Originally written on Buzz On Broad  |  Last updated 11/18/11


The Temple Owls face their final non-conference opponent of the season this week, taking on the Army Black Knights at Lincoln Financial Field. It’s the first of two home games to close the season for Temple, who are playing to impress the bowl committees. Due to Miami (Ohio)’s loss this week to the Western Michigan Broncos, the Owls are officially eliminated from Mid-American Conference title contention. The Ohio Bobcats will advance to the title game on December 2, but Temple still should be bowl-bound at 8-4.

First, though, they have to get through Army and their triple option offense, something that the Owls are quite familiar with. Chris Coyer gets the second start of his career, but it’s unknown whether he’ll have Matt Brown or Bernard Pierce behind him. Pierce, out the last two games with a head injury, has been practicing this week, but head coach Steve Addazio would not commit to starting the conference’s leading scorer. Hit the jump for everything else you need to know about the 1pm matchup.

Stat Comparison

Temple Owls (6-4, 4-3 MAC)...............Versus...............Army Black Knights (3-7, Indep.)

28.50 (55th)…................................Points Per Game….......................................26.30 (66th)

13.60 (4th).….................................Points Against…............................................27.00 (64th)

128.70 (116th)…............................Passing Offense….......................................50.00 (120th)

254.30 (8th)…................................Rushing Offense….......................................352.00 (1st)

383.00 (66th)…..............................Total Offense….............................................402.00 (53rd)

117.13 (30th)…..............................Pass Eff. Defense….....................................142.35 (96th)

102.80 (14th)…..............................Rushing Defense…......................................170.80 (73rd)

305.50 (13th)…..............................Total Defense….............................................358.80 (45th)

+7…..................................................Turnover Ratio…...........................................-7

Keys to the Game by Josh Verlin

Score First

There’s going to be a recurring theme for Temple during the game against Army--don’t fall behind. Army’s game plan is similar to Temple’s but even more reliant on ball-control and defense. Temple head coach Steve Addazio talked this week about how going even one touchdown to a team can set off a small panic meter, especially in younger players.

Temple has opted to kick off in every game this year where they’ve won the toss, preferring to let their strong defense take the field and give their offense the ball at half. Temple’s defenders do have experience with the triple option, beating Army in each of the last two years, but otherwise it might be wise to give Chris Coyer the ball to begin the game and hope that Temple can take the lead.

Army’s Third and Short

The key for Army’s run defense is to chip away at the Temple defense, four yards at a time. In order to really control the clock and force Temple out of their game, that means the Black Knights are going to need to convert on third and short. Temple’s defense shouldn’t give up too many big runs on first or second down, with a solid linebacking corps, so expect that there will be quite a few third-and-twos and third-and-threes for Stephen Johnson and the rest of the TU linebacking corps to handle.

Those third and short situations are also dangerous because the Army offense could take advantage of over-aggressiveness on the part of the Temple defense and throw the ball. The Black Knights only average 50 yards per game, but they can “pop” a big play on you, as Addazio likes to say.

Coyer’s Arm

If there’s one big improvement that the Owls would like to see in the last two games of the season, it’s in the left arm of new quarterback Chris Coyer. Coyer’s already proven he can run the ball, carrying 44 times for an average of 10.2 yards per carry this season. However, he’s only completed 54.5 percent of his passes for 215 yards, averaging 6.5 yards on his 33 attempts. Many of those completions have come in the left flat to tight end Evan Rodriguez, which is a solid play but not one that will work if the Owls need a quick score.

Addazio said this week he’s hoping to hit on half of Temple’s long throwing attempts, none of which Coyer hit last week. Although wideouts Joe Jones and Rod Streater will be gone next year due to graduation, it would still be nice to see Coyer get some chemistry with the seniors and get the big aerial play back in the Temple offense.

Look Around the MAC by Taylor Knight

Toledo (6-4, 5-1 MAC) at Central Michigan (3-8, 2-5)

Friday, November 18: 8 p.m., Kelly-Shorts Stadium

The Toledo Rockets are second in the Mid-American Conference West standings, one game behind Northern Illinois. Quarterback Austin Dantin has been dominating on offense as the Rockets are eighth in the country with an average of 41 points scored per game. Central Michigan is last place in the MAC West with conference wins against the number one Northern Illinois and Akron.

Akron (1-9, 0-6) at Buffalo (2-8, 1-5)

Saturday, November 19: 12 p.m., UB Stadium

The Akron Zips are winless in the MAC and are in last place in the MAC East standings. The team's only win on the season came against Virginia Military Institute on September 24 with a score of 36-13. Buffalo only has one conference win against Ohio, putting the team just one above Akron in the MAC East. The Bulls sophomore running back Branden Oliver leads the offense with 1033 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.

E. Michigan (6-4, 4-2) at Kent State (4-6, 3-3)

Saturday, November 19: 1 p.m., Dix Stadium

The Eastern Michigan Eagles are ranked 14th in the nation in average rushing yards per game with 229 yards. The team's leading rusher is Alex Gillett with 654 yards and three touchdowns. Kent State has a three game winning streak against MAC teams starting on October 29 against Bowling Green, and then going on to defeat Central Michigan and Akron. In those three wins, Kent State gave up an average of just 13 points per game to the competition.

Miami (Ohio) (4-7, 3-4) at Ohio (8-3, 5-2)

Tuesday, November 22 7 p.m., Peden Stadium

The RedHawks of Miami (Ohio) are ranked 18th in the country in average passing yards, averaging 292 a game. The RedHawks are fourth in the MAC East standings as they go into their last game of the 2011 season. Ohio, leading the MAC East, has sophomore quarterback Tyler Tettleton running the offense with a total of 2653 passing yards and 23 touchdowns. This is also the Bobcats' last game of the season.

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