Gametime/TV: 4pm on ESPNews
Location: Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT
Broadcast Team: Eamon McAnaney, Dan Hawkins
Radio: WTIC-AM - Joe D'Ambrosio, Wayne Norman, Kevin Nathan
Vegas Line: Temple -5
Forecast: 80 and Sunny, should be a beautiful day for some football
History: 15th meeting between these two teams, with Temple holding a 9-5 advantage
Injuries: TEMPLE: DL Brian Carter - Questionable (ankle), TE Colin Thompson - probable (foot); UCONN: none, well unless you count Tim Boyle, who has "manageable pain which goes away" according to Bob.
Let's just pretend that South Florida didn't happen, okay? The rain was insane! I understand that the elements are a part of the game, but this was particularly bad. The Huskies also looked pretty bad, but we didn't actually learn much about our team last week because of the conditions.
Temple will be visiting Rentschler today looking to exact revenge on UConn for last year's come-from-behind win in Philadelphia. The Owls were kind enough to grant the Huskies their first win of the season last year, perhaps this year they can be the Huskies' first FBS victim.
Through four games we have established that UConn will be pinning its hopes on the defense- nothing new there. Linebackers Marquise Vann, Jefferson Ashiru and Graham Stewart have been really solid, but they'll have their hands full today dealing with Temple's dual-threat QB P.J. Walker. "They try to put your second level defenders in run/pass conflicts on almost every play. So it becomes a schematic challenge and a fundamental challenge for the players and a young team and defense," Bob Diaco said in his press conference earlier this week. While the defense has played well, their discipline will be tested today.
Offensively, the Huskies may have trouble running the ball. Temple has a strong front seven, and unless Chandler Whitmer can burn them through the air the Owls are likely to keep extra players in the box to defend the run. Hopefully the UConn offense can get Geremy Davis going early and often.
I offered my prediction yesterday in the podcast, but I will re-iterate it here. If we pretend South Florida didn't happen, and renew some of the optimism we had after Boise State, there are reasons to believe UConn is not as over-matched as some fans, or Vegas, may think. You can't buy too much into week-to-week results, especially with the devastatingly mitigating weather conditions of last week.
I predict "Formula 2007" produces a win today. Defensive and/or return touchdowns will provide a boost and kicker Bobby Puyol will be busy racking up points for us three at a time. Will this be the week where UConn doesn't generously spot the opponent 7 points in the first quarter? I think so!
I have a feeling the Huskies will show up today looking to prove themselves at home and gut out a win against a tough Temple squad.
Prediction: UConn wins 24-21