|The status of Temple RB Montel Harris is in question after the senior back suffered a knee injury last week at Cincinnati. Harris has been one of the top running backs in the conference in 2012. (US Presswire)|
Kickoff: Saturday, noon ET, (CBS Sports Network)
Spread: Temple by 1
Watchability: Low. The Owls look to end a season-long four-game winning streak during which they've allowed 40.25 points per game. It wouldn't be a surprise if Temple coach Steve Addazio placed a call into Rutgers coach Kyle Flood this week during his preparations for Army's unorthodox, triple-option offense. The Black Knights controlled the clock for the majority of the first three quarters in last week's loss to Rutgers, before running out of steam over the final eight minutes.
Shining stars: Temple -- RB Montel Harris . The Owls' senior running back left last Saturday's loss at Cincinnati early in the second quarter after injuring his left knee. Harris should exercise caution with the injury. It's the same knee he injured several times while playing for Boston College early in his career. Earlier this week, Addazio said he felt good about Harris' chances of playing against the Black Knights. In Harris' previous five games, he rushed for 543 yards (5.13 yards per carry) and four touchdowns. Army -- QB Trent Steelman. The Black Knights' senior quarterback ran the wishbone flawlessly last week against Rutgers' stingy run defense. The Scarlet Knights are ranked 17th in FBS against the run (110.0 ypg). Army remains first in FBS in rushing yards per game (366.1) after finishing with 282 against Rutgers. Steelman should have even more success against an Owls' defense that's allowing more than 169 yards per game on the ground (77th in FBS). Steelman is the only player in school history to record more than 2,000 yards through the air and 2,000 on the ground.
Who could steal the show: Temple -- QB Chris Coyer. The junior quarterback is coming off a strong season in 2011, but has struggled in his first season in the Big East. Coyer ranks last in the conference among starting quarterbacks in passing efficiency (110.9), completion percentage (51.2) and passing yards (946). Addazio has declared an open competition for the starter's spot this week in practice between Coyer, Juice Granger and Kevin Newsome. Addazio has been pleased how Granger has moved the offense when he's entered the game in a backup capacity. Army -- RB Raymond Maples. The Philadelphia native needs just 35 yards this week to reach 1,000 on the season. The powerful junior back is equally menacing on runs between the tackles and when making cuts to the outside. Though Steelman is the Black Knights' top threat, the Owls can't ignore Maples on option situations.
You going? Ranking the road trip: With gorgeous views of the Hudson river from the west stands, Michie Stadium provides one of the most majestic settings in college football. It could be an exciting trip for Temple fans willing to make the three hour trip north. Temperatures are expected to be in the low 50s at kickoff.
Magic number for Temple: 130. In Temple's first three conference games, the Owls held opponents to 130.6 rushing yards per game, including 88 against Connecticut. In the Owls' last three contests, they've surrendered 201.6 on the ground. It's a major reason why Temple hasn't been competitive in recent weeks.
Magic number for Army: 30. The Black Knights have allowed 30 points or more in six of eight losses, including 40 or more four times. In a 41-21 win over Air Force on Nov. 3, the Black Knights held the Falcons to just 103 rushing yards. It was arguably Army's best performance of the season.
The game comes down to: Miscues. Army could have easily upset the nation's No. 22 ranked team last week if it didn't commit three turnovers and had two field goals blocked. Temple, meanwhile, has lost six fumbles in the last three weeks including four at Louisville.
Prediction: Army 20, Temple 17.
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