Preview: Temple at Army
A Chance To Get Back On Track
By Denis Brown
September 24, 2007
Temple (0-4) will go against Army (1-3) in a game that both teams need to win in order to turn the corner on the season. The Black Knights have only registered one victory and it was against a Championship Subdivision (formerly known as 1-AA) team Rhode Island (0-4). Local Philadelphia media members had thought that the Owls would begin to turn the corner and be more competitive this season. While Temple has played better then last season, the Owls four losses have come to teams with a combined record of 8-7 and two of those games were in-conference against Bowling Green and Buffalo.
Army is only scoring 14 points per game while allowing 22 points on average. The defense for the Black Knights has been strong and gave the offense a chance to win the games, but scoring points has been a problem all season for Army. The Black Knights have not scored 20 points in a game all season. Meanwhile, Temple is doing slightly better on offense, putting 19.5 points on the board per game, but the defense has played much worse, allowing 35.5 on average. The Owls have allowed 30 or more points three times this season. Army’s offense will try to take advantage of a weak Temple defense.
Temple’s defense has performed poorly against both the rush and the pass, allowing nearly equal yardage in both categories. Opponents have rushed for 837 net yards and passed for 841 yards. In total, Temple has allowed 1,678 total yards, while only putting together 1,147 total yards on offense. Owl quarterback Adam DiMichele will be charged with finding some offensive structure for Temple. On the season, DiMichele sports a 63% completion percentage, while throwing for 801 yards and seven touchdowns. The passing game will have to make up for a below average running game that is averaging only 82 yards per game on the ground.
In order for Army to have success on offense, the Black Knights will have to make manageable third down distances. On the season, Army is converting third downs at a 50% rate when there is only three yards to go or less. The percentage goes down to 32% between four and six yards and only 17% at seven yards and over. Short yardage situations should be increasingly effective against Temple because of the yards per game the Owls give up on the ground. Army will likely exploit the rush defense of Temple on third and manageable situations. This will also open up big play potential at points during the game where Army can go play-action pass if Temple puts too many men on the line of scrimmage to try and stop the run.
It will all happen at noon this Saturday, as both teams try to turn around the season before it gets too late.
Denis Brown is an independent contributor to College Football Poll.com.