Bearcat Insider looks at the keys to a Cincinnati victory over Temple on Saturday night and gives our prediction.

After steamrolling Alabama A&M in their season opener, Cincinnati will host fellow American Athletic Conference foe Temple. The Owls are coming off a program making win over Penn State and the winner of this game will have an early advantage of winning their side of the division. Bearcat Insider has five keys to victory as we get ready for kickoff.

Cincinnati's season opening 52-10 win over Alabama A&M turned out to give Tommy Tuberville a chance to play the majority of his roster.

Temple head coach Matt Rhule on the otherhand saw his team battle a team no one thought they would beat in Penn State. The Owls came to play and in the process became the team everyone was talking about all week.

Last season these two teams battled with the Bearcats coming out on top.

Much more is on the line in 2015 as the winner takes an early lead in the American Athletic Conference East Division and Bearcat Insider gives you five keys to a Bearcats victory.

KEY ONE

Keep tackling machine linebacker Tyler Matakevich in check.

Matakevich is a tackling machine and the Bearcats must look to keep him in check and not allow him to be disruptive to the offensive game plan. Matakevich will get his tackles, but the Bearcats must not allow him to get to quarterback Gunner Kiel like he did against Christian Hackenberg in the Owls season opener.

KEY TWO

Establish the running game early to set up the passing game.

Cincinnati must use all three of their quality running backs early in this match-up to help open up the passing game. The more the Bearcats can run the football, the more success Gunner Kiel should have hitting the teams talented group of recievers. Look for early drawl plays to get the Owls off balance before the passing game gets into gear.

KEY THREE

Protect Gunner Kiel the whole game.

Bearcat fans learned last season what happens when the Bearcats are without Kiel. We already talked about Tyler Matakevich, but he was not alone last week as Nate D. Smith posted two sacks and five other Owls recorded at least a half a sack.

KEY FOUR

Win all phases of special teams.

The Bearcats must have a great game on special teams. From kickoffs, punts and field goals, Cincinnati must prove they have used the dedicated practice time given to the specialist and be as perfect as they can be. So keep an eye on Andrew Gantz and Sam Geraci.

KEY FIVE

Put pressure on quarterback P.J. Walker and keep running back Jahad Thomas in check.

Walker is not flashy but does a solid job of keeping the Owls offense running. Last week he went 15 of 20 for 143 yards. However, he threw no touchdowns. Thomas rushed for 160 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns. But he also lost 25 yards ending with a net of 135 yards. This is not a high power offense and if the Bearcats can put pressure from their front seven, they should be able to keep the Owls on the low side of the scoreboard. 


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