Owls coach Steve Addazio, however, said Tuesday that his squad was not concerned about making a statement against the Wildcats.
"I told our team, I just want to go into the locker room and try to win the game," he said during this season's first weekly news conference. "Our goal is to win whatever game we are playing.
"People [are] asking me questions, and I'm like, 'We have to go play a really good football team on Friday night,' " Addazio said. "Somehow, some way we just need to come out with one more point than them and win the game."
That is not expected to be a problem. In Villanova, Temple will face an injury-riddled squad coming off a 2-9 season. The Wildcats were picked to finish eighth in the Colonial Athletic Association preseason poll.
One of the few things in the Wildcats' favor is that the Owls only return nine starters from last season's 9-4 squad.
Temple's offensive line lacks depth, and the Owls' wideouts have struggled throughout training camp.
But there is a thought that Temple will not need a passing game to post its third straight victory over Villanova.
Montel Harris and Matt Brown are being mentioned among some of the nation's top tailback tandems.
Quarterback Chris Coyer is also an accomplished runner. And after the Owls establish the run, look for Temple to use play-action passes.
But like Addazio, Coyer does not think Temple's FBS status should factor into the outcome.
"We have a lot of respect for them," he said. "With the exception of last year, the other two games have been down to the wire.
"They beat us three years ago. And two years ago, we beat them on a late field goal."
Villanova holds a 16-14-2 series advantage. But Temple has won nine of the last 13 meetings.
Contact Keith Pompey at 215-854-2939 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @pompeysgridlock on Twitter. Read his blog, Owls Inq, at www.philly.com/owlsinq