What you need to know about Temple’s week 4 matchup against No. 20 Miami

Temple needs a lot of things to go right in order to defeat No. 20 Miami for the first time in nearly a century. What will it take for Temple to pull off the upset?

Temple running back Joquez Smith had a breakout game against Norfolk State last week. Temple will need him to replicate his success against No. 20 Miami. | NOEL CHACKO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Coming into last week’s game against Norfolk State, Temple Football (2-1, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) was in desperate need to get back in the win column. 

The Owls did just that with a dominant win against the FCS program, defeating the Spartans 41-9 behind a breakout performance from true freshman running back Joquez Smith. The Tampa, Florida native finished the game with 142 rushing yards and two total touchdowns in the bounce-back win. 

On Saturday, Temple hosts No. 20 Miami (3-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coastal Conference) at Lincoln Financial Field. The Owls will try to take down the Hurricanes for the first time since 1930, when they won 34-0.  

“We’ve got to really lock into fundamentals and techniques,” said Temple head coach Stan Drayton in his weekly press conference. “We can’t get overly excited or take the wrong step because then we’ll put ourselves in harm’s way. We’ve really got to lock into the base fundamentals and techniques and what we’re capable of doing.”

Can the Owls lock in and knock off the Hurricanes? Here is everything that you need to know ahead of Temple’s week four matchup against Miami.


If the Owls want any chance of putting up a fight against the Hurricanes, they’ll need to win at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

Temple’s offensive line showed improvement against Norfolk State, giving quarterback E.J. Warner time in the pocket while also creating large holes for Smith to run through.

However, Temple’s offensive line will be in for one of its toughest battles this season, as Miami has one of the top defensive lines in the country, ranked in Pro Football Focus’ top-10 list entering this season. 

Miami’s line has multiple threats that can get into the backfield, including preseason All-ACC lineman Leonard Taylor. Taylor had an impressive pass-rush win rate of almost 20 percent and a pressure rate of just more than 16 percent in 2022. He has two total tackles so far this season.

Miami’s offensive line is a point of focus for Temple as well. In his weekly press conference, Drayton mentioned the importance of winning up front if the Owls want to come away with a victory.

“The D-line is going to have to play their butts off this week,” Drayton said. “They have to play their butts off. No doubt.”

The return of defensive lineman Jerquavion Mahone, who missed last week with an undisclosed injury, will give a boost to that position group. Additionally, Allan Haye, who transferred from Miami, will have a chance to play significant snaps against his former team.

While it may not be pretty football, the Owls need to focus on winning up front if they want to win the game.


The weather for this week’s matchup does not look promising, with expected rainfall of up to three inches, which could force both Temple and Miami to abandon their passing attack.

Temple is coming off of one of its best games running the ball in almost a year, but the Hurricanes boast a stronger run defense than the Spartans, allowing just 60 yards per game against the run compared to Norfolk State’s 270. 

Meanwhile, the Owls have struggled against the run so far this year, allowing almost 153 yards per game this season. 


This season, Miami has dominated all of its opponents, outscoring teams by a total of 91 points through the first three weeks. Last week, the Hurricanes took care of business against Bethune-Cookman, an FCS program, defeating them 48-7. 

The Hurricanes are led by quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, who entered the week with 822 passing yards and eight touchdowns, completing  76 percent of his passes this season. 

In the backfield, Miami is led by running backs Henry Parrish Jr. and Ajay Allen. Parish leads the Hurricanes with 192 yards, averaging 7.4 yards per attempt while Allen has 137 rushing yards with two rushing touchdowns. 

Drayton realizes the dual threat the Hurricanes’ offense provides and knows his defense will need to be aware of both points of attack.

“They definitely have a big-time quarterback,” Drayton said about Van Dyke. “He’s big [at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds]. They’re big up front, they protect him well. He throws the ball with timing. The running back is the real deal, he can hit a home run at any given point in time, so you just can’t be locked into the throw game. You have to be disciplined with your eyes and anticipate anything that could come of that offensive unit that Miami has.” 

The Hurricanes also boast a stout defense, only giving up an average of 271 yards per game so far this season. Most of those yards have come through the air, which Temple has struggled with this season. Miami also averages just more than one turnover per game, which could help keep its offense on the field longer.

Despite missing All-American safety Kamren Kinchens, Miami’s defense is still a tough matchup for Temple. The Owls will have their hands full all game.


Declan Landis, Sports Editor: “This is going to be a tough game for the Owls. Miami seems to be the real deal, especially offensively. While they’ll be without some key players on defense, the Hurricanes are ranked No. 20 for a reason.”

Miami wins 38-7.

Johnny Zawislak, Assistant Sports Editor: “I don’t believe Temple will be able to win the battle up front, and they will be overpowered by the Hurricanes high powered offense.”

Miami wins 42-10.

Ryan Mack, Assistant Sports Editor: “Temple’s offense has been inconsistent all year, which isn’t something you want with the 20th-ranked team coming into town. I don’t think the Owls are going to win the battle in the trenches on both sides of the ball.”

Miami wins 48-6.

Jaison Nieves, Sports Social Media Manager: “Temple has an uphill battle going against one of the top teams in the nation. I don’t believe they will be able to hold Miami’s offense or generate any momentum on offense against a stout defense.”

Miami wins 54-10.

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