The fifth game of the year matches the Army Black Knights (1-3) and the Mid-American Conference East Temple Owls (0-4). The Cadets lead the all time series 3-1, but the Owls won the last meeting in 1994. This is a very important game for both programs. The winner moves to make 2007 respectable and to build for the future. The loser is destined for ESPN's bottom 10 and will suffer a double digit losing season.
In a losing effort (37-17), Army played their best game of the year. Offensively, they were stopped in their tracks until they decided to throw the ball down field. A determined Army Offense continued to run their backs into Boston College's 4-3 defense. Boston College limited Army to 44 yards rushing on 20 attempts – and that was running their normal defense – there were not 8 or 9 in the box that we normally see. What was completely inspiring was when Carson Williams was allowed to drop back and throw. While he made a couple of mistakes, he looked like the first real quarterback Army has had since Ronnie McAda. Williams even audibled out of a couple of a couple of running plays and was able to keep drives alive. Williams was 15/32 for 191 yards with an interception. A touchdown and a long gainer were called back due to phantom holds (calls made by the ACC crew) and Justin Larson (TE) dropped one in the end-zone. For the first game in two years the offense had flashes of competence and Carson Williams showed flashes of brilliance.
On the defensive side of the ball, the cadets were incredible. You usually will not hear that after a team gave up 573 yards in total offense, but they truly were outstanding. Boston College has averaged 500 yards in all their games this year, but that was against the likes of Wake Forest, NC State and Georgia Tech. When you also consider that BC had 15 possessions – you have give it up to the Cadets. While they did not sack Matt Ryan – they certainly pressured him and caused two interceptions. Additionally, the Knights forced and recovered a fumble.
Temple lost their fourth game in a row; however they did score five touchdowns against Bowling Green in a 42-35 game. This was a Bowling Green Team that beat Minnesota and lost to Michigan State by 11. Their only bad performance was a blow out loss to the Buffalo Bison 42-7, the second game of the year. They are averaging 275 yards in offense, but giving up just over 400 yards per game.
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What we Learned
Army's defense is terrific and can play with the teams from the premier conferences. However, the defense will not be able to hold all year. Eventually fatigue and injuries will set in if the are put in many more games like that against BC. We also learned that their offense may have some form of hope. If the team can establish the pass first – they may be able to open up the run.
At Temple – we learned that they can score. They just have to score more than the opponent.
Who is favored?
Army is favored by 6 points.
What to look for? Look for Army to try to establish the run. Look for them to fail and get into a dog fight. Temple will be able to stop the Army running attack. Let's hope that Walsh will call some downfield wrinkles and open up the passing game.
Look for Army to contain Temple. Temple's offense will move the ball and if given many opportunities, they will be able to score and keep their team in the game.
I think that this is going to be a terrific game. Army will play it close and win it in the 4th quarter…by a field goal
Final Score – Army 17 – Temple 14 (Predictions this year 1-3)
Game will be televised on ESPNU 12:00PM EST.