Coming home after another humbling defeat, the Temple Owls (2-2, 0-1, Tie for 4th Place AAC East) host the Houston Cougars (2-1, 0-0 AAC West). It is the Owls first home conference game, and the overall conference opener for the Cougars.
TEMPLE – Houston SERIES HISTORY:
Temple has not fared well against Houston , going 1-4 with the only win being a 1987 forfeit. The last time they met was the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship game at TDECU Stadium in Houston, a 24-13 Cougars victory. Houston also won the last match-up at the Linc by 2 less points in 2013.
LAST TIME OUTS:
Temple’s defense was the only bright spot of the 43-7 grounding by the then #21 USF Bulls. The reason I say that is the 7 points came courtesy of DE Jacob Martin‘s hat trick of sorts as he forced a fumble, recovered it and ran 44 yards for a touchdown. That was in the 2nd quarter making the score 20-6. Until they inevitably wore down in the end because of the ineffective Owls offense, partly caused by the much improved USF D, and some specious play calling and gambles by the coaching staff, the defense played well.
Houston is also coming off a 27-24 home loss to Texas Tech, snapping a NCAA best home win streak of 16 games going back to 11/8/2014.
The Cougar’s made that last game close with two scoring drives late in the game (getting to within a FG with 0:15 left in regulation) led by SR. QB Kyle Postma. He took over midway through the fourth quarter going 8-of-13 for 100 yards with a passing and a nine yard rushing TD. Their other JR. QB Kyle Allen has an NCAA best 76.9 completion percentage. Their main target, SR. Linell Bonner, is sixth nationally with an average of 8.7 receptions per game. He also is second in the AAC with an 85.7 average YPG.
As for which QB will start this week Houston Head Coach Major Applewhite had this to say:
“We’re going to evaluate the quarterback position like every other position. Every position is always wide open. The moment you tell your football team that this position is locked and shut, you’re discouraging people from committing themselves and practicing hard. All positions are going to be open, kickers open, everything is wide open in this program always.”
Houston’s D is ranks #18 in scoring defense (15.3 points per game), but they gave up 521 total yards to Texas Tech, with 321 yards of that through the air.
Their special teams lead the NCAA with an average of 38.6 yards per kick return.
Temple still has not figured out how to handle the three QBs who all played last week, redshirt SO Logan Marchi , redshirt JR Frank Nutile and true FR Todd Centeio. None of them were put in a good position to make plays by Head Coach Geoff Collins or OC Dave Patenaude, who still have not shown they are up to their respective tasks on game day.
The Owls had -4, yes that is “minus” 4 yards rushing on 33 attempts last week, so it is imperative that they get whatever QB is in going on the ground, as well as leading rusher Ryquell Armstead.
Temple comes in once again as a big underdog at almost two TD’s and unless the coaching staff finds some way to utilize the talent they have, and the players make some plays against another, on paper. superior opponent, this could be another long day for the Cherry and White. They have not shown me anything of the kind yet, so I have to make Houston Alum, Philadelphia Union Press Coordinator Matt Bodiford happy, and say Cougars 28-17.
TV: ESPNU PBP Mike Couzens, Analyst John Congemi,
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic PBP Harry Donahue, Analyst Paul Palmer
Student Radio: WHIP PBP Max Merkin, Analyst Matt Bevenour
Live Stats: www.sidearmstats.com/Temple/football