Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-1) at Temple Owls (7-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday October 31, 2015, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Temple Owls +10.5 -- Over/Under:
The 9th ranked Norte Dame Fighting Irish travel to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the 21st ranked Temple Owls this Saturday night in College Football action.
The Norte Dame Fighting Irish used a strong 4th quarter to defeat the USC Trojans 41-31 and improve to 6-1 on the season in their recent matchup on October 17th. Norte Dame was outgained by USC by a 590-476 margin but outscored the Trojans by a 17-0 margin in the 4th quarter to secure the victory. Leading the way for the Fighting Irish was RB C.J. Prosise who had 143 yards and 2 TD on the ground while also hauling in 5 receptions for 32 yards. On the season, Norte Dame is averaging 38.3 ppg on 498.9 yards per game (264.3 passing, 234.6 rushing). Leading the way offensively for the Fighting Irish is RB C.J. Prosise who is averaging 131.71 rushing yards per game and has 11 TD on the season. Prosise has also been a receiving threat out of the backfield as he has 219 yards and a TD on 18 receptions. QB DeShone Kizer is currently completing 65.4% of his passes for 1370 yards (195.7 yards/game), 10 TD, and 4 INT. Will Fuller (32 receptions, 702 yards, 8 TD) and Chris Brown (27 receptions, 355 yards, 2 TD) have been the biggest threat at the WR position for the Fighting Irish. Defensively, Norte Dame is holding their opponents to 22.6 ppg on 370.3 yards per game (194.4 passing yards, 175.9 rushing yards). Norte Dame has done a good job protecting the ball on the season as they only have 9 turnovers, however, they’ve haven’t been able to cause many turnovers and currently have a turnover margin of zero. Leading the way for the defense is DB KeiVarae Russell (42 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 INT) and LB Jaylon Smith (56 tackles, 1.0 sack).
The Temple Owls stayed a perfect 7-0 (4-0 American East) on the season after scoring two late TD’s to defeat the East Carolina Pirates 24-14 last Thursday. Temple was outgained by East Carolina by a 378-322 margin but forced the Pirates into committing two turnovers. Leading the way for the Owls was WR Robby Anderson who had 126 yards and a TD on 8 receptions. On the season Temple is averaging 32.3 ppg on 345.9 yards per game (197.0 passing, 148.9 rushing). Leading the way offensively for the Owls has been RB Jahad Thomas who is averaging 117.43 rushing yards per game and has 12 TD’s on the ground. Thomas is also the Owls 2nd leading receiver as he has 18 receptions for 204 yards and a TD. QB P.J. Walker has been solid for Temple as he is completing 59.8% of his passes for 1314 yards (187.7 yards per game), 9 TD, and 3 INT. Robby Anderson has been the main target for P.J. Walker this season as he has 388 yards and 5 TD’s on 31 receptions. Defensively, Temple returned all 11 starters from their 2014 squad and they haven’t disappointed as they are holding opponents to just 14.6 ppg on 307.7 yards per game (215.9 passing, 91.8 rushing). Temple currently has a plus 3 turnover margin on the season and is led defensively by LB Tyler Matakevich (65 tackles, 4.0 sacks, 4 INT).
The Fighting Irish are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a S.U. win and 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Owls are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games vs. Independent teams and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
This is the biggest game that the Temple Owls have had in a very long time and although ND and RB C.J. Prosise is by far the best team and running back that Temple has faced, I think the experienced Temple defensive can contain the ND offensive on the road. Temple will need a big game by QB P.J. Tucker as ND will game plan against the Owls biggest weapon RB Jahad Thomas, but I think they’ll be able to score enough points against the Fighting Irish to cover this spread. Take Temple and the points in this one.