FACTS & STATS: Site: Bright House Networks Stadium (45,323) — Orlando,
Florida. Television: CBS Sports Network. Home Record: Temple 2-1, UCF 3-0.
Away Record: Temple 2-1, UCF 1-1. Neutral Record: Temple 0-0, UCF 0-1.
Conference Record: Temple 2-1, UCF 2-0. Series Record: UCF leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The UCF Knights seek their fifth straight win Saturday when they
welcome American Athletic Conference foe Temple to Bright House Networks
The Knights are a perfect 2-0 in conference play, coming off a 20-13 win over
Tulane last Saturday.
Justin Holman completed just 9-of-17 passes for 113 yards with a touchdown and
two picks, as UCF held off the Green Wave, who made it a seven-point game in
the fourth quarter.
William Stanback had a game-high 16 carries for 45 yards and a touchdown for
UCF, which has won its last three games by seven points or less. The only
other time UCF played, and won, three straight contests with a margin of seven
points or less was in 2005.
The Knights’ offense isn’t blowing the doors off. The squad averages just 23.8
points and 291 yards per game this season. It’s not like ball protection has
helped, as the team has committed 14 turnovers through six games.
Holman has completed just 56 percent of his passes for just an average of 183
yards per game. He has thrown nine touchdowns and six picks. The running game
doesn’t have much behind it either, averaging just 94 yards per game.
With numbers like that, it’s no wonder why every game has been close.
The defense is doing the best it can, allowing 20 points and 326 yards per
game. Terrance Plummer’s 61 total tackles leads the unit, while Thomas Niles’
five sacks and Jacoby Glenn’s four picks lead the squad in those categories.
Temple has been one of the best turnover teams in the nation this year,
ranking in the top 30 in turnover margin, forcing 17 this season. Expect the
Owls’ defense, which yields 17 points and 345 yards per game, to force some
miscues. Tavon Young could be the big benefactor. He has three picks this
The Owls, however, are coming off a poor defensive effort in a 31-10 setback
Temple allowed Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr. to throw for 268 yards and a
pair of touchdowns, completing 29-of-33 pass attempts, as Houston hit Temple
with its first AAC setback of the season.
Temple signal-caller P.J. Walker completed 12-of-29 passing for 259 yards with
a touchdown and three interceptions. Walker was also tied for the team lead in
rushing with 49 yards on eight carries, as Temple had a three-game win streak
halted to fall to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the AAC on the season.
Walker has completed 59 percent of his passes for 1,358 yards with 10
touchdowns and seven picks. Jalen Fitzpatrick leads the receivers with 417
yards on 26 catches with five scores.
Temple has entered a tough part of its schedule. This ends a two-game road
swing and then the Owls return home to face a tough East Carolina squad. A win
here against UCF is very important for Temple and its hope to finish among the
top teams in the AAC.
Making it harder on the Owls, this is homecoming weekend for UCF. The Knights
are 24-10 all-time in homecoming games, including wins in the last five.
Additionally, UCF is a perfect 10-0 in AAC games since the conference began.
Even though the Knights’ offense has struggled this season, it’s hard to see
UCF falling in this game. Temple is a much-improved team from past years, but
this is a difficult road contest. If the Owls can come away from this with a
win, they would have to like their chances to be among the top finishers in
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UCF 17, Temple 14