Temple: A Numerical Perspective

The Temple Owls made quite a statement last Thursday night against Vanderbilt. No, the Owls didn't dominate on offense, but they sure did on defense, going into an SEC lair and posting a 30-point victory. It's true that Vanderbilt struggled, but Temple still had to work very hard and play at a high level to accomplish what it did. Navy has to be sharp to take out the Owls.


THE TEMPLE OWLS: A NUMERICAL PERSPECTIVE

The Owls’ biggest statement during the 2013 season was a game in which they didn’t win. Temple pushed eventual American Athletic Conference champion UCF to the brink in Philadelphia. The Owls had the Knights on the ropes, leading by seven with under 1:20 left. UCF needed one of the highlight-reel plays of the entire season, a diving one-handed grab by J.J. Worton in the end zone, to tie the game at 36. UCF eventually won, 39-36, and moved on to the AAC title, eventually outplaying Baylor in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl.

Temple, you can see, was building something last year: The Owls improved in a big way right out of the chute this season. Their defense gave up no points to Vanderbilt, since the Commodores scored on a special teams mistake by the Owls. No matter the opponent, it’s very impressive when a defense can go on the road, endure a weather delay of nearly two hours, and be razor-sharp against a power-conference team. Navy’s offense can’t subconsciously think that Temple can be easily outmaneuvered. Here’s a statistical look at the Owls from 2013, with a few bits from their win over Vanderbilt added in:

SITUATIONAL WIN-LOSS RECORDS IN 2013 (FBS ONLY)

Record when having more first downs than an opponent: 1-3.

Fewer: 1-6

Record when having more yards than an opponent: 2-1.

Fewer: 0-8.

Record when having more rushing yards than an opponent: 1-3.

Fewer: 1-6.

Record when having more passing yards than an opponent: 2-1.

Fewer: 0-8.

Record when having more penalties than an opponent: 2-3.

Fewer: 0-5.

Statistical tie in this category (zero differential): 0-1.

Record when having more turnovers than an opponent: 0-7.

Fewer: 1-1.

Statistical tie: 1-1.

Record when having more time of possession than an opponent: 1-2.

Less time of possession: 1-7.

BALL SECURITY AND FUMBLE LUCK.

Fumbles in 2013: 16.

Fumbles lost: only 8.

Interceptions thrown: 11.

TAKEAWAYS ON DEFENSE

Defensive fumbles recovered: 10 recoveries of 12 fumbles by opponents.

Interceptions made: 3.

DRIVE STARTS IN AN OPPONENT’S TERRITORY

Drives starting in an opponent’s half of the field (including the 50-yard line): 11.

Conference rank (The American) in number of drive starts in an opponent’s half of the field: ninth out of 10 teams.

Points scored on these drives, assuming seven points for all touchdowns, regardless of PAT or conversion outcomes: 63 – 9 touchdowns.

Territorial breakdown of drives and outcomes: 5 drives from the 50 to the opponent’s 36 – 4 touchdowns; 5 drives from the 35 to the 21 – 4 touchdowns; 1 possession starting in the red zone – 1 touchdown.

Conference rank (The American) in number of points scored on drives starting in an opponent’s half of the field: sixth.

WEEK ONE FAST FACTS: TEMPLE vs. VANDERBILT

-- The Owls forced seven Vanderbilt turnovers and allowed only 54 rushing yards.

-- Temple scored 37 points despite being 2-of-17 on third downs.

-- Temple’s defense limited Vanderbilt’s offense to a 3-of-14 success rate on third downs.

GoMids.com Top Stories