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(15) UCF (7-1) at Temple (1-8)



Saturday, November 16, 12 p.m. (et)

From The Sports Network

By Gregg Xenakes, Associate College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: Pitting the best against the worst that the newly-created American Athletic Conference has to offer, the 15th-ranked UCF Knights travel to Philadelphia this weekend to do battle with the suffering Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Knights are the cream of the crop in the AAC, sporting a record of 4-0, the only team that has yet to lose a league outing. Since bowing to South Carolina by a mere three points at home back in late September, UCF has gone undefeated, albeit in just four games.

The Knights last took the field on Nov. 9 versus Houston and nearly landed in the loss column again before pulling out a 19-14 victory in Orlando.

"I've been around football a long time and it doesn't get any closer than that," UCF head coach George O'Leary said. "We made the play on defense. The coverage was good. I thought the kids hung in there and did what they had to do at the end to win the game."

While the Knights continue to bask in the glow of being the top team in the conference, the Owls are at the other end of the spectrum right now with just a single win in nine opportunities. Temple kicked off the 2013 campaign with six straight defeats before topping Army at home last month, 33-14. But since then the team has bowed twice, first to SMU (59-49) and then Rutgers (23-20) on Nov. 2 in a game that could have easily gone in favor of the Owls.

Even though these two teams compete in the same conference, this is in fact their first-ever meeting.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Knights began showing signs of life against Houston, although Shawn Moffitt's two field goals in the second frame were just a prelude of what was to come. While quarterback Blake Bortles was converting 17-of-24 passes for 210 yards, it was William Stanback who took over for the UCF offense and scored a pair of rushing touchdowns for the squad. Stanback finished with nine carries for 74 yards.

Against a Houston offense that has great potential, the Knights clamped down and allowed just 367 yards on 75 plays, limiting the visitors to less than 25 minutes of possession. E.J. Dunston tallied just four tackles for the hosts, but two of those came as sacks, while Jacoby Glenn registered an interception and a forced fumble along the way.

"The effort was outstanding," coach O'Leary said of his defense. "We were really down people (due to injuries). But I thought the kids hung in there and did what they had to do at the end to win the game. I thought the effort was great and really kept us in the game."

In terms of defense overall this season, UCF currently ranks fourth in the conference and 23rd in the nation with only 351.3 ypg allowed. Glenn may have only two interceptions at the moment, but he is easily one of the top pass defenders in the conference with 10 pass breakups and 12 passes defended.

Bortles is the leader of the offense, having converted better than 67 percent of his pass attempts for 15 touchdowns and only five INTs, but having Stanback (five TDs) and Storm Johnson (719 yards, nine TDs) ready to break out of the backfield has to be a good feeling for the quarterback.

Bringing up the rear in the AAC, the Owls can't seem to do much of anything right these days. The defense has been particularly woeful with Temple ranking 10th in the conference and 117th in the nation with a staggering 507.9 ypg allowed. The secondary has taken a huge beating with 322.2 ypg permitted, again 10th in the league and 121st in the country.

On the offensive side, the outlook may not look quite as bleak, but it isn't very promising either. After nine games the Owls are producing just 22.3 ppg (99th nationally), stemming from 150.9 ypg rushing (97th) and 222.9 ypg through the air (72nd).

While he may be second on the unit in terms of total rushing yards, trailing Zaire Williams who has 486, Kenneth Harper could be the top offensive threat for Temple these days given that he has scored nine touchdowns on the ground and is averaging a solid 4.5 yards per carry.

Although he is just a freshman, P.J. Walker is slated to get the start at quarterback for the hosts, thanks in large part to his accuracy (.625) and his 11 touchdowns against five INTs in six games.

Head coach Matt Rhule has stepped into a tough situation in the City of Brotherly Love and going up against the Knights won't solve anything. While the potential for anything to happen is always there, this is a game that UCF can not afford to squander.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UCF 35, Temple 17

11/14 15:06:59 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
Final
UTAH 24
USC 21
Final
WASH 10
ARST 24
4th
HAW 10
NEV 19
 
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14