Key Matchups: Army vs. Temple

(AS/Sheldon Y.)

The 11th game of the year matches the Army Black Knights (Sagarin 150, 2-8) and The Big East Temple Owls (Sagarin 111, 3-6.) Temple leads the all-time series 5-4 and has won the last 4. Last year a bowl bound Temple team blew out Army in Philadelphia, 42-14.

Background
The 11th game of the year matches the Army Black Knights (Sagarin 150, 2-8) and The Big East Temple Owls (Sagarin 111, 3-6.) Temple leads the all-time series 5-4 and has won the last 4. Last year a bowl bound Temple team blew out Army in Philadelphia, 42-14. Both teams have had disappointing seasons and look to bolster their records in a winnable game. For Army, a win against Temple would give some very needed confidence going into the Army-Navy Game.

Last Week
At Piscataway, N.J. – Army played a fantastic game for the first 50 minutes but could not overcome the turnovers and lost opportunities, falling to the Scarlet Knights 28-7.

Army played a very good football game, but four fumbles that resulted in 14 Rutgers points and two blocked field goals ended their chances of beating a top 25 team for the first time in 40 years. Army gained 337 total yards on the day, but was limited to 282 on the ground. Trent Steelman was the only Army player to gain more than 100 yards (102 on 26 carries). Larry Dixon gained 81 yards on 6 carries. Eight other Army players carried the ball with relative success. Steelman attempted 17 passes, but only completed 7 for 55 yards. While the offensive performance looks average on paper, it was a terrific effort against a very stout Rutgers defense.

The real surprise of the day was Army's defense. This defense, that was arguably one of the worst that Army has ever fielded earlier in the year has found its legs and is playing very well. They limited Rutgers to 252 total yards and 139 in the air. Rutgers QB Brandon Coleman was 14-17 with a touchdown and an interception. Brandon Fuller Jefferies, Geoffery Bacon and Nate Combs had fantastic games. Justin Trimble had the interception for Army.

While Army absolutely gave Rutgers the victory, they do look much better than they did in the first 8 games of the season.

In Philadelphia, PA – Cincinnati gained 472 total yards and coasted to an easy 34-10 win over the Owls.

Cincinnati averaged 5.7 yards per rush. Senior Brendon Kay, made his first start and was 13/21 for 244 yards and 2 TDs.

What to look for?
Temple brings a mediocre team to Michie. They have continued to be a run first offense and average 168 rushing yards per game. Their passing attack is amongst the nation's worst at 125 yards per game. Montel Harris is their main running back. He has gained nearly 600 yards on the year averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Quarterback Chris Coyer is their second best rusher as his running from the shotgun formation is one of their more common plays. Earlier in the year, Army would not have been able to stop Harris and Coyer running behind a large Owl offensive line. This team has figured it out and with a healthy Bacon and Combs, we think that they will be able to contain the Owl offense.

Temple comes in to this game coming off four consecutive blowout losses. This is not the same team we used to see under former head coach Al Golden which would physically manhandle and abuse the Cadets in the trenches on both sides of the ball. This is a demoralized team that clearly appears to have packed it in for the season, and they are highly unlikely to give a first class effort this Saturday. That the Vegas odds makers have actually installed Army as a favorite in this game should speak volumes as to what kind of effort they expect from the Owls. Army, on the other hand, is a team that seems to be getting better as the season winds down, and the overall effort has been outstanding these last few weeks. Coming off a loss that easily could have gone their way against a superior opponent last week, we expect our Black Knights to give a supreme effort in this game, the last one this senior class will play at Michie Stadium. Of course, regardless of the quality of the effort, Army must limit the fumbles and, as always, win the time of possession battle. They can't give up fumbles for touchdowns as they did last week. If they can keep the turnover margin even they can win their third game of the year.

Who is favored?
Army is favored by 3 points

Final Score –Army 21 – Temple 14
(Predictions this year 4-6)
Game will be shown on CBSCSN @ 12:00 EST.

Picks from the Ridge
(Predictions this year 10-9)
Kansas St. -12 @ Baylor
Kent State +3 @ Bowling Green
UCLA +4 VS USC

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