Temple vs. USF Prediction, Game Preview

    Temple vs. USF prediction and game preview. The Owls look to improve to 9-1 as they take on the Bulls in Tampa.

    November 10, 2015

    The Temple Owls (8-1) and the South Florida Bulls lock horns in a key East Division showdown. Check out the Temple vs. USF prediction and game preview.

    Temple vs. USF Game Preview

    Broadcast

    Date: Saturday, November 14
    Game Time: 7:00 ET
    Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
    Network: CBS Sports Network

    Follow and/or Contact @Rich Cirminiello

    Why You Need To Care

    Everyone assumes Temple has locked up the American’s East Division by starting 8-1, including 5-0 in conference play. Everyone, that is, except South Florida, the division’s final program with a shot to inject intrigue into the race this month. The ranked Owls have been outstanding under Matt Rhule, losing only to Notre Dame by four points two weeks ago. But the Bulls have quietly moved into second place in the division by taking four of their last five games, including last Saturday at East Carolina. And with an upset in Tampa Saturday night, USF can pull to within a game of first place with two weeks left.

    Why Temple Will Win

    Not since the Week 2 trip to Tallahassee has South Florida seen a defense as nasty as the one it’ll face this weekend. Yeah, the Owls sprung a few leaks at SMU in Week 10, but this is the same stout crew that ranks 25th nationally in yards per play allowed. The Bulls are a middling offensive team, save for occasional spurts. And their inconsistent passing game will allow Temple to press up linebackers Tyler Matakevich and Nate D. Smith and CB Tavon Young to derail RB Marlon Mack and QB Quinton Flowers on the ground.

    Why South Florida Will Win

    The Bulls have been Temple light this year—solid D to go along with a run-based offense. Since the beginning of October, USF has given up only 21 points per game. Plus, it’s No. 12 nationally in stops for minus yards, a particular problem for Temple now that all-star C Kyle Friend is out. The Owls must run Jahad Thomas to be successful. However, South Florida yields just 3.7 yards per carry, and LB Auggie Sanchez, linemen Deadrin Senat and James Hamilton and DBs Jamie Byrd and Nate Godwin are delivering underrated results.

    Player Who Matters

    Can Temple QB P.J. Walker dish it the way he did last week on the Hilltop? The Owls might need him to if South Florida keeps stuffing the run. With Thomas less than full strength in Week 10, Walker starred in an unlikely shootout, throwing four touchdown passes and no picks on only 25 attempts. While there’ll be no shootout this week in Tampa, Temple will still need Walker to make clutch throws against a speedy USF defense.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    South Florida head coach Willie Taggart has been searching for a breakthrough moment for the past three years. He’ll get it Saturday night in front of an electrified crowd. Neither team will gain much traction on offense, as the defenses set the tone. But without Friend in the middle of the line, Temple will have serious problems with USF’s inside rush. And with their offense laboring, the Bulls will use turnovers and momentum altering stops to create much-needed short-field opportunities.

    Temple vs. USF Prediction

    Final Score: South Florida 24, Temple 23, Line: Temple -3, o/u: 48.5
    Must See Rating: 5: Spectre … 1: The 33 … 2.5

    MORE: College Football Bowl Projections After Week 10

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