Five things Owls must focus on for 2013

(Tom Mihalek/AP file photo)

Temple’s 2012 football season was marred by miscues and inconsistent play. All that led to the Owls posting 4-7 overall and 2-5 Big East records.

Here are five things Temple needs to focus and work on before opening the 2013 season at Notre Dame on Aug. 31:

1. Improved quarterback play: The Owls ranked 116th out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams with an average of 120 passing yards per game. Juice Granger, who started the last two games, will go into the spring as the starter. Chris Coyer will battle him for the position. Elizabeth High's P.J. Walker, a 2013 recruit, could provide depth. There's a chance that Kevin Newsome could move to running back.

2. Finding a featured running back: Jamie Gilmore is Temple's top returner. The 5-foot-8, 185-pound freshman had 20 carries for 94 yards this season. There's still a chance that Montrell Dobbs, who enrolled at Temple in January as a partial qualifier, will be a part of next season's team. Dobbs was the 2010 Connecticut High School Coaches Association player of the year at Ansonia High before playing at Milford Academy (N.Y.) last fall.

3. Defense has to limit big plays: The defense yielded 60 plays of 20 yards or more this season. That's way too many to compete in the Big East.

4. Deon Miller has to have a bigger impact: The junior, who dealt with a viral infection this season, caught just seven passes for 101 yards in eight games after leading the team in receiving the previous year.

5. Replace Brandon McManus: The senior holds the Owls' career records in points scored (338), field goals made (60) field goals attempted (83) and punting average (45.06). Mainland's Jim Cooper, a 2013 recruit, is expected to take over Temple's placekicking duties.