Miami Hurricanes 2023 Week 4 Preview: Temple Owls

Photo by Edwin Garcia


Miami, Florida – It’s Week 4 and the No. 20 Miami Hurricanes are on a roll with a road trip against an old foe the Temple Owls next on the schedule. Once upon a time, the two teams were in the previous iteration of the Big East throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Adding to the history lesson, UM has won 13 straight meetings with the last victory being a 34-3 beatdown in 2005. In fact, you’d have to go all the way back to 1930 when the two schools first met for the Owls’ only victory.

Temple is under the direction of Stan Drayton who is in his second year with the program. His first season was anything but ideal finishing 3-9. Bouncing off a 41-9 win versus Norfolk State the Owls are sitting at 2-1 for the 2023 season. Drayton has a talented offense headlined by the son of former NFL Star Kurt Warner, a true freshman in charge of the ground game, and former Canes kicker Camden Price. Miami, meanwhile is 3-0 following their 48-7 dub over Bethune Cookman.

Temple Owls

E.J. Warner (QB)

Taking over starting duties during week three of the 2022 season, the true freshman finished the campaign throwing for 3,028 yards and 18 touchdowns earning him AAC Rookie of the Year. Prior to the ’23 season, E.J. Warner was added to both the Maxwell Award and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm watchlists. Coming off a home victory over the Spartans, Warner generated 238 passing yards and a touchdown. The now-sophomore has thrown for 760 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. The kid can definitely sling it.

Joquez Smith (RB)

Rushing for 142 yards and a touchdown, Joquez Smith had himself a day running wild against Norfolk State. In the second quarter, Smith found a wide-open lane for the 51-yard score burning past any remotely possible defender. He also caught a 15-yard pass for a TD, the sole aerial strike by the Owls. Temple’s leading rusher knows how to exploit weaknesses in the defense with the explosiveness to back it up. However, considering his team’s schedule Miami will truly test his abilities as the toughest opponent he’ll ever face this year.

Tywan Francis (S)

After five years at Colorado State, Tywan Francis hit the transfer portal and landed in Philadelphia. Leading the team with 23 tackles, the red-shirt senior collected his first career interception back in week 1 versus Akron. Playing nickel and safety, Francis had a successful stint with the Rams amassing 176 tackles including five tackles for loss, 10 pass deflections, and two forced fumbles making him a worthy adversary in the secondary.

Miami

Emory Williams

Rarely would I suggest keeping an eye out for a bench player. However, Temple represents another opportunity for Emory Williams to get more snaps. Like Bethune Cookman prior, Miami faces an easy opponent giving second and third-stringers the chance to be evaluated in a live game. Williams was mostly impressive taking over for Tyler Van Dyke completing 9 of 11 passes for 102 yards. We could see a similar scenario play out.

Ajay Allen

Bouncing back from a quiet week 2, Ajay Allen rushed for 68 yards and two touchdowns. Seeing a lot of action in the red zone, Allen looks primed for more work against a defense that has surrendered 458 yards including 254 against Rutgers. He’ll be in the mix for carries with third down and red zone duties as a possible baseline. This will depend on Shannon Dawson’s plans with the air raid and whether we see a more balanced approach like we did versus Miami (OH).

Xavier Restrepo

Although he has yet to record a touchdown, Xavier Restrepo leads the team in both receptions (17) and receiving yards (314) making him TVD’s go-to among the fabulous trio of the WR Corps. Recording six catches for 120 yards, Restrepo was without a doubt the top receiver in week 3. Whether he continues this trend for week 4 and beyond is not known but one thing is for certain: the wideout is finding the endzone this weekend.

Prediction:

The Temple Owls are a young, talented team, however, the gap with the Miami Hurricanes is too large to overcome. Not only do the Canes have Van Dyke who’s thrown for 822 yards, eight touchdowns, and a mere interception but he’s also complemented by a powerful assemblage of wide receivers. Jacolby George, Colbie Young, and Restrepo are an incredible trio leaving Van Dyke with plenty of tools in his arsenal. Aside from the offense Temple faces a stingy defense even without Kamren Kinchens and others on the line.

Once again the Canes are heavily favored and should have no problem winning their first road game. They will head into the bye week undefeated. Final score: 38-13.

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