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Cliff's Notes: UC at Temple

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For those who haven't been paying close enough attention this week, I don't condone it, but here is a helpful cheat sheet so you can be an informed fan heading into Saturday's game at Temple.

Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, (grass, outdoors)

When: Saturday, noon, Big East Network/Local12/700WLW

Forecast: Temperature in 50s, partly cloudy

2012 records: Bearcats 6-2, 2-1 Big East, Owls 3-5, 2-3

Ranking: Neither team is ranked, UC received votes in the Coaches Poll.

Tickets: Tickets are still available.

What to wear: Nothing with a Cowboys logo on it. 

Past results: Last meeting came in 2003. UC has won the last two in a series the Owls hold a 9-4-1 advantage in. Drawing on anything from nine years ago means as much as drawing on what the pregame music will be. (Likely Gangnam Style)

Need to know: This should be an easy win for the Bearcats. Temple showed it can hang with the bottom of the conference notching two wins against USF and UConn to open their first year in the Big East, but once it came time to face the premier teams they were exposed in their transition from the MAC.

Temple has been outscored by at least 25 points in each of its last three games (Rutgers/Louisville/Pitt). No reason to believe this wouldn't follow right in line.

Need to know quote: Butch Jones on the toughest part of moving to a new conference:

"I just think depth, that's the thing that you fight week in and week out the level of competition that you are playing against that you are facing and I just think that your 22 players I think we've found that around the country anyone's 22 players can usually play with anyone and everyone. But it's the next guy in and it also shows its way on special teams as well." 

Need to know stat: After the first quarter the last three games, Temple has been outscored 98-16. They've shown an ability to hang for a quarter and maybe a little more, but the depth problem creeps up as the game wears on.

Thumbnail image for Harris.jpgWho to know: Senior RB Montel Harris. In both of Temple's conference wins Harris topped 100 yards. If they can't establish Harris on the ground they accomplish little on offense. He transferred from Boston College to Temple. He was the ACC's all-time career leading rusher and racked up 22 100-yard games there. He's the most dangerous player on the Owls.

Quarterback quandary:
Jones stated he will make a decision on the starting quarterback gameday. The job has been considered a competition in practice all week. More than likely, we see a combination of Brendon Kay, Munchie Legaux and Jordan Luallen. If UC can establish a big lead, it would offer a prime opportunity to see what Kay can bring to the table.

Defining matchup: UC offensive line vs. Temple. The Bearcats have owned in the trenches most every opponent they've faced this year. Temple would stack up to be no different. The Owls rank dead last in the conference in rush defense. If UC can control the tempo with the league's best running game and allow whatever happens at quarterback to stay conservative and efficient, Temple will have a difficult time hanging with the Bearcats.

Delving deeper: Temple's passing attack makes John Skelton look like Aaron Rodgers. The Owls rank 117th nationally in passing offense and total offense. Southpaw Chris Coyer averages 111.2 yards per game through air with a 53 percent completion rate.

Against Louisville last week -- a game in which they trailed by double-digits the majority of the day -- they only managed to hit 6 of 16 passes for 54 yards.

Jump out to an early lead and Temple has no firepower to jump back in the game.

By the numbers: The Bearcats offensive line allowed only two sacks in the last five games for a total loss of 5 yards. They rank 17th in the nation in sacks allowed.

Quotent Quotables: Butch Jones on the standard expected of the quarterback position and battle between Kay, Legaux and Luallen:

"I've spoken to all of them and they understand. We are not going to tolerate carelessness with the football. We are going to take care of the football ... All three individuals understand and are extremely competitive and it's going to make all three better. It's going to turn out to be a huge benefit for or entire football team."

Looking Ahead: Massive home matchup against Rutgers (7-1, 4-0) on Saturday at noon at Nippert looms.

Words from Butch Jones:
Tommy G sat down with Butch Jones on Bearcats Football Weekly to discuss Saturday's game and the state of the Bearcats. Here's the link.

Hype video: In case you haven't caught the behind the scenes highlights from the win against Syracuse, they are worth it for the Travis Kelce pregame speech alone. Plenty of fire in this team.

 


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