South Florida (2-3) at Temple (1-2)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 6, 12:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lincoln Financial Field (68,532) -- Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: South Florida 1-2, Temple 1-1
Away Record: South Florida 1-1, Temple 0-1. Neutral Record: South Florida 0-0,
Temple 0-0. Conference Record: South Florida 0-1, Temple 0-0. Series Record:
GAME NOTES: For the first time since 2004, the Temple Owls will play a
conference game as a member of the Big East, when they host the South Florida
Bulls at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday.
Largely considered to be a contender in the Big East this season, South
Florida has been less than impressive. After wins in its first two games, Skip
Holtz's squad has lost three straight, including a 23-13 loss to Rutgers in
their only league tilt thus far. Most recently the Bulls took on powerhouse
Florida State and fell to their instate rival 30-17 at home
Temple did not have lofty expectations heading into its return to the Big
East. Still the Owls' 1-2 start, with both losses in their last two games,
has been a bit of a disappointment. The Owls were just 2-17 over the last
three seasons as a member of the Big East conference before being dropped at
the end of the 2004 campaign.
These teams have never met before as South Florida did not join the Big East
until the 2005 season. Still there is an element of revenge for Temple as the
two schools did meet in the first round of this past year's NCAA Basketball
Tournament with the 12-seeded Bulls taking out the 5-seeded Owls, 58-44.
It's no secret that B.J. Daniels is the most important player in the South
Florida offense. Daniels has thrown for 1,285 yards and nine touchdowns this
season with his passing totals ranking fourth in the conference. Daniels is
also the team's leading rusher (271 yards) while tied for the team-lead with
three rushing touchdowns. However Daniels has struggled with consistency,
throwing seven picks, while completing 55.6 percent of his pass attempts.
Andre Davis and Terrence Mitchell have been the two targets Daniels looks for
the most. Davis has caught 24 passes for 312 yards and three scores, while
Mitchell has 20 catches for 318 yards and a touchdown. The only other player
on the team with double digit receptions is Derrick Hopkins (10).
With Daneisl at the helm the Bulls are the fourth best offense in the Big East
at 404.8 yards per game. However, they have failed to convert enough of
those yards into point, ranking second to last in the conference in scoring
The defense has also let the Bulls down this season with South Florida ranking
second to last in the conference in total defense (392.4 ypg) and scoring
defense (25.6 ppg). South Florida has struggled to get opposing teams off the
field, as foes are dominating in time of possession (34:07 pg), while picking
up more than 20 first downs per game.
Where the unit has excelled is in creating pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
The Bulls rank second in the league in total sacks (11) and sack yards (80)
this season, led by the play of DeDe Lattimore, who has team-highs in tackles
(39), tackles for loss (4.5) and sacks (2.5).
During Temple's recent resurgence that earned it a spot back in the Big East,
the Owls' biggest weakness has been quarterback play. That has remained an
issue this season. The Owls are the worst passing offense in the Big East
(121.0 ypg) and the fifth worst in the nation overall.
Chris Coyer has taken every snap for the team this season and has completed
only 45.5 percent of his passes (25-for-55) with four touchdowns and one
interception. Coyer does bring another element to the offense with
his ability to run the ball, as he is second on the team in rushing yards
Montel Harris hasn't done much for the Owls since coming over from Boston
College. The former All-ACC running back has played in three games and managed
only 35 yards on 15 carries. Incumbent starter Matt Brown has been better, wit
33 rushes for 202 yards, but is coming off just a 26-yard effort in the Owls'
most recent loss to Penn State.
Such a poor passing attack has meant that the Owls do not have a great number
of talented or productive receivers. Thus far Jalen Fitzpatrick has led the
team with 128 yards on six receptions. No other player has more than 62
Temple's defense has also been in a period of adjustment this season and it
has shown in the numbers, with the Owls ranked last in the conference in total
defense (396.7 ypg).
The Owls have played only three games so in terms of individual statistics the
squad has no real standouts, with Nate Smith leading the team in tackles (21)
and Olaniyi Adewole, who is one of eight players with a sack, leading in
tackles for loss (three).
South Florida desperately needs to put an end to its current losing streak if
it wants to live up to its preseason hype. Until the Owls can create some sort
of consistency in the pass game, their offense is too one-dimensional to beat
teams on a week-to-week basis.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Florida 24, Temple 14
10/03 10:40:02 ET