Temple (0-2) will visit Cincinnati (2-0) Saturday in search of its first win of the season in the first of a three-game road trip.
Last year’s contest saw the Bearcats score 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter en route to a 35-22 win.
3 keys to the game for Temple:
Contain Cincinnati’s potent rushing game:
This year the Bearcats are averaging over 50 rushing attempts a game and 263.0 rushing yards per contest, good for seventh in the nation.
The Bearcats strong ground game takes the pressure off their passing game, but don’t underestimate the arm of quarterback Gino Guidugli.
Temple’s front four and linebackers will need to make stops early to force third and long situations.
Consistency in the kicking game:
Temple kicker Jared Davis has struggled this season, converting only 3 of 8 field goal attempts.
A 2-for-5 performance against Villanova played a big part in their defeat.
To lessen the burden on both the offense and defense, Davis must improve his accuracy.
Better play calling from coach Bobby Wallace:
The Owls will be tested by a very good Bearcats defense in the air and on the ground early in the game.
Temple’s defense can’t remain stuck on the field because of an inept offense.
If quarterback Mike McGann can lead a balanced attack in the early-going, halftime adjustments might determine if Temple can put itself in a position to win the game.
TEMPLE is returning from its bye week and looking to turn things around after a 23-20 loss to Villanova in week two.
Injuries to starters RB Makonnen Fenton and OL Elliot Seifert will give the offense a slightly different look.
JUCO transfer Jamil Porter will replace Fenton at running back and tackle Chris Harris will replace Seifert.
Wide receivers Zamir Cobb and Phil Goodman each eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark against Villanova and will look to have big games when they venture into an experienced Cincinnati secondary.
CINCINATTI is seeking its first 3-0 start since 1985.
The Bearcats defeated West Virginia, 15-13, last weekend for the first time in 14 tries, so it’s safe to say Cincy is heading into this one with plenty of momentum.
Throw in the fact that Bearcats coach Rick Minter is one win shy of becoming the school’s all-time winningest coach and this could end up being one emotional game.
The team prides itself on its defense, which has surrendered only 16 points this season, good for the fifth best defense in the country.
3 MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
Temple WR Zamir Cobb vs. Cincinnati CB Zach Norton:
Cobb is averaging 108 receiving yard a game, while Norton a third-year starter, is the team’s top cover corner.
Cincinnati QB Gino Guidugli vs. Temple’s secondary:
Guidugli threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns last year against the Owls, while the Temple secondary was torched for 347 yards against Villanova two weeks ago.
Cincinnati’s running backs vs. Temple’s linebackers:
The Bearcats feature two backs whom amassed 400 rushing yards in two games thus far.
Owls’ linebackers Troy Bennett and Rian Wallace have combined for 40 tackles in two games.
David Cargin can be reached at email@example.com