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ECU Pirates vs. Temple Owls: Preview & Prediction

The Owls will be looking for their fifth straight win against ECU.

NCAA Football: Temple at East Carolina James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018

Kickoff Time: 12:00 p.m. ET

Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Watch: ESPNews

All-Time Series: ECU leads, 8-7

Last Meeting: 10/7/17. Temple 34 - ECU 17

Betting Lines: Temple -10.5, O/U 51.5

East Carolina Pirates Outlook

ECU enters this contest with a 2-2 record on the heels of a 37-35 win over Old Dominion last week. They are led by Reid Herring, who is averaging 290 yards passing, with six touchdowns and five interceptions. His top target is Trevon Brown, who leads the team in receptions (21), yards (325) and touchdowns (2).

Temple enters this coming weekend ranked 97th against the run, allowing 183.6 yards on the ground per game, but ECU is averaging 3.8 yards per carry and have trailed in most games so their rushing attack has yet to get going.

Defensively, the Pirates strength is their rush defense, which will be tested against the Owls. They rank 9th in the country in rushing defense, allowing 94.8 yards per game. That number would be significantly lower if you exclude an 80-yard touchdown run against USF. If ECU is going to pull off the road win, they’ll need to stop Temple’s top weapon on offense.

Temple Owls Outlook

The Owls have been tough to figure out thus far. They have an impressive win over Maryland and Tulsa, but have losses to FCS Villanova, Buffalo and Boston College last week. Furthermore, the quarterback situation is still worth monitoring.

Frank Nutile began the season at quarterback, but Anthony Russo has started the last three games. Temple has earned both of those wins with Russo at the helm, but he’s been far from impressive. He’s completing just 46.8 percent of his passes and has thrown one touchdown compared to five interceptions.

Ryquell Armstead has found his groove on the ground and has gone over 100 yards in the last four games. He racked up a season-high 171 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in the loss to BC last week. Temple has talent on the edges as well with Isaiah Wright, Ventell Bryant and Branden Mack all making their fair share of plays.

The defense has given up some big plays in the rushing game, but have excelled against the pass. Michael Dogbe and Quincy Roche have done a terrific job getting to the passer with three sacks each, and the secondary, headlined by Rock Ya-Sin and Delvon Randall, is allowing only 187 yards per game passing.


The Owls have won all four meetings between the two programs since joining the AAC, and should make it five in a row to tie up the all-time series this weekend. It’s hard to imagine Temple securing a double-digit win with how the offense has failed to produce much through the air, but they have the pieces to get by with a one-score victory.

Temple 28 - ECU 20