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AAC Championship Temple vs. Houston “Inside The Numbers”

Temple (10-2) vs. Houston (11-1) 12:00 pm (at Houston)




The Owls are averaging 32.2 points per game and are led by an athletic quarterback in P.J Walker. Temple is passing for 209 yards per game and is averaging 158 yards on the ground this season. The Owls like to utilize a ball control attack that works off of play action with Walker working the middle of the field in the passing attack. On the year, Walker has completed 56.6% of his passes for 2,449 yards with 18 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Running back Jahad Thomas will be the key to the offense on Saturday and leads the team with 1,188 yards averaging 4.7 yards per carry with 17 touchdowns. Wide receiver Robby Anderson leads the team with 52 receptions for 723 yards with 6 touchdowns. The offensive line has played very well this season and has allowed 16 sacks through 12 games (1.3 sacks per game).


Key offensive stats entering this game:

Temple is converting 41% on the team’s third down attempts, however, over on the road this year the Owls have converted 37%. Over the last four games (SMU, USF, Memphis and UCONN) Walker has passed for 237 yards per game with 8 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.




The strength of the team is the Owls blue collar defense that is allowing 18.8 points per game and is very good at dictating the tempo of games. On the season, Temple is allowing 117 rushing yards per game and is yielding 211 passing yards to their opponents. Temple has recorded 32 sacks on the year and must be able to keep Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr. in the pocket. Temple has done a very good job at forcing turnover this season and is +6 in turnover margin entering this game. On the road, the team has a +7 margin and will need to force turnovers to give their offense field position.


Key defensive stats entering this game:

Over the past three games, the Owls are even in turnover margin. On the road, the defense has struggled and has allowed 279 passing yards per game 68 yards more than their season average and has given up 167 rushing yards per game which is 50 yards more than their season average. In the last four games, however, Temple has recorded 9 sacks (2.2 sacks per game).





The Cougars are coming off an impressive 52-31 victory over Navy last week at home. On the season, Houston is averaging 42 points per game and has a very balanced attack led by quarterback Greg Ward. Jr. The Cougars are rushing for 240 yards per game and are passing for 259 yards per game this season. Ward Jr. has completed 69.3% of his passes for 2,502 yards with 16 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. On the ground, Ward is second on the team with 893 rushing yards averaging 5.5 yards per carry with 17 touchdowns. He is lethal when he breaks contain and keeps his eyes down the field at all times when locating his receivers. Leading rusher Kenneth Farrow is questionable for this game and is a blue collar running back that has rushed for 949 yards with 12 touchdowns. Backup converted defensive back Brandon Wilson broke out last week with a 111 yard rushing performance with 2 touchdowns. Wilson is a slashing runner that has great vision and is a more explosive running back than Farrow. His speed can be a factor on Saturday. Wide receiver Demarcus Ayers leads the team with 89 receptions for 1,140 yards with 6 touchdowns and is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the football.


Key offensive stats entering this game:

Houston is converting on 50% of the team’s third down opportunities and at home the Cougars are converting on 52% of their third down attempts. Houston is averaging 276 passing yards per game at home this season, 36 yards more than their season average.



Houston is averaging 21 points per game and is allowing 117 rushing yards per game. The Cougars are giving up 263 passing yards to their opponents and must be able to force P. J Walker to throw over the top of the secondary. Houston has recorded 32 sacks and has been one of the top teams in turnover margin this season with a +15 margin (3rd in FBS) . Houston has been very opportunistic at home this year and is +12 in turnover margin at home. Houston has allowed 37% on opponents third down attempts this season, however, at home they have allowed 40%.


Key defensive stats entering this game:

Over the last six games against (UCF, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, Memphis, UCONN and Navy) the Cougars have allowed 136 rushing yards per game. Houston has recorded only 4 sacks the last three games and in last week’s victory over Navy the defense recorded three of them. Three of the Cougars last four games have been decided by 3 points or less (33-30 win vs. Cinncy, 35-34 win vs. Memphis and 20-17 loss to UCONN).



Listen to Joe’s show on Yahoo Sports Radio every Saturday morning from 10-11am EST at www.streamysr.com.

Joseph Lisi a former ABC Sports college football researcher, is the owner of www.GOFORTHE2.COM. He is a member if the FWAA (Football Writers Association Of America),Maxwell Football Club and is currently the content editor at www.2FiveSports.com.He contributes regularly to www.Sid-Rosenberg.com and has been a featured guest every Tuesday night from 10:30-11:30pm EST on Yahoo Sports Radio With Ken Thomson(www.sportsxradio.com). Joe has been featured on the FNTSY Sports Network  and The Sid Rosenberg Sports Radio Show 640AM Sports (South Florida). You can follow him on Twitter: @Goforthe2. Joe has a weekly radio show on www.blogtalkradio.com with former Georgia Bulldogs WR Corey Allen called: THE NCAA WEEKLY BLITZ.







About Joseph Lisi

Joseph Lisi is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America), the Maxwell Football Club and the National Football Foundation. He is the owner of the website: www.goforthe2.com and hosts a weekly college football radio show on SB Nation Radio and FNSTY Sports Radio from 10-12pm EST every Saturday morning. Listen live at: www.sbnationradio.com or www.fntsy.com/radio. Joseph is a former college football researcher for ABC Sports and has been featured on: SportsXRadio with Ken Thomson, ESPN Radio, Sirius XM Radio, FNTSY Sports Network, the Sid Rosenberg Show (640 AM Sports-South Florida), 1560 AM CBS Sports Melbourne, FL and multiple media outlets throughout the nation. Joe appears every Friday with Ken Thomson on SportsXRadio for the Football Fiasco in which every game on the college board is broken down during the show. Follow Joe on Twitter: @goforthe2

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