Week 12 – Army at Temple

Posted Nov 14, 2012

Week 12 Fearless Prediction & Game Preview – Army at Temple

Temple (3-6) at Army (2-8) Nov. 17, 12:00, CBS Sports Network

Here's The Deal: Pride is about all that'll be at stake when Temple and Army meet for the sixth straight year, the last four of which won by the Owls.

For the Black Knights, this will be a tune-up for the annual tilt with Navy on Dec. 8. While it's been another difficult season for fourth-year head coach Rich Ellerson, there have been some high points on the Hudson, such as the upsets of Boston College and Air Force. A spate of miscues ended any hope for a third big surprise last Saturday versus Rutgers.

The free-fall in Philly continued with last weekend's loss to Cincinnati, a fourth blowout defeat in a row for Temple. Officially eliminated from postseason contention, the Owls have just two games remaining to alter the climate on campus before the offseason begins. The program hasn't been the same since squandering a halftime lead on Rutgers back on Oct. 20.

Why Temple Might Win: The Owls might finally be facing a defense that they can consistently move the ball on.

One of Addazio's many problems this fall has been the play of his offense, which ranks last in the Big East. He can't figure out who to play at quarterback, and the line has blocked sporadically. However, hope comes from a trip to West Point. The Black Knights are 102nd nationally in scoring D, don't pressure the quarterback and have been a sieve in pass defense. Whether Chris Coyer or Clinton Granger gets the nod, he should be able to find WR Jalen Fitzpatrick or TE Cody Booth open for a couple of connections downfield. Backs Montel Harris and Matt Brown will take care of the rest on the ground.

Why Army Might Win: The Black Knights D is bad, but Temple's might be a rung lower.

This is the worst Owls defense in years, a unit that would be virtually unrecognizable by former head coach Al Golden. The Owls are pulling up the Big East rear, and have been especially leaky in the secondary. Now, Army QB Trent Steelman may not be able to exploit the defensive backfield with his limited arm strength, but he, along with Raymond Maples and Larry Dixon, will wear down the front seven with the nation's No. 1 ground game. In the win over Boston College, which is similarly talented as Temple, the Cadets cranked out a season-high 516 yards and four touchdowns between the tackles.

What To Watch Out For: It's been a banner year for Army LB Nate Combs, who has patiently waited for this opportunity to be one of the defensive leaders. The senior "bandit" is used more as a pass rusher than a run stopper, freelancing from sideline to sideline to make his presence felt. The senior leads the team with 11.5 tackles for loss and six sacks, proving he's all the way back from a knee injury that shut down his 2010 campaign.

What Will Happen: On the road, Army struggles. On the Hudson, Army will gather some momentum before playing Navy in three weeks. In a season nearing a disappointing conclusion, the Black Knights will showcase the focus and fortitude to play at their peak level in Week 12. Steelman, a senior, will be the key to victory, keeping drives alive with his fifth straight 100-yard game on the ground.

CFN Prediction: Army 31 … Temple 23
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Army -3 O/U: 57
Must Watch Rating (5 – Killing Them Softly, 1 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2): 1