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Temple Owls vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Preview & Prediction

Both teams are battling to remain in contention for a potential bowl game.

NCAA Football: Navy at Temple Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Start Time: Friday, November 10th, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. EST

Location: Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

TV: ESPN2

All-Time Series: Temple leads, 11-7-1

Last Meeting: 10/29/16. Temple 34 - Cincinnati 13

Betting Line: Temple -2.5

Temple Owls Outlook

Whatever offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude has been doing, it is working as of late. The Owls’ offense has done their part in recent weeks to earn wins behind new quarterback Frank Nutile. Temple jumped out to a 17-3 lead early in the second quarter against Navy, and scored the go-ahead touchdown against Army with under two minutes remaining. The results weren’t the same in each game, but after weeks of wondering whether the offense could keep up, they have been consistent as the season has progressed. Nutile has put them into position to win games since taking over of reigns.

The win over Navy may have surprised some, but it was a game Geoff Collins had more than enough of time to prepare for. They did a solid job containing Army’s triple option, and if it wasn’t for a game-tying touchdown pass - still doesn’t seem right to put Army and game-typing touchdown PASS in the same sentence - Temple gets a win. Factor in that they had a bye week in between to formulate a game plan to limit Zach Abey and the Midshipmen, Temple stifled Navy’s offense to only 136 yards on the ground.

It was an important win for the Owls in their hopes to become bowl-eligible for a third straight year for the first time in school history. They need this game in order to keep their postseason hopes alive. It won’t be an easy task as they will go on the road this week and finish the season at Tulsa, with a home game against undefeated UCF sandwiched in between.

Cincinnati Bearcats Outlook

As we have said most of the season on the Underdog Pawdcast, Cincy is a hard team to figure out. They held their own for three quarters against Michigan which led us to believe the defense could make them a tough team to beat each week. Sitting at 2-1 after the win over Miami (Ohio), the Bearcats had to like their chances of reaching a bowl game. But the schedule makers did them no favors as they matched up against Navy, Marshall, UCF, USF and SMU in consecutive weeks, going winless in those five games.

Luke Fickell’s bunch narrowly escaped New Orleans with a win over Tulane after the Green Wave missed a 36-yard field goal with a little over a minute remaining. Tulane had possession with fourth-and-1 from the 14, and looked as if they wanted to go for the first down. However, a false start penalty moved them back to bring on the field goal unit. Merely Glover missed the kick to spoil Tulane’s homecoming and give Cincinnati their first conference win of the season.

It’s going to take three more conference wins to make this season count. The victory kept the Bearcats postseason dreams alive for another week, and even at 3-6, in position to get to six wins. A win against Temple would set them up in prime position to do so as they close the season with East Carolina and Connecticut, two of the worst teams the American has to offer.

Prediction: The line paints a perfect picture of what to make of this game. Temple enters as the favorite with the more-talented group and seems to found their stride on offense. Cincinnati has found recent success on the defensive side of the ball, playing favorably well against an explosive SMU offense and Tulane’s option offense. On the flip side, the Bearcats offense has struggled much of the year, while the Owls defense has been their strength all season long. Temple finds a way to make enough plays on the road to keep themselves in the bowl discussion, while putting an end to Cincinnati’s postseason hopes.

Temple 30 - Cincinnati 24