Week 5 NCAA Football Picks: Temple Owls vs. Connecticut Huskies

PJ Walker has been a great dual-threat QB this season.
PJ Walker has started the season nicely for Temple

Time: 4 PM ET
Spread: TEM -6
Total: 45
M/L: TEM -235; CON +195

Betting Odds courtesy of Bookmaker

Temple is 2-1 on the season with wins over Vanderbilt and Delaware State, with a 31-24 loss to Navy sandwiched between this two victories. The Owls defense has been superb, holding Vandy to just seven points and shutting out Delaware St. While those two programs are hardly powerhouses, the Owls also held Navy and its excellent running game in check.

Temple also does a good job of balancing the pass and the run. The Owls rank 91st in the nation in passing yardage and 78th in rushing yardage, helping the team score 40 points per game on average. QB P.J. Walker has been solid as well, throwing 63.9 percent for completions and managing 6 passing TDs to just 3 INTs. His QB rating of 127.9 ranks about the same as his backup, Conner Reilly, who is a good 2nd stringer should Walker encounter any injuries this season.

The Owls have two backs who have already rushed for 100 yards on the season, Jamie Gilmore and Jahad Thomas. Gilmore averages 5.7 yards per carry, and Thomas is good for 4.4 per attempt. Walker himself has rushed for an additional 92 yards, while also scoring a TD. Teams have to respect the Owls and its ability to vary the rush and pass.

Conference foe UConn has had a tough going so far, winning just one matchup in the first four. The win was hardly much to speak of though, coming over Stony Brook, and just by a field goal. The Huskies have been blown out by BYU and Boise State, while narrowly losing by a field goal to a very bad South Florida team. Following this week, the Huskies face Tulane and No. 23 East Carolina, which makes the prospect of a 1-5 start a real one.

Senior QB Chandler Whitmer is putting the ape on a fairly decent career, not that he has had a lot of support from his teammates. He’s still thrown for 51 percent completions this year, but that’s down from the last two years, and he’s already been sacked 15 times. If the Huskies could put some better offensive linemen on the field, it would give talents like Whitmer a much better chance of succeeding. As it stands, though, it’s going to be a rough season for UConn, and it’s quite likely this turns into a double digit loss, despite Temple being favored by just six.

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