SportsDesk Pregame Report: Temple vs. #9 UCF

Temple and #9 UCF Battle for First Place in the Division.

With Temple (5-3, 4-0), coming off a much needed bye week after a close call on Homecoming, they’ll travel to sunny Central Florida in one of the biggest matchups on the calendar for a Thursday night battle under the lights. The team’s battle with UCF (7-0, 4-0) will be for sole possession of first place in the division. Following a win in their last matchup when they upset the former undefeated Cincinnati Bearcats, they look to carry on their three-game winning streak that’s seen them play dedicated football. With one more win, the Owls will qualify for bowl eligibility.

Coming into the game, both teams are undefeated in American conference matchups (4-0) and look to spoil the other’s spotless record this year. In the last matchup between the teams last season, the Golden Knights got out on Temple early, resulting in a 45-19 loss for the Owls. UCF the number nine team in the nation, currently is on an unprecedented run in college football. Standing on a 20-game winning streak, the Golden Knights haven’t been dealt a loss since the
2016-2017 season.

On offense for Temple, they will look for more of the same production from Anthony Russo whose been able to lead the team to back to back game winning drives and 33 points-per-game over their last six. Wide Receiver Ventell Bryant (2,160 receiving yards), will try and continue his receptions streak of 43 games and inch closer to the Owls all-time receiving record held by Willie Marshall at 2,272.

Temple’s linebacking core who’s been consistent in their play this season, second in the AAC in sacks with 24, will need to bring their best against the offensive line of UCF. The defense from the Owls whose anchored them late in games with five defensive touchdowns (first in FBS), will need to slow down the offensive prowess the Golden Knights usually present. Led by Michael Dogbe with six sacks, the Temple defense will need to pressure the group whose only given up 9 sacks
to their quarterback McKenzie Milton this season.

Milton has lead the Golden Knights to an undefeated season last year and thus far this year.

Milton has been playing solid football for his club. He comes into the game win 16 touchdowns and four interceptions this year. His 59 percent completion percentage down slightly from his mark from last year (67%), plays a part in their comfortable margin of victories by three or more touchdowns in every game but one this season.

McKenzie Milton is also supported by his offensive weapons running back Adrian Killins Jr with 429 yards, four touchdowns on the ground to go along with wideout Gabriel Davis’ 493 yards five touchdowns, helping them secure a (7-0 record) so far.

Temple has seven wins against a top 25 opponent in the last four seasons, their previous two coming last week (Cincinnati #20), and the AAC championship game against #19 Navy in 2016.

The matchup is set for Thursday, November 1st at 7:30 PM at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando, Florida, and you can watch it live on ESPN and listen through 97.5 The Fanatic. Be sure to follow the SportsDesk on Twitter @TU_SportsDesk for all your game day coverage.

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