If listening to Temple fans whine about the Willy-Roosevelt connection last season started to feel like having your teeth pulled it may be because the oldest institution within the university is the Kornberg School of Dentistry. Though Temple University itself was not founded until 1884, and did not become fully accredited until 1907, they have been pulling teeth since 1863.
Organizationally Temple University is where the UB administration is trying to get. As a Pennsylvania 'State Related' University they receive state funds, and give discounts to state residents, but are under their own independent control (think UB2020 on steroids). This control has allowed Temple to grow to be one of the largest Universities in the nation with a diverse enrollment of 36,000 plus.
The Temple mens basketball team won the first ever NIT tournament in 1938. Being that there was no NCAA tournament until 1939 the team led by captain Don Sheilds and coach James Usilton Temple are recognised as the first ever national champions in collegiate basketball.
The Owls have more A-10 basketball titles than any team in the conferences history, they have multiple trips to the Elite Eight and Final Four, and in 1988 were ranked number one in the nation heading into the tournament.
Temple has spent the last two decades in college football obscurity, something UB fans can understand. The last time the Owl's pulled off a winning season was in 1990. 13 straight losing seasons and lack of fan support led to their expulsion from the Big East conference in 2004. The university has shown a renewed commitment to Football and under Coach Al Golden Temple just completed their best season in 17 years with their 5-7 finish last season.
While neither school has much of a name in college football Temple does have the distinction of having been coached by Glenn Scobey "Pop" Warner who later in life, to provide Philadelphia youth with an outlet, founded what would become the Pop Warner football.
Series History and Last Meeting:
Temple and Buffalo have met 8 times (UB leads 7-1), the majority of those games were played decades ago (62, 67, 68, 69, 70). The teams have met every year since Temple joined the Mid American Conference, with UB winning all 3 contest.
Despite being so early in the year last seasons game between Buffalo and Temple was, perhaps, the most decisive game in the East Division. One play and Temple, not Buffalo, takes the East division. The only other game which might have been as important is the Buffalo comeback over Bowling Green.
UB survived a fourth Quarter that saw three lead changes in the final 2:27. The final change came when Drew Willy hit Naamen Roosevelt with a walk-off touchdown pass. It was one of the best Quarterback Duels in conference play last season as DiMichele and Willy both had outstanding games with neither team accomplishing much of anything on the ground.
The final Hail Mary was selected as one of the top ten plays, nationally, of the 2008 season and was a watershed moment for the UB Program.
Whats changed for Them:
Like UB Temple is breaking in a new starting Quarterback, according to Temple Football Forever Vaughn Charlton has won the starting role. DiMichle, a Penn State transfer and current member of the Philadelphia Eagles, will be as hard for Temple to replace as Drew Willy will be for the Bulls. Vaughn Charlton barely lost the starting job to DiMichele a couple of years back and gets a chance to build on Adam Dimichle's success by leading temple to their first winning season in nearly 20 years.
Also like UB Temple will have three new faces on the offensive line with Alex Derenthal, Andre Douglas, and Jabari Ferguson all moving on. How Vaughn he will adjust to such a young offensive line, albeit one with some good experience, remains to be seen.
The Owls also have taken quite a few hits on what was an impressive defensive line, this might be the biggest challenge for them to overcome. They were the anchor of a defense that kept James Starks and the Buffalo running game to just over one hundred yards, one of the few time's against a MAC team that UB did not have an impressive outing on the ground.
Why to be Optimistic:
Personnel wise their losses are pretty similar to our own. Their QB and leader, one of their primary offensive weapons (Receiver Bruce Francis), and a hand full of losses on the offensive and defensive lines. For every spot where UB is going to be breaking in a new player one could find a similar situation for the Owls.
The Bulls have significantly improved the size and speed of their line where as Temple's front four were already rather gifted by MAC standards. Standing in front of, arguably, the best secondary in the MAC will only help the new line to pressure first time starter Vaughn Charlton who will likely not have a strong running game to lean on should the UB defense shut down the pass.
The return of Naamen Roosevelt bodes well for UB, he torched Temple for 135 yards, including the last second score that won the game. Also returning this year is Jessie Rack who had an impressive 75 yards lst season.
Why to be pessimistic:
Temple shut down UB's running game last year and Al Golden has been producing some of the better defenses in the MAC for two straight years. If his history holds UB will have some trouble moving the ball on the ground against Temple meaning that Zack Maynard may need to pick up the Bulls in the same way that Drew Willy did last year. Whether or not Maynard will be able to carry a team like Willy could remains to be seen.
This is an Away game and Temple will be looking to avenge last years crushing defeat, when they had the chance to avenge a similar defeat against UConn last season seventeen thousand fans endured torrential weather, Buffalo can expect at least that many fans to show up this year.
Game Category: (Critical)
While every MAC game is critical Temple is one of the two teams UB is expected to be fighting with for the division title, the other being Bowling green. Because the Owls and Falcons don't play this year Buffalo has to beat both of them to avoid any weird tiebreaker nonsense which might pop up later in the season.
Buffalo 20 - Temple 14