College Football Picks: Fade Temple vs. a Tough East Carolina Team

David Lawrence

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 8:07 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015 8:07 PM UTC

The Temple Owls are one of the remaining unbeaten teams. The East Carolina Pirates are coming off a strong defensive performance. Let us give you our free college football pick.

The Owls aren’t playing their best football of the season, but they’re playing well enough to win each and every game they play. Coach Matt Rhule’s team doesn’t falter on defense. It doesn’t have a super-powered offense, but it is always in the right place at the right time on defense and takes care of situations with great consistency. The Owls do not allow long plays on defense. They hold opponents to field goals. They don’t allow scores on consecutive possessions very often. They are so good at minimizing damage, and that showed up in their win over Central Florida this past Saturday. The defense, as it usually does, kept the team in the game while the offense took time to find its footing. The defense roared in the second half to keep the Knights at bay. The offense got stronger as the second half moved along, and Temple is still unbeaten as a result.

East Carolina faced a Tulsa team which scored 38 points against Oklahoma earlier in the season. Tulsa’s potent passing attack was called the “Hurry-cane” offense, since Tulsa is called the Golden Hurricane and likes to use a tempo-based approach on offense. East Carolina smothered Tulsa in the first half and imposed its defensive presence on the “Hurry-cane,” and even though Tulsa mounted a comeback in the second half, ECU was able to hold off the charge for a 30-17 win which has to give coach Ruffin McNeill’s team a lot of confidence for this home game on Thursday night.


Line Moves
East Carolina started as a two-point favorite, but the college football odds have moved to three points. The weakness and instability of Temple’s offense, combined with East Carolina’s improvements on defense, have led bettors to conclude that Temple won’t get out of Greenville, N.C., with an unbeaten record.


Notable Injuries
Temple safety Will Hayes is questionable for this game with a hamstring injury. Backup running back Jager Gardner is questionable with a shoulder injury. Defensive lineman Josiah Bronson is out for the season with an ankle injury. Defensive lineman Jullian Taylor is out indefinitely with an undisclosed condition.

East Carolina has wide receiver DaQuan Barnes listed as questionable with a hip injury. Offensive lineman Dontae Levingston is questionable with a shoulder injury. Defensive back Corey Seargent is questionable with an undisclosed condition.

Defensive end Mike Myers is questionable with a hip injury. Wide receiver Jimmy Williams is out indefinitely with an ankle injury. Linebacker Davaris Brunson is out indefinitely with a knee injury. Linebacker Jeton Beavers is out indefinitely with an ACL injury. Running back Marquez Grayson is out indefinitely with a foot injury.


Handicapping The Game
The Temple story has been a fun one, but the Owls have been getting by with rather average performances against ordinary or below-average opponents. East Carolina is better than any other team Temple has faced so far this season. The Owls are in a bad spot, and ECU is primed to take advantage. Take the Pirates with your college football picks.

College Football Pick: East Carolina -2.5 at Pinnacle

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