Opener with Temple rapidly approaching

Army's 2008 season-opener against Temple on Aug. 29 at West Point is approaching quickly. Next thing you know, the fighting Black Knights will be emerging from the tunnel at Michie Stadium. With the game nearing, previews Temple, and will follow with analysis of the rest of the Black Knights' opponents.

Temple has long been an NCAA Division I doormat. The Owls went 4-8, 4-4 Mid-American Conference last season, but are regarded as an improving team.

Don't let the record fool you: Temple put up another Temple-like season last year by going 4-8. It should be noted that the Owls started 2007 0-5. Temple followed by going 4-3 with a loss against No. 25 Penn State. The Owls even put together a three-game winning streak.

Temple was 0-12 in 2005 and 1-11 in Golden's first season,

The Golden Boy: By no means is Temple coach Al Golden's two-year record in Philadelphia sparkling. He's 5-19, but Golden is still highly regarded, as he was in the mix for UCLA's open head coaching job this offseason. If anyone turns around the Temple program, people believe it's Golden. Golden, a former Penn State tight end, spent 1994-2006 on staff at the University of Virginia. He left as the Cavaliers' defensive coordinator.

Let's not forget last season: Army put up its best effort of the season in a 37-21 win over Temple at West Point last Sept. 29. The Black Knights scored five touchdowns in four different ways. Corey Anderson returned a kickoff for six, Jeremy Trimble scored on a punt return and a pass reception, Justin Larson added a touchdown catch and Jordan Murray recovered a fumble in the end zone. All four of those Army players have graduated.

The man in the middle: Temple is led by quarterback Adam DiMichele, one of the most accomplished athletes in the state of Pennsylvania. He earned All-State honors in basketball, baseball and football. DiMichele originally signed to play football at Penn State, but went to Temple.

DiMichele was in the middle of a solid season last year, but broke his leg in Week 9 against Miami (Ohio). He still finished the season with 1,595 yards and 12 touchdowns. DiMichele, a senior, will be completely healed for the Army game.

Back-up Vaughn Charlton took all the reps in the spring while DiMichele was still recovering and that experience will help him if DiMichele goes down again. One stat to remember is that Temple gave up an average of 3.75 sacks per game last season.

Strength in numbers: This is probably the type of continuity Golden is looking for. Fourteen seniors are on Temples' two-deep depth chart from last year. Only graduated fullback Josh Bundy is gone from last fall.

The players from Golden's first recruiting class are entering their junior seasons. Temple was the youngest team in the nation in 2006 and 2007. In all, the Owls will return 53 letter-winners and 21 starters.

Temple of Defense: The Owls can certainly get it done on the defensive side of the ball. Temple led the MAC in pass defense (198.75) and total defense (363.42) last season and the Owls could be right up there again. The defensive line is fortified by The line is led by Andre Neblett, Leyon Azubuike and Terrance Knighton. Strong safety Dominique Harris is another player to watch. Top Stories