overall Temple
2-2-0 W/L 2-2-0
3-1-0 ATS 3-1-0
0-4-0 O/U 2-2-0
19.8 Pts For 31.5
27.0 Pts Against 20.5
Southern Methodist A/H Temple
1-1 W/L 2-1
2-0-0 ATS 2-1-0
0-2-0 O/U 1-2-0
23.5 Pts For 33.0
30.5 Pts Against 16.0