Key matchups: Army vs. Temple

The eighth game of the year matches the Army Black Knights (Sagarin 119, 3-4) and the American Athletic Conference Temple Owls (Sagarin 143, 0-6.) Temple leads the all-time series 6-4 and has won five in a row. Last year, the Owls prevailed at West Point 63-32.

Background
The eighth game of the year matches the Army Black Knights (Sagarin 119, 3-4) and the American Athletic Conference Temple Owls (Sagarin 143, 0-6.) Temple leads the all-time series 6-4 and has won five in a row. Last year, the Owls prevailed at West Point 63-32. Army looks to even their record on the year going into the Air Force game. Temple looks to win their first game of the season.

Last Week
At Michie – Terry Baggett ran for 304 yards and four touchdowns as the Cadets were just too much for the Eastern Michigan Eagles winning 50-25.

Great accomplishments in football are rarely attributed solely to the star and Saturday was no exception. The offensive line, the receivers and the fullbacks all played their parts in creating holes for Baggett. In most years, Army backs would enter such lanes to be brought down 15 yards from the line of scrimmage or caught from behind. Not Baggett however– he has FBS breakaway speed and ran for scores of 34, 67 and 96 yards. He now holds the single game record for Army, previously set in 1999 by Michael Wallace of 269 yards. This also marks the best performance by any back this year in college football. Trenton Turrentine had 92 yards and Larry Dixon had 69 yards and both scored touchdowns. Angel Santiago was 5 for 7 for 38 yards and he also ran for 36.

While the score was rather lopsided in the end, it was a close game at the half with Army leading 22-18. Army was forced to make their only punt towards the end of the second quarter after Santiago was tackled for short gains. Eastern Michigan drove the ball to Army's 14 with a series of runs by Bronson Hill and an 18-yard pass. Army was able to force three incomplete passes and the Eagles settled for a field goal. While this does not seem like a tremendous feet, it was significant because on the first two drives, Eastern Michigan moved the ball at will with screen passes, short passes over the middle and pistol type runs. Army was able to adjust after the first two series and take those plays away. This was a great surprise to see the Payam Sadat and the players work so well together.

After the second quarter field goal, the Army defense was solid. They did give up a nine-play 64 yard touchdown drive at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but there were no breaks in coverage or over pursuing running lanes.

On defense, there was no real stand-out as it was a solid group effort. Justin Trimble had an interception and Jenkins, Holloway, Pierce and Trimble all had six tackles. One contributor that we have not heard a lot from this year was senior Colby Miller who had four tackles, a tackle for loss and a sack.

This was a game where Army showed a lot of heart. After Eastern Michigan started the game, ran straight down the field to score a touchdown and then scored a two point conversion on a botched snap-we thought that the wheels might come off. Army fought, eventually demoralized the Eagles and beat up on a team that was not physically their inferior.

At Cincinnati, the Bearcats gained 475 total yards and averaged 4.9 yards per rush and pulled away in the second half to beat the Owls 38-20.

Quarterback P.J. Walker was 12 of 22 for 200 yards, two touchdowns an interception and a fumble. The Owls had five Running Backs contribute to 176 yards on a total of 31 carries. Kenneth Harper led the way with 72 yards on 10 carries.

Who is favored?
Temple is favored by 2 ½ points.

What to look for?
Steve Addazio devised an offense to beat up Army's undersized defensive line. For the past three seasons, we have seen Temple line up and run between the tackles for huge gains. Addozio is gone and Matt Rhule is in. We are not sure if he will change his offense for the Army game, but there are several winnable games coming on their schedule and they will probably be reluctant to change anything for an offense learning a new system.

Temple's offense has struggled this year ranking 115th (16.5) in scoring, 92nd (204 YPG) in passing and 89th (144 YPG) in rushing. On the surface, it would seem as though Army can easily outscore Temple. However, losses have come to Notre Dame, Houston, Louisville, Cincinnati, Fordham and Idaho. While Idaho is not a good football team, the others are and would most likely beat Army on their home field. Also, PJ Walker started his first game last week against Cincinnati and is sure to look much better against Army.

On defense, they have a 300 pound nose tackle and a 285 pound defensive tackle, a 230 pound defensive end and 230 pound linebacker Matakevich (#8) who is very good.

Army is starting to gain some confidence on both sides of the ball and they are playing their best football right now. This game will probably come down to two things: the fullback dive and turnovers. As is always the case with this offense, the fullback dive must work to open up everything else. Temple has been susceptible to the run all year and Army should be able to move the ball. Temple has turned the ball over ten times this season. Army will have to win the turnover battle and not give the Owls a short field. If Army accomplishes both of these things, they will prevail on Saturday.

Final Score – Army 35 – Temple 21 (predictions in 2013, 5-2)

Game will be shown on ESPN 3 @ 1:00 PM EST.

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