Notre Dame (6-1) at Temple (7-0)
When: Saturday, October 31st, 2015
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: ABC
The Temple Owls of all teams, take to the National stage Saturday night in Philadelphia as they host 6-1 Notre Dame. The Owls are a perfect 7-0 and are ranked for the first time since 1979. They have a shot at making a real statement not only for them, but for the rest of the American Athletic Conference. Temple is one of 3 undefeated AAC teams (Memphis, Houston). Running back Jahad Thomas leads the run heavy offense with 822 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he has scored at least once in every game this season. Quarterback P.J. Walker has been efficient this season completing 60% of his passes for 1,313 yards, 9 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He had 250 in Temple’s win over East Carolina last week. While fellow AAC members Houston and Memphis rely on their offense, Temple wins games with defense. They are ranked 8th in the country allowing only 14.6 points a game. They’re a stingy 6th against the run surrendering only 92.1 rushing yards a contest. If Temple can pull off the upset tonight, they have a legitimate shot at finishing the regular season undefeated.
Notre Dame has rebounded nicely since their heartbreaking loss to Clemson on October 3rd. They’re coming off a couple of home wins over Navy and USC in which they scored 41 points in each game. The Irish still have a shot at the Playoffs if they win out. The Clemson loss won’t hurt and they still play at Stanford. A win their might seal it, but first they have to survive an upstart Temple squad. DeShone Kizer has filled in nicely for the injured Malik Zaire at quarterback. He’s completing 65% of his passes with 10 touchdowns and 4 interceptions and has thrown for over 200 yards in each of his starts. The offense is led by Heisman candidate running back C.J. Prosise. He’s averaging 131 yards rushing per game and has scored 12 total touchdowns. His 7.1 yards a carry will be tested mightily by the Temple defense tonight. The Irish let up a lot of points and they have trouble stopping the run. They’re 78th in FBS in rushing defense allowing 174 yards a game on the ground something they need to shore up.
The atmosphere will be electric tonight as ESPN GameDay will broadcast from Philadelphia Saturday morning. The young Temple team will have to wait all day for this game. Notre Dame has much more experience in big games, but I think the Temple defense will play well enough to keep it close.
Pick: Temple +10.5