Temple Owls vs Connecticut Huskies
There was a time last month when Temple had to question if it would even gain bowl eligibility this season. However, three straight wins have the Owls flying high heading into Friday’s road date with Connecticut (Enter Contest). The Owls were 3-3 and trailed UCF 25-7 before rallying for an improbable last-second win. They followed up with that performance by getting the upset win over USF and holding a comfortable victory against Cincinnati last week. This gives them the momentum going into Friday. Temple has its eyes on an American Athletic Conference East Division title, but a loss to last-place UConn would just about end that dream. The Huskies have lost three straight games by a total of 61 points and have dropped four of the last five matchups in the series.
ABOUT TEMPLE (6-3, 4-1 AAC)
The Owls are led by running backs Jahad Thomas and Ryquell Armstead, the only tandem in the nation with double-digit touchdowns. Thomas (nine rushing scores and three receiving TDs) had scored exactly two TDs in six straight games before getting blanked by Cincinnati, although he did rack up a season-high 151 yards on the ground. Armstead was limited to 61 yards on 18 attempts against the Bearcats but plunged into the end zone twice versus Cincinnati, giving him 11 rushing scores on the year. The sophomore running back collected a career-high 210 rushing yards one week prior. Owls quarterback Philip Walker has not thrown an interception in the last two games after tossing 10 picks in the first seven contests. Temple has outscored UConn 131-71 in the last five matchups.
ABOUT CONNECTICUT (3-6, 1-5 AAC)
The Huskies were embarrassed by an East Carolina team that entered with a 2-5 record, dropping last week’s contest 41-3. The Pirates’ Zay Jones had one more reception (19) than the entire UConn squad, although Huskies wideout Noel Thomas delivered a solid performance with seven catches for 135 yards. Huskies quarterback Bryant Shirreffs has not thrown a touchdown pass in his last two games and hasn’t completed more than 60 percent of his passes in a game since Week 2.