7:35 pm
September 2

Temple @ Duke

Who will WIN this matchup?

Temple Owls (0-0)

@ Duke Blue Devils (0-0)


Current odds:

Temple Owls: (+270)

Duke Blue Devils: (-357)


• The spread for this game is Duke by 9.5 points.

• A first-year coach will collect a victory in the season opener when Temple visits Duke on Friday night in Durham, N.C. A significant difference is that Temple is accustomed to playing under new leadership as Stan Drayton is the fourth coach to begin a season with the Owls in a seven-year span. Duke had more stability, but a recent slide invited a switch. Mike Elko was hired to try to reverse the trend.

• Both teams are coming off 3-9 seasons. Duke carries an eight-game losing streak into the season. With one exception, the Blue Devils lost each of those games in the skid by at least 25 points.

• Elko arrived from Texas A&M, where he was a defensive coordinator after holding a similar role at Wake Forest. He replaces long-time coach David Cutcliffe.

• The Blue Devils had major issues on defense last year, regularly unraveled by big plays. But the offense needs upgrading as well.

• On Sunday, redshirt freshman Riley Leonard was named the starting quarterback ahead of sophomore Jordan Moore. Both players held backup roles last season.

• D’Wan Mathis, who was the starter for Georgia in the 2020 opener, is in his second season with the Owls and he’s the incumbent starter at quarterback. Reduced to playing seven games because of injuries, he threw for six touchdowns and four interceptions.

• Duke hasn’t had a winning season since 2018, when it capped an 8-5 mark by defeating Temple in the Independence Bowl. Temple went 8-5 in 2019 for its most recent winning campaign.

• Temple’s team is so young that more than half of the players on the roster have four years of eligibility remaining.

StreakSmarter Pick
Duke Blue Devils