Know Your Opponent: Temple Owls

Cincinnati plays their first American home game in history tonight at 8:30. Be sure to hit up the tailgate scene to win the trip that I wrote about yesterday. I'm looking very forward to the game tonight. After last week's disaster against USF, the Bearcats have a chance to show who they are on national TV. They get that chance a couple more times, against Louisville for instance and kind of against Memphis if you think Wednesday night ESPN 2 games are national spotlights, but this is the one they need. This is the game where we find out what kind of team we have. Temple is legit one of the worst 20-30 teams in the nation. The time for an impressive ass kicking is upon us. Let's go Bearcats.

Time: 8:30 pm


Spread: Cincinnati -21

History: Temple 9-5-1

In Cincinnati: Cincinnati 3-2-1

Last Meeting: Cincinnati 34-10, 11-10-2012

Streak: Cincinnati 3

Theme: Ring of Red so wear some red shit

Record: 3-2, 0-1

Coach: Tommy Tuberville 3-2 (133-79)

Quarterback: Bearcat signal caller Brendon Kay looks to build off of his solid 4th quarter success against South Florida. Kay's return to starting got off to a hot start with 4 TDs against Northwestern St, but the last two weeks he's thrown 3 TDs to 4 INTs. Temple is giving up nearly 330 yards through the air. The big play should be there. Chris Moore could have himself a ball game. Kay wasn't sharp against Temple last year, 13-21, 244 yards, but did throw TD passes of 75 and 65 yards.

Running Backs: It seems like Ralph David Abernathy IV should be back to normal for this game, which should help. He was sick last week. The main thing we saw against USF was the emergence of Tion Green. He ran hard and he ran well. All 3 should see time at some point, with Hosey Williams being in the mix. You get a big lead and run the ball down their throats. The interesting thing to watch is that Williams leads RDA in yards 324-309. Can RDA become the leading rusher? Williams leads the group with 4 TDs.

Receivers: A healthy version of Anthony McClung has come in and proven he's the best receiver on the squad. He's got 18 catches for a team best 234 yards and 1 score. UC really missed him. Shaq Washington has been a very reliable short yardage target. He has a team best 24 receptions for 210 yards. I'd like to see him score tonight. Chris Moore has 13-175-2 TDs. I think he'll add to that with a deep pass. Max Morrison, 12-223-2 TDs, has been really quiet the last two weeks with 3 catches for 33 yards total. Watch out for Mekale McKay. He had 2 TD catches last week, both of them inside the 30. He leads the team with 3 TD grabs. The major problem with the receivers is they are not running the right routes or running them deep enough. Most of the guys in the rotation have not played a lot. No one mentioned outside of McClung and Moore played significant time a year ago. This needs to be corrected.

Offensive Line: It's not written on the depth chart because of course not, but I think Sam Longo starts at center. Eric Lefeld-Austen Bujnoch-Sam Longo-Andre Cureton-Parker Ehinger is the line I'm guessing. Change is needed because they haven't been great. Miami made some plays against them, as did USF. Neither defense is the Steel Curtain. Temple is probably as bad as Miami. A solid effort should do enough.

Cincinnati averages 6.1 yards a play. They average 7.8 yards per pass and 4.8 yards per rush. The Bearcats have given up just 4 sacks this season. They are 32-68, 47% on 3rd downs. Cincinnati is 17-22 in the red zone. 15 of those have been TDs.

Defensive Line: The top tackler on the defensive line is Adam Dempsey. I'm sure everyone saw that coming in their preseason previews. Dempsey has 14 tackles, 2.5 for loss and 1 sack. Brad Harrah is second on the Cats with 4.5 tackles for loss. Silverberry Mouhon leads the team with 3.5 sacks. Jordan Stepp is 3rd with 2.

Linebackers: The Bearcats leading tackler is Greg Blair with 32. He's made 1.5 tackles for loss, with 2 passes broken up, 2 hurries and a forced fumble. Nick Temple is second on the team with 26 tackles, a team high 7 tackles for loss and is second on the team with 3 sacks and is tied for the team lead with 1 INT. He's been tremendous. Jeff Luc moved into 3rd on the team in tackles just to show the linebacker domination. He's made 21 stops, 3.5 TFL and half a sack. He had the force and recover fumble last week. The garbage man Clemente Casseus has 13 tackles. He will get his chance to take out the trash if/when UC is up large.

Secondary: Arryn Chenault is the top tackling non-linebacker on the team with 20. He's made 1 for loss. He has 1 INT and 3 passes broken up. He shares the break up lead with corner Howard Wilder. Zach Edwards has 16 tackles, 5th on the squad. He's got 1 INT as well. The other two INTs for Cincinnati belong to the other two starters, Adrian Witty and Deven Drane.

Kicker: The Golden Toe Tony Miliano has missed his last 3 field goals. He's 2-5 on the season. 2 of them have been blocked. He's 21-22 on extra points. Tony needs a rally game.

Holder: John Lloyd

Long Snapper: Kirk Willis

Punter: John Lloyd keeps setting career highs for punts. He booted a 60 yarder last week. He's punted 14 times for a 43.3 yard average. He's hit 2 touchbacks. 2 of his kicks have been inside the 20. Brendon Kay also has 2 punts inside the 20. The race continues.

Punt Return: Shaq Washington has returned 8 punts for 68 yards, an 8.5 yard average. He has a season long of 25 yards.

Kick Return: RDA IV has returned just 5 kicks this season for a 21.8 yard average. UC has returned 8 kicks this year. This unit has not been a factor.


Record: 0-5, 0-1

Coach: Matt Rhule 0-5 (0-5)

Quarterback: Temple is rolling with freshman PJ Walker. Walker is 11-22 for 195 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. He was 10-19 for 182 yards 1 TD and 1 INT with a team high 33 rushing yards in the second half against Louisville. Walker brings something a little different for the Owls. It's his first start. Let's make it one he will not want to remember.

Running Backs: Temple's leading rusher is Kenny Harper. He's run for 250 yards and 6 TDs. Zaire Williams has 218 yards as the second back. No one else had many carries, but the third leading rusher is Connor Reilly, former starting QB before injury, and Walker lead the team last week. Look for 3 guys to run the ball and whoever does it best to get the most carries. Harper had 9 rushes for 28 yards last week, Williams 5 for -1. Harper is the biggest threat to catch passes. He's 3rd on the team with 123 yards.

Receivers: The Owls top target is Ryan Alderman with 19 catches for 282 yards and 1 TD. He's the only receiver averaging over 30 yards a game. Jalen Fitzpatrick has 17 receptions, but only 139 yards and 1 score. The only other receiver with over 100 yards is Chris Coyer with 113. He has the third receiving touchdown. Robby Anderson hauled in Temple's longest pass of the season at 58 yards. He has 90 on the season. This is not a dangerous unit on paper.

Offensive Line: The line is listed as Cody Booth – Brendan McGowan – Kyle Friend – Pete White – Zach Hooks. Booth is returning after missing the last two games. Hooks started the first two games at right tackle, the fourth game at right tackle and last week at left. He's back to right.

Temple averages 4.8 yards a play. They get 4 yards a rush and 5.5 yards per pass. They've given up 14 sacks on the season. You can tell that's nearly 3 a game. The Owls are 31-74, 42% on 3rd down. They are 11-16 in the red zone, 10 TDs. They have 36 of their 79 points in the 4th quarter.

Defensive Line: Nate D Smith leads the Owl line with 21 tackles. He's batted down a pass and has a hurry. Matt Ioannidis has 4 tackles for loss and a team best 3 sacks. Kamal Johnson has 2 TFL and a sack, Kiser Terry 2 TFL and  Levi Brown has a tackle for loss.

Linebackers: Tyler Matakevich is going to make a lot of tackles tonight. He has 67 on the season, with a team high 7 tackles for loss. He's pretty good at this linebacker thing. The awesome named Blaze Caponegro has 28 tackles, 4.5 for loss, which is good for second on the Owls. Sharif Finch has 2 TFL and a sack and Rob Dvoracek has 2 TFL.

Secondary: The top dog in the secondary is Abdul Smith with 39 tackles. He's made 2 for loss and forced a fumble. Corner Tavon Young has 28 tackles, 1 for loss, a forced fumble and a team high 3 passes broken up. Stephaun Marshall has an awful name, sorry Stephaun, but has 28 tackles, 0.5 for loss and a fumble recovery. Corners Anthony Robey and Zamel Johnson have 22 and 13 stops respectively. No one on Temple has an INT.

Kicker: The kicking game has been awful for Temple. Jim Cooper is 0-3, Paul Layton is 0-1 and Nick Visco is 1-2. His missed kick was blocked. The Owls are 1-4 on field goals from inside 25 yards. ONE FOR FOUR.

Holder: Connor Reilly

Long Snapper: John Christopher

Punter: Paul Layton has been great this season. He's had a lot of chances. He's punted 27 times for a 44.7 yard average. 9 of his punts have gone inside the 20. 5 of them have been fair caught. He's put 3 in the end zone for touchbacks. 10 of his punts have been over 50 yards, with a long of 67. Just what we needed to see, another punter who kills the ball.

Punt Return: Ryan Alderman has returned 6 punts for 30 yards. The Owls as a team have returned 10 punts for 40 yards. That's pretty bad.

Kick Return: Jahad Thomas is the primary kick returner. He's averaging 23.5 yards a pop with a long of 43. Jalen Fitzpatrick has taken 6 for 21.3 yards on average with a long of 39. They can pop a return if you aren't careful.


There will be a moment of silence for Ben Flick before the game.

Cincinnati hasn't given up an offensive touchdown in 10 quarters.

Cincinnati hasn't scored a first quarter point against an FBS team this season.

Temple is giving up 518 yards a game. This is a 'get right' defense if there ever is one.

The Owls don't get pressure, 9 sacks, and they haven't picked off a pass. Brendon Kay should have time. He should make plays. He should be able to get the ball down the field. Louisville hit four passes of at least 25 yards last week.

Temple has no major threats anywhere. They are decent, as decent as a team that lost to Fordham and Idaho can be, but they should provide little resistance. If they do, there might be problems with the 2013 Cincinnati Bearcats.

Calling out touchdowns for Chris Moore, Shaq Washington, Mekale McKay and Jeremy Graves tonight. At least one will be over 50 yards. One other will be over 30 yards.

I'm feeling 100 yards for RDA tonight. He hasn't hit that total for his career, but tonight's the night.

I feel good about this one. Very good.

Cincinnati 56 Temple 6


About Scott

I write Bearcats Blog and also on Run the Floor.

Know Your Opponent: Temple Owls

Tomorrow at noon once again on the Big East Network, the same channel that the Syracuse game was on last week, the Cincinnati Bearcats head on the road for the second to last time this season. It's kind of crazy that the Cats are down to 2 road games left. The next road game after this will be the last game of the season. Time has flown this year, my friends. If it hasn't for you, tell me how it's gone so slowly so I can jump on that train. I don't really have anything interesting to say in the first paragraph, so let's just move on to the preview. 

Record: 6-2, 2-1

Coach: Butch Jones 20-13, 0-0 vs Temple

Road: 0-2

Vs Temple: 4-9-1

In Philadelphia: 1-7

Winning Streak vs Temple: 2

Last Meeting: 30-24 (3 OTs) 

Leading Passer: Munchie Legaux 120-239, 1,716 yards, 13 TDs – 9 INTs

Leading Rusher: George Winn 153-897 – 7 TDs

Leading Receiver: Travis Kelce 19 – 385 – 4 TDs

Quarterbacks: It's the day before gameday and we still don't know who the Bearcats quarterback will be. I'm guessing the longer we go without a public name, the more likely it is that Brendon Kay is going to be named the starter over Munchie Legaux. Kay practically needed to avoid getting hurt to get the start tomorrow one would think. For a senior, we know a whole lot of nothing about Kay. He has 13 passes and 17 rushes. We do know that he is a decent runner for quarterback. Running should be a theme tomorrow. Temple is pretty awful. The quarterback needs to not turn the ball over. That's something that Munchie just hasn't been able to avoid. Toledo was a bad game. Louisville was a bad game. Syracuse probably would have been a bad game if Munchie stayed in. I believe in him, but that doesn't mean that you can leave him out there when he is not playing well. Butch Jones said Jordan Luallen had a shot at winning the starting job, but that seems far fetched. I do think we see Luallen run another 5-10 times. 

Running Backs: George Winn and Ralph David Abernathy IV need to make sure they are extra loose and ready to go tomorrow because they should see a lot of action. Winn has a chance to go over 1,000 yards for the season if he comes close to his 112 yards a game average. Clearly he doesn't need all 112 as you can see by his yardage. I once again look for RDA to get early touches as a receiver to try and get him going. I'm going to make the prediction that he will break at least 1 long run tomorrow. For a touchdown. Let's go bold with it. Put on those working boots, it's going to be a day of action. 

Receivers: One of the interesting things about having a switch at quarterback is the question of "What receiver will he target the most?" I say that as UC has 5 receivers with 18 catches and none with over 23. I wonder if Kay would come in and have a Jeff Blake to Carl Pickens vibe with any of the guys. Like he and Alex Chisum connect for over 200 yards or something. That's very unrealistic. Travis Kelce leads UC in yards. Kenbrell Thompkins leads UC in catches. The 2 have swapped the receiving yard lead lately. Damon Julian is a dark horse to pass them with 295 yards. Anthony McClung really came on last week with a 75 yard receiving game against Syracuse. 

Offensive Line: From left to right

  • Eric Lefeld
  • Austen Bujnoch
  • Dan Sprague
  • Sam Longo
  • Parker Ehinger

Cincinnati averages 5.6 yards a rush, 7.7 yards a pass for a combined 6.5 yards a play. The line has given up 6 sacks this season. Outside of penalty-fest last week, they haven't been hammered with penalties. They are a good group. We don't hear their names a lot during the game, so that means they are doing their job. 

Defensive Line: The Bearcats defensive line continues to be anchored by Dan Giordano. He has 36 tackles. 3.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks. He has a team high 9 hurries. Giordano needs a game where he get 3 sacks. Why not this one? John Williams has 24 tackles, 4.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks at his tackle position. He's played well this year. Jordan Stepp has 3.5 tackles for loss and 1 sack at the other tackle position. He had a slow start, but is rounding into shape. He's Stepp-ing it up. Horrible pun. Camaron Beard has 4 tackles for loss. The tackles have been good. Brandon Mills has 17 tackles, 1 sack and 3 hurries. The most notable thing he's done this year is block a field goal last week. I just want to say Silverberry Mouhon's name. 

Linebackers: The battle for leading tackler on the team is over. Greg Blair has pulled very far away from Maalik Bomar. So much so that Bomar would have to start making UC history to catch him. Blair has 83 tackles, 4.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks, 2 INTs, 4 passes broken up, and 3 QB hurries. He's been the heart and soul of the defense. Bomar hasn't been too shabby himself. He's second on the team by a wide margin with 57 tackles. He has 2.5 for loss and 1 INT. It seems like he's taken a step back the last couple of weeks. Nick Temple has 23 tackles, 2 for loss, 1.5 sacks. He makes his presence known when he is on the field. 

Secondary: The Bearcats secondary is banged up to hell. They have been, statistically, the worst unit in the Big East this season and this does not help. Safety Arryn Chenault did not play last week. Corner Deven Drane was an emergency player only. Both are back this week, but the guy who started last week for Drane, Trenier Orr, is out this week. Chenault leads the secondary with 36 tackles, 1.5 for loss and is tied for the team lead with 2 INTs. Cameron Cheatham, the only player not to be injured, has 29 tackles, 2.5 for loss and also has 2 INTs to tie him with Chenault and Greg Blair. Drew Frey has 27 tackles at his safety spot. He's been banged up all year, playing 5 and a half games. Drane has 1 INT and 4 passes broken up. Adrian Witty and Chris Williams have been splitting time at the nickel. Both have 14 tackles and 1 sack. Williams has 3 tackles for loss compared to Witty's 2. Williams made the big sack and strip of Ryan Nassib last week. 

Special TeamsKirk Willis continues to be the long snapper to Pat O'Donnell. O'Donnell has punted 33 times for an average of 42 yards a punt. He has put 14 inside the 20. 5 have been over 50 yards. O'Donnell has held all of Tony Miliano's kick attempts. The Golden Toe is 10-14 on field goals and 34-35 on extra points. RDA IV returns kicks. He has a 27 yard average. Anthony McClung averages 11.3 yards a punt return and Danny Milligan 19.8, albeit in 10 less returns. #Thrilligan. 

Record: 3-5, 2-3

Coach: Steve Addazio 12-9

Home: 2-2

Last Win vs Cincinnati: 1985

Leading Passer: Chris Coyer 79-148, 890 yards, 8 TDs – 3 INTs

Leading Rusher: Montel Harris 121- 578 – 5 TDs

Leading Receiver: Jalen Fitzpatrick 22 – 291 – 2 TDs

Quarterbacks: Chris Coyer isn't a great quarterback. He is not very accurate at 53%. That's a little better than Munchie. He is left handed and he does like to run. He's Temple's second leading rusher with 410 yards. He has 2 rushing TDs. He could be compared to Steve Young because he is left handed, a quarterback and will run. He's also a Mormon. That's not true. He could be though. He's not a major threat with his arm. 111 yards a game for your QB is pretty bad. 

Running Backs: Montel Harris is the leading rusher since supplanting Matt Brown before the 4th game of the season. Brown has worked his way into an OR situation this week. Harris is averaging 4.8 yards a carry and is the only Owl to see the end zone more than 3 times. He's only lost 20 yards in his 121 carries. Brown has 47 carries for 266 yards and 2 TDs. Harris is 4th on the team in receptions with 9. Brown has 4 grabs. It's strange there is an OR situation here since Harris ran 15 times for 115 yards last week and Brown had 2 carries for 5 yards. That tricky Temple, trying to keep us guessing. 

Receivers: There is only 1 receiving threat on the Owls and that's Jalen Fitzpatrick. He's the only one with 20 receptions. He's the only one with over 120 yards. None of the other Owl receivers are averaging 15 yards a game. That makes Fitzpatricks' 22 – 291 – 2 TDs stand out. Cody Booth is a red zone target with 13 – 114 – 3 TDs. Deon Miller has 7 – 101 on the back of a 33 yard reception. Kenny Harper has 10 – 94 because he caught a 44 yard pass. I think you could say the unit is not very good. 

Offensive Line: Once again, from left to right

  • Zach Hooks
  • Jeff Whittingham
  • Sean Boyle
  • Kyle Friend
  • Martin Wallace

Hooks, Whittingham and Wallace have started every game. Friend started at center last week while Scott Roorda played right guard. Boyle had started every game before that. Temple is averaging 4.1 yards a rush, 6.1 yards a pass for a total of 4.7 yards a play. Temple has given up 17 sacks, which isn't that bad. 

Defensive Line: John Youboty is the leading tackler of the group with 29. He has 4 tackles for a loss. He's second on the team with 3 sacks. He has forced a fumble. And yes, he is the brother of former Ohio State player Ashton Youboty. Youboty is still a funny name, no matter how they try to say it's you-boat-y. Marcus Green has 26 tackles, 3 for loss and 2 sacks at end. He and Youboty both have 2 hurries to lead the team. Green has blocked a kick. Hershey Walton has a cool name and 25 tackles. Shahid Paulhill has 1 sack. Levi Brown has 1.5 tackles for loss.  Sean Daniels has 2 sacks this season. 

LinebackersTyler Matakevich is the leading tackler for the Owls with 66. He has 3 for loss. He's broken up 3 passes, which makes him one of many tied for second on the team. Nate D. Smith is right on his tail in tackles with 60. He leads Temple in tackles for loss with 5.5. He leads Temple in sacks with 3.5. He leads Temple with 3 forced fumbles. The D stands for defense.  Blaze Caponegro is listed as the 3rd starter. He has 2 tackles for loss and 1 sack in 6 games. He missed 2 games being an American Gladiator. Olaniyi Adewole has 4 tackles for loss and 1 sack. 

Secondary: Justin Gildea is a safety and the leading tackler in the secondary with 45. He has 3 for loss and 1 sack. He's broken up 3 passes. Vaughn Carraway is the other safety. He has 41 tackles. He has an INT. Anthony Robey starts at one corner. He has 41 tackles, 2.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks. He leads the Owls with 4 passes broken up. Tavon Young has 2 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and he leads the Owls with 2 INTs as a starting corner. Zamel Johnson has 2 tackles for loss and 3 passes broken up. Chris Hutton has an INT.

Special Teams: Cody Booth is the Temple long snapper. Brandon McManus is the punter and kicker. He is averaging 44.4 yards a punt. He's put 13 inside the 10. 10 of his punts have been over 50 yards. McManus is 11-14 on field goals with a long of 50. He's 20-21 on extra points. Matt Brown returns punts and kicks because Temple likes a short depth chart on special teams. Brown took the opening kick back last week against Louisville and is averaging 25.4 yards a kick return. He's averaging a very good 15.9 yards a punt return. 

Paw Points

Cincinnati is a 10.5 point favorite.

Temple kicker Brandon McManus needs 8 points to become Temple's all time leading scorer. So something to watch. 

In just Big East play, Temple is giving up 33.8 points a game. That's very bad. They are 7th in total defense, which is also very bad. The team who is 8th? Cincinnati. 

Temple is awful on offense. In their 5 Big East games, they are totaling 308 yards. They are scoring 19.6 points a game. That's not last because UConn is scoring 8.2 points a game in Big East play. The Owls run the ball decently in terms of yards per game at 184. 

This is a matchup of the 2 worst pass defenses and the 2 worst passing offenses going by yards a game. Fun fact. 

Temple has given up at least 31 points in a half the last 3 games. Rutgers scored 35 in the second half and Louisville and Pitt scored 31 in the first half. 

I expect Cincinnati to win the game rather easily. It might be close for a little bit, but the Bearcats defense should suffocate the Owl offense. Hopefully this will be a fast game. 

Cincinnati 38 Temple 13


About Scott

I write Bearcats Blog and also on Run the Floor.