Friday night will feature an AAC showdown as the Temple Owls (3-2) take on the No. 5 Cincinnati Bearcats (4-0). The Bearcats will host this one at Nippert Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 7:00 pm ET.
Temple comes into this one, having won two in a row, including a 34-31 victory over Memphis last weekend. In the victory, D’Wan Mathis threw for 322 yards and three scores while Amad Anderson Jr. had 108 yards receiving and a score.
The undefeated Bearcats now rank fifth in the country after a huge win over No. 14 Notre Dame. In the 24-13 win, quarterback Desmond Ridder threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bearcats are the overwhelming favorites in this one. They are -8000 to win while the Owls’ moneyline sits at +1800. The spread features Temple +29.5, and the over/under for total points is 53.5.
Cincinnati currently is tied for the fifth-best odds to win the National Championship at +4000.
By The Numbers
Temple has had quite a bit of success against Cincinnati recently. In their last five games against the Bearcats, they are 4-1 overall and 5-0 against the spread.
While Temple has had success against Cincinnati, this Bearcats’ team is on a whole new level. They are 14-1 in their last 15 games and 10-0 in their last ten home games.
Temple Trying To Ride High After Memphis Win
In what has been an inconsistent season thus far, Temple was able to pick up a big AAC win over Memphis last week. On Friday, they will try to stay undefeated in the conference by taking down the ranked Bearcats.
To do so, they will turn to quarterback D’Wan Mathis to lead them. This season, Mathis has thrown for 762 yards, five touchdowns, and just a single interception.
He has also rushed for 54 yards and another score. Mathis’ favorite receivers to date have been Jose Barbon (21 receptions, 280 yards, one touchdown), Randle Jones (14 receptions, 240 yards, two touchdowns), and Amad Anderson Jr. (9 receptions, 173 yards, one touchdown).
On the ground, Edward Saydee (43 rushes, 165 yards, one touchdown) and Tayvon Ruley (26 carries, 149 yards, one touchdown) lead the way.
Defensively, the Owls rank 110th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 36 points per game.
Bearcats Look To Defense To Shutdown Owls
It isn’t surprising to see the Bearcats ranked fifth in the country when you look at their stout defense. On the season, they rank tied for 12th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 17 points per game this season. They rank 52nd against the run allowing 135 yards per game, and rank 33rd against the pass, allowing 196.7 yards per game.
On the offensive side, they are led by senior quarterback Desmond Ridder. On the year, Ridder has thrown for 1,045 yards, nine touchdowns, and two interceptions. He has also had success with his legs rushing for 98 yards and another three scores.
The leading rusher for the Bearcats has been Jerome Ford. He has rushed 67 times for 371 yards (5.5 yards per carry) and six touchdowns.
Through the air, receivers Alec Pierce (294 yards, one touchdown) and Tyler Scott (172 yards, two touchdowns) have led the way for Cincinnati.
Bearcats Will Win, But Can They Cover?
It is without a doubt that the Bearcats are the significantly better team in this matchup, but the concern for Cincinnati is whether they will have a letdown after an emotional win over Notre Dame.
Despite the possibility, head coach Luke Fickell will have his team ready as they try to compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Expect the Bearcats to come out hungry and to not only win this one but to cover the massive 29.5-point spread as well.