Temple travels to the Blue Grass State to take on the Louisville Cardinals this Saturday.
This is the Owls (0-3) second consecutive road game against a Conference USA opponent after a 30-24 triple overtime loss to Cincinnati.
The Cardinals (3-0) are undefeated and coming off a 42-14 romp of Texas El-Paso.
3 keys to the game for Temple:
Make their field goals: Out is senior kicker Jared Davis.
In is sophomore Roger Price.
Davis was a dismal 4 of 13 on field goal attempts.
And it isn’t just about the misses, it’s about the timing of his misses.
In each of the three games this season, Davis has missed crucial kicks, which have killed momentum or lost games.
For the Owls to win they need Price to make his first collegiate field goal and hope Davis is consistent on his kickoffs.
Keep the offensive surge going: Temple has gone from 357 yards of total offense in the opener, to 358 yards in the second game, to an amazing 522 yard last week.
Coach Bobby Wallace seems right on his presumption that junior quarterback Mike McGann has improved.
McGann’s fluid play can be attributed to his experience and one of the best receiving corps in the Big East Conference.
Senior Zamir Cobb and junior Phil Goodman have combined for 40 receptions and 614 yards.
Last week the Owls had three wide receivers eclipse the 100-yard mark for the first time in school history.
Hope history repeats itself: This is the fourth time these teams have faced each other with the Owls winning all three.
However, their last meeting was in 1983, a 24-7 Owl victory at Veterans Stadium.
TEMPLE: Injured running back Makonnen Fenton could be back in the lineup as soon as Oct. 4, when the Owls visit Middle Tennessee State.
Junior running back Umar Ferguson played well in the Cincinnati loss, rushing for 66 yards on 13 carries.
LOUISVILLE: New coach Bobby Petrino has brought a high-powered offense to Louisville that has scored on 18 of 31 possessions this season.
All the offensive production, despite the loss of three-time Conference USA Player of the Year Dave Ragone, has given the Cardinals a balanced attack.
3 MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
Louisville QB Stefan LeFors vs. Temple’s secondary: LeFors has only thrown 16 passes in his career.
This year he has completed 62.7 percent of his throws and seven touchdowns.
In the fourth quarter and three overtimes against Cincinnati, Temple’s defense surrendered 20 unanswered points and 170 yards of offense.
Temple WR’s Phil Goodman and Zamir Cobb vs. Louisville CB’s Gavin Smart and Josh Minkins: For Temple to keep it close these two speedsters need to continue their impressive play.
Last week, the two combined for 17 catches, 249 yards and a touchdown.
Smart and Minkins have combined for 24 tackles and three interceptions this season.
Temple’s special teams vs. Louisville special teams: Even with the kicking struggles, the Owls’ coverage game has only given up 15.1 yards a return.
Broderick Clark, who averages 24.9 yards a return, will be a big test.
Another change in special teams for the Owls is sophomore punter Mike McLaughlin.
He takes over for senior Garvin Ringwelski and his struggling net average of 20.4 yards.
The team can’t afford to give the Cardinals’ offense good field position.
Matt Sitkoff can be reached at Phil14367@aol.com.