The Owls are coming off of a statement victory over Houston last Saturday that saw the Owls score a season-high 59 points, en-route to a 10 point road victory to become bowl eligible for the 5th consecutive season.
USF is reeling as the season winds to an end, as previously ranked Bulls have lost their last three games, and are allowing an alarming 44 points per game over that span. USF now sits fourth in the AAC East standings, and have seen their hopes of a conference championship disappear over the last three-plus weeks.
It was a historic week for Temple running back Ryquell Armstead, as he racked up over 200 yards on the ground, and a conference record 6 touchdowns. This season, Armstead has shown why he is one of the best backs in the conference once again, after missing time with an injury earlier in the season.
The senior tailback is closing in on 1,000 yards on the season, to go along with 12 touchdowns on the ground.
Armstead wasn’t the only Owl to break records last week, as Ventell Bryant became the all-time leader in receiving yards in Temple history. The graduate has is the Owls leading receiver on the season, with 42 receptions for 565 yards, and 3 touchdowns.
The Temple offense has been clicking since its turnaround early in the season, which is thanks in no small part to quarterback Anthony Russo. Russo has been playing his best football during the mid-to-late season stretch.
After throwing 4 touchdowns against UCF, Russo came back last week to help the offense produce its highest output of the season. One concern for Russo has been turnovers, as he has 13 touchdowns to 12 interceptions on the season. The redshirt-sophomore has been better taking care of the football of late and will look to continue his stellar play against USF.
Defensively for the Bulls, the unit has been struggling collectively as of late, as the Owls have been scoring more in their recent stretch. USF is led by senior linebacker Khalid McGee, who has totaled 80 tackles on the season, and 5.5 tackles for loss.
The Bulls have been strong rushing the quarterback this season, as the unit has totaled 26 sacks on the season, led by Josh Black and Juwuan Brown with 5 and 4 sacks on the season respectively. The defensive line will look to pressure Russo early and often tomorrow in order to slow down this high octane Owl offense.
On the other side of the ball, the Temple defense has given up over 101 points combined over the last two games. Specifically, the Owls defense has struggled against the pass, as they allowed 5 touchdowns through the air to Houston and another 3 touchdowns to Mackenzie Milton and the UCF Knights.
They will line up against former Alabama and Arizona State quarterback Blake Barnett, who has filled in for the graduated Quinton Flowers.
On the season, Barnett has over 2400 yards and 11 touchdowns. The junior has also been a threat on the ground, with 8 rushing touchdowns on the season.
Barnett is accompanied by a pair of solid running backs in Jordan Conkrite and Johnny Ford. Conkrite has rushed for 982 yards on the season with 7 touchdowns. Ford has 8 touchdowns on the ground, to go along with just under 600 yards on the season.
The Owls are a 13.5 point favorite against the Bulls tomorrow afternoon as they look to keep pace with UCF in the AAC East with a win.