Looking Ahead to Temple

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

If you didn't get a chance to see the highlights from the Duke game, GoArmySports.com has a video look back at the key plays.

It's nice to finally see the offense in all its glory, both in terms of seeing the Duke highlights for the first time and Army coming into its own on both sides of the ball against a BCS conference opponent.

I'm not trying to bullshit anybody, I'm not going to stand here and say Duke is the top of the ACC. Duke will lose more than they win, they may well fold up the tent after this loss and I'm pretty sure they won't win another game as they move into ACC play. I'm picturing a 1-11 Duke team, not that I don't like Duke or don't care about the Blue Devils - I'm just being honest with what they have done to this point and what I feel they are capable of down the stretch.

This is as close as Rich Ellerson has come to his opus, but in order for the Duke game to not remain 'as close as Rich Ellerson will come to his opus' - Army will have to continue winning football games in their own manner.

This is the last year for some key seniors on both sides of the ball - not to mention the stellar job being done by the offensive line. This team will be lucky to find this kind of leadership next year - not saying the Juniors aren't capable, it will just be a different team next year.
My point is that the time is now. A win vs Temple would avenge another bad loss from 2009 - and could manifest Head Coach Rich Ellerson's magnum opus as a season's worth of work and not necessarily one singular game.

So there is that, and it is all made possible by winning the next game. Temple is a solid opponent, but it's clear they can be beaten.

Temple's defense is merely 73rd against the run, giving up 4.17 yards per carry and 159.50 yards per game. Temple's total defense has given up 370.50 yards per contest.

The teams both done well each holding opponents to under 20 points per game, but Temple had better make their time with the ball count as the Owls are 88th in Time Of Possession holding the ball for only 28:26 per game. Incidentally, Army is the #1 team in the NCAA in terms of time of possession.

# 8 in rushing offense

(and dead last in FBS in passing)

Temple is not Duke. The Owls bring a strong resume into Michie Stadium. Wins against capable opponents Central Michigan and Connecticut plus a last second win at home against Defending 1-AA champ Villanova in their first game... at 3-1,Temple has as impressive a record through the first four games as any team on Army's schedule. I can promise you that Temple isn't going to execute as poorly as Duke did, come Saturday.

Personnel wise, Temple is still hoping to have their star Bernard Pierce back in action for this game. Pierce left last week's game with Penn State with an ankle injury. Army is hoping to get a couple of guys closer to 100% and we should expect a full compliment of backs running the ball for the Black Knights. 

Go Army Sports has Temple game notes up. (pdf) and also posted Rich Ellerson's press conference quotes.



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