Temple Heading to Rentschler For HC

In a matchup of teams in transition, the Temple Owls will travel up I-95 to take on Connecticut in the Huskies' Homecoming Game. The 1-6 Owls, who are in the their final season as members of the Big East Football Conference, are the underdogs against the 4-2 Huskies in UConn's first season of league play. Here's Scout.com's preview on both squads.

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CONNECTICUT
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INSIDE SLANT

Coach Randy Edsall is thrilled the Huskies won't play any more midweek games this season. Connecticut has played on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights to accommodate television coverage.

The Huskies dropped two of the three games, including last Wednesday's 31-19 loss to West Virginia.

"I'm happy we're back playing on Saturdays," Edsall said. "It's nice to play on TV, but if I had my druthers, I'd continue to play on Saturdays because of kids missing classes and those kinds of things.

"But the (West Virginia loss) was a thing of the past after Thursday, when we watched tape and made corrections. Hopefully we learned from it."

Connecticut (4-2) will play its final Big East home game of the season on Saturday, when it hosts Temple (1-6) at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. The Huskies have lost two of their last four games, but remain in the middle of the league's standings.

Connecticut only trailed West Virginia 10-6 with about four minutes remaining in the third quarter, but wouldn't get any closer. Senior quarterback Dan Orlovsky completed 24 of 47 passes for 268 yards and threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns, but he was intercepted three times.

Sophomore tailback Cornell Brockington added 90 rushing yards on 23 carries in the loss, but was kept out of the end zone.

NOTES, QUOTES

SCOUTING THE OFFENSE
Connecticut's passing offense (279.7 ypg.) should dominate Temple's beleaguered secondary. Then again, the Owls held Rutgers' league-leading passing attack to 193 yards. Huskies QB Dan Orlovsky has thrown 12 touchdown passes against nine interceptions, and is the league's top passing threat.

SCOUTING THE DEFENSE
The Huskies have the league's second-ranked defense (301.2 ypg.), and opponents are averaging only 18.7 points per game. Connecticut is tied for second in the conference with 12 sacks.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"Walter wasn't a guy we recruited. But he's a big strong guy and has a very good arm. You have to be alert for him running the football and throwing the football. Watching him on tape it looks like he's doing what they're asking him to do." -- Connecticut coach Randy Edsall, on facing Temple quarterback Walter Washington this weekend.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

THIS WEEK'S GAME
The game will be the fifth straight sellout at Connecticut's Rentschler Field. QB Dan Orlovsky, the Big East's leading passer with 276.3 yards per game, will attempt to expose Temple's league-worst defense.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Dan Orlovsky. On Wednesday, the senior was named one of nine finalists on Thursday for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. He completed 24 of 47 passes for 268 yards and was intercepted three times against West Virginia. Orlovsky did, however, throw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, which tied him for first place on Connecticut's all-time list.

CB Justin Perkins -- The senior is tied for the league lead in interceptions with three. He also has broken up six passes.

ROSTER REPORT
DE Tyler King broke his right leg two weeks ago and is expected to be out at least another month.

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TEMPLE
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INSIDE SLANT

Having nearly won two Big East games in as many weeks, the Owls are looking to finally snap a streak of 10 straight conference losses when they play at Connecticut (4-2) on Saturday.

Temple dropped a 27-22 decision to Pittsburgh on Oct. 9, then fell 16-6 at Rutgers last weekend. The Owls have lost four straight games.

"It's not a lack of effort and it's not a lack of preparation during the week," coach Bobby Wallace said. "I wasn't sure that we were good enough on defense. But if we can play like we did on Saturday, I feel good about our defense."

The Owls (1-6) held Rutgers' passing offense, which is ranked first in the conference, to 193 yards. The Scarlet Knights also turned the ball over five times.

Junior quarterback Walter Washington has proven week in and week out that he is Temple's only legitimate offensive option. The team's running game has been nonexistent and the Owls' receiving corps unimpressive.

Washington completed 21 of 39 passes for 219 yards and was intercepted twice on Saturday. He added 67 rushing yards on 27 carries, but failed to produce a touchdown.

NOTES, QUOTES

SCOUTING THE OFFENSE
Temple features the league's last-ranked scoring offense (19.3 ppg.) and fifth-ranked total offense (362.7 ypg.). QB Walter Washington leads the team in rushing (61.4, 8 TDs) and passing (187.4, 4 TDs) yardage.

SCOUTING THE DEFENSE
The Owls own the Big East's worst scoring (36.3 ppg.) and total defense (429.9 ypg.). LB Troy Bennett leads the team in tackles with 65. Temple is coming off its best defensive performance of the season at Rutgers.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"It's been a little frustrating, but we have to get back to work and get ready for another one." -- Coach Bobby Wallace, on Temple's struggles this season. The Owls have beaten just one team -- I-AA representative Florida A&M -- in seven tries.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

THIS WEEK'S GAME
The Owls have beaten the Huskies in seven of eight games, but the tables appear to be turned this time around. If the defense can build on last week's performance at Rutgers (283 yards), it might have a chance in East Hartford.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Walter Washington -- A week after throwing for a career-high 314 yards and three touchdowns in a loss to Pittsburgh, Washington completed 21 of 39 passes for 219 yards and was intercepted twice in the Rutgers game. He added 67 rushing yards on 27 carries.

CB Jermaine Hargraves -- The junior recovered a fumble, intercepted a Ryan Hart pass and returned it 14 yards in defeat. He also recorded four tackles.

ROSTER REPORT
DL Antwon Burton (foot) didn't play against Rutgers and is sidelined indefinitely. The Owls are otherwise healthy.


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