Week 7 - Temple at Connecticut

Posted Oct 11, 2012

Week 7 Fearless Predictions - Temple at Connecticut

Temple (2-2) at Connecticut (3-3) Oct. 13, 1:00, ESPN3 Here's The Deal:Temple and Connecticut got to .500 by different means in Week 6; now both want to take a positive step toward the ultimate quest of qualifying for the postseason. The Owls notched a crucial win over South Florida, sending what they hope will be a statement to the rest of the Big East Conference. Temple kept the Bulls reeling while putting the brakes on a two-game skid of their own, a timely turnaround for a season that could have skidded off the cliff in a hurry. The Huskies, on the other hand, showed in their 19-3 loss to Rutgers that they're not ready to compete in 2012 with the league's premier contenders. Connecticut's season has resembled a cardiac monitor, one blip north that's always followed by a return to the loss column. After going 5-7 a year ago, head coach Paul Pasqualoni is in dire need of a big second half to the season. Why Temple Might Win: The Owls got the running game cranking a week ago, a precursor to success for Steve Addazio's program. They amassed 216 yards and four touchdowns against a reputable D, including at least 50 yards from QB Chris Coyer and backs Montel Harris and Matt Brown. Harris was the star of the day, channeling his old Boston College days by rushing for 133 yards and two scores to pick up the slack for an injured Brown. With the ground game clicking, Coyer was unusually sharp through the air. If Temple can again keep the chains moving, it's going to put pressure on Connecticut's league-worst offense. Why Connecticut Might Win: Yeah, Temple can ground-and-pound, but how will it do versus a Huskies D that ranks No. 8 nationally against the run, and is only yielding 2.4 yards per carry? Connecticut held Rutgers to just one touchdown last week, an indication of its strength at all levels. Coyer won't throw on this team, and the backs could hit a brick wall as linebackers Sio Moore, Yawin Smallwood and Jory Johnson begin to pinch up. Pasqualoni's staff does a nice job of disguising looks and remaining unpredictable in its schemes. And the Owls lack the diversity on offense to solve such as talented and well-designed unit. What To Watch Out For: Can anyone make a play on offense for Connecticut? Lyle McCombs remains the feature back, but he's not getting enough room to roam or enough support from the passing game. JUCO transfer Chandler Whitmer has been a disaster at quarterback, throwing just four touchdown passes to 10 interceptions. As tempting as it would be to make a switch, Pasqualoni's problem is that he may not have a better option waiting on the bench. What Will Happen: Get to know the field goal kickers in this one, Brandon McManus in cherry and Chad Christen in blue. As expected, this meeting at Rentschler Field will be a bare-knuckle brawl dominated by the defenses and the running games. Temple has shown spottiness against the run this fall, which could be just what McCombs needs to crack 100 yards and pop off a few timely squirts through the defensive front seven. It won't be pretty or especially entertaining, but it should be enough to further Connecticut's trend of following each loss of the past year with a victory. CFN Prediction: Connecticut 20 … Temple 17 ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Connecticut -5.5 O/U: 41.5 Must Watch Rating (5 – Argo, 1 – Pitch Perfect): 1.5