Temple vs Tulane Preview: Owls Look to Keep Pace in AAC Championship Race

The Owls celebrate their win vs UConn on November 4th

Temple Football (7-3) travels to Yulman Stadium Saturday afternoon to take on Tulane (3-7) looking to stay on the winning track, and continue its push towards its second conference championship appearance for the second consecutive season.

The Owls enter off of a bye week, having last played on November 4th, a 21-0 victory over UConn. They enter winners of four straight, and following a shutout of UConn. Tulane comes in loser of its last five. The Green Wave have given up at least 30 points in each of their last four games. The Owls have beaten Tulane in each of the last two meetings between the teams, including a 49-10 victory last season.

Matchups to Watch

Phillip Walker vs. Tulane Pass Defense

Walker threw 3 TDs but also had 2 INTs last game vs UConn

Phillip Walker enters week 12 with 2,205 passing yards on the season, with 16 TDs and 12 INTs. Walker threw three touchdown passes against Uconn, all coming in the first quarter, to go along with two interceptions. Walker has thrown multiple interceptions in four games this season.

Wide receiver Ventell Bryant has been playing his best football of the season, amidst the Owl’s four game win streak. Bryant has 357 receiving yards in that stretch, to go along with one touchdown reception. Walker will look to Bryant down field against a tough Green Wave pass defense.

Running back Jahad Thomas has once again emerged as a formidable target for Walker in the passing attack. Thomas caught two touchdown passes against Uconn, and has totaled 354 yards receiving on the season, along with five touchdowns.

Defensively for Tulane, the Green Wave’s defense ranks second in the AAC in terms of pass defense. They are led by cornerbacks Parry Nickerson, and Donnie Lewis, both ranking in the top five in the AAC in terms of passes defended. Nickerson is 10th in the conference with three interceptions on the season.

Temple Defense vs. Tulane Offense

Tulane enters ranked last in the AAC in pass offense, averaging just 117 yards per game. Tulane quarterback Glen Cuiellette has thrown for 1,126 yards, and 10 TDs on the season. Cuiellette has also thrown seven interceptions on the season. As a whole, Tulane has a +8 turnover margin on the season.

Green Wave junior running back Dontrell Hilliard has rushed for 737 yards on the season along with

Credit: CBS
Credit: CBS

nine touchdowns on the ground. He is averaging over five yards per carry on the season.

As for the Owls defensively, they enter first in the AAC in scoring defense, total defense, and passing defense. The Owls are also second in the conference in sacks, facing a Tulane offense that has given up 20 sacks in 10 games.

Safeties Sean Chandler, and Delvon Randall have not started together very often this season, with Chandler missing multiple games with a knee injury. Randall has 43 total tackles on the season, along with three interceptions, and two fumble recoveries. Chandler was named to the Jim Thorpe Award Watch list before the season, given to the nation’s top defensive back. In six games this season, Chandler has 28 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and one interception.

Players to Watch

Praise Martin-Oguike

Martin-Oguike celebrates a sack (cred:// philly.com)
Martin-Oguike celebrates a sack (cred:// philly.com)

Redshirt senior defensive lineman Praise Martin-Oguike will look to continue his fine play against a Tulane offensive line that has given up the third most sacks in the conference. On the season, Oguike has five sacks, to go along with two forced fumbles. Oguike should be in the backfield early and often on Saturday.


Aaron Boumerhi

After the injury to Austin Jones against Memphis, the kicking game was in question for Temple. Enter walk on, true-freshman kicker Aaron Boumerhi who has been nothing short of spectacular in his first season for the Owls. Boumerhi has made all seven of his attempted field goals, with a long of 47 yards. He has also converted on all 15 of his PATs. The kicking game should have a big impact against a strong Tulane defense Saturday afternoon.

The Owls control their own destiny heading into the final two weeks of the season, and must win their final two games in order to reach the conference championship for the second consecutive season. Tulane will look to play spoiler on Saturday, and crush the Owl’s hopes of a conference championship.

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