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Week 10 – Temple at Louisville
Posted Nov 1, 2012

Week 10 Fearless Predictions - Temple at Louisville

Temple (3-4) at Louisville (8-0) Nov. 3, 12:00, ABC

Here’s The Deal: Louisville is living dangerously, yet living to tell about it.

The Cardinals, now ranked No. 10 in the latest BCS standings, are the final unblemished Big East team left standing. But it’s come at the expense of a bunch of gray hairs for head coach Charlie Strong. His kids have participated in six consecutive games decided by no more than 10 points, the last one holding the greatest significance. Hosting rival Cincinnati on national TV on Friday, Louisville survived a punching match in overtime, 34-31.

Whatever goodwill Temple earned with a 3-2 start has since been squandered with unseemly back-to-back losses. Since leading Rutgers at halftime on Oct. 20, the Owls have been outscored 82-17 over the last six quarters. The Week 9 implosion to an average Pitt team could be a turning point in a season that once looked as if it was flush with so much promise.

Why Temple Might Win: Everyone gets a shot to beat Louisville in the second half, including Florida International and Southern Miss. Why should Temple be any different?

The Cardinals have had a horrible habit of either playing down to the competition or not finishing strong. The Owls are misfiring on both sides of the ball, which will entice them to go back to the basics. They’ll run right at the heart of a Louisville defense that’s been no better than average all season. Temple will want to play keep-away from Teddy Bridgewater and the Cards offense by pounding the ball in clock-controlling fashion with QB Chris Coyer and RB Montel Harris.

Why Louisville Might Win: Temple may win time of possession, but it doesn’t have the red zone offense to outscore the Cardinals.

Louisville has been more clutch than prolific, putting up points in the second half when it needs to pull a game out. Bridgewater, in particular, has been solid all season, ranking No. 12 nationally in passing efficiency. The undisputed face of this program is surrounded by a very capable supporting cast, with the right amount of balance to keep a middling Temple defense on its heels. Backs Serorise Perry and Jeremy Wright will soften the body, while big-play WR DeVante Parker delivers a knockout punch or two along the way.

What To Watch Out For: Louisville knows what Temple wants to do with the ball, which is going to put added pressure on the team’s linebackers to make stops on the ground. It’s been an average year for the group, comprised mainly of George Durant, Keith Brown and Preston Brown, but they’ll need to raise the level of their game from this point forward. Not only do the Owls want to establish the line of scrimmage, but so will upcoming Cards opponents, Syracuse, Connecticut and Rutgers.

What Will Happen: Louisville doesn’t blow anyone out, but it won’t need a third-straight buzzer-beater to knock off Temple this weekend. The Owls are fading fast, and unlikely to take advantage of a Cardinals team that could be a little unfocused after the last two emotional wins. Temple will be unable to match Louisville’s weapons and overall balance on offense, falling behind by double-digits after halftime, and never getting close beyond that point.

CFN Prediction: Louisville 31 … Temple 17
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Louisville -15 O/U: 51.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – The Man With The Iron Fists, 1 – Election coverage until Tuesday morning): 2.5