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Army Football Game Notes: The Temple Game

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army football team goes for its third straight win on Saturday when it hosts the Temple Owls. Kickoff at Michie Stadium is set for 12 p.m. The first 5,000 fans through the gates will receive a Glenn Davis bobblehead.

CBS College Sports Network

Play-by-Play: Dave Ryan
Color Analyst: Jason Sehorn
Cadet Sideline Reporter: Chris Frasse
Channel Lineup: Time Warner Cable (Newburgh, N.Y.) -- 457; DirecTV -- 613; Dish Network -- 152

Army Sports Network

Flagship: WABC (770-AM, New York, N.Y.)
Affiliates: WALL (1340-AM, Middletown, N.Y.);
WEOK (1390-AM, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
Play-by-Play: Rich DeMarco
Color Analyst: Dean Darling
Sideline: Tony Morino
Program Host: Bob Outer, John Minko

The 90-minute "Army Football Tailgate Show," begins at 10 a.m. Pre-game coverage starts at 11:30 a.m.

Army Sports Network

WNSW (1430 AM, Newark, N.J.)
Play-by-Play: Clemson Smith Muniz
Color Analyst: Roberto Abramowitz

The Army Sports Network game broadcast will be carried via Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 126) and beginning at 12 p.m.

The entire Army Sports Network broadcast, including the "Army Football Tailgate Show," will be streamed live via ITT Knight Vision on each week. Subscription fees apply.

On Tuesdays of game weeks, Rich Ellerson's weekly press conference will be video streamed live on ITT Knight Vision. Thursday's "This Week in Army Football," show will also be video streamed live. Both events are available only to ITT Knight Vision subscribers.

Alma Mater: Hawai'i, 1977
2nd Season at Army (8-8, .500)
11th Season Overall (68-49, .581)
Record vs. Temple: 0-1

Alma Mater: Penn State, 1991
5th Season at Temple (22-31, .415)
5th Season Overall (22-31, .415)
Record vs. Army: 2-1

Army won its second straight game and improved to 3-1 on the season with a 35-21 win at Duke last weekend. The Black Knights forced five turnovers that led to 28 points to key the victory. The Army defense intercepted three Duke passes and recovered a pair of fumbles.

The Black Knights' 3-1 start is its best since the 1996 team began the year 4-0. It is the first time Army has been two games above the .500 mark at any point since ending the ‘96 year with a 10-2 mark.

Army's win at Duke snapped a seven-game losing streak to teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference. It also ended a 17-game losing streak versus ACC foes on the road.

The Black Knights have won five of their last seven games dating back to last season. Head coach Rich Ellerson is 8-8 in his 16 games on the West Point sideline. Army scored a total of seven victories in the 32 games prior to his arrival.

Army enters the month of October with a winning record since the 1996 team was unbeaten (3-0) in September. The Black Knights have won five of their eight games in September under Ellerson after winning a total of four September games between 2000-08 (4-30).

The Army offense utilized excellent field position that was set up by the Army defense's ability to turn the Blue Devils over last week. The Black Knights' first two scoring drives were three yards and five yards. Army also had a one-play, 34-yard touchdown drive following a Duke fumble. Army is +9 in turnover margin through four games and has scored 69 of its 118 points (58.5 percent) following turnovers. The Black Knights are third in the nation in turnover margin (+2.25).

Army has scored at least 24 points in each of the first four games. It is the first time the Black Knights have scored a minimum of 24 points in four consecutive games since a five-game stretch during the 2002 season. It is the first time they have done it to start a season since the 1996 squad scored 24-or-more points in each of its first eight games.

The Black Knights threw their first two touchdown passes of the season in the win at Duke. It was the first time since the 2007 campaign that Army threw multiple touchdown passes in a game.

• Put Army three games above the .500 mark since ending the 1996 season with a 10-2 mark.
• End Army's two-game losing streak against the Owls.
• Be Army's fourth win in the last five games against Mid-American Conference opponents.
• Be the Black Knights' ninth win in the last two seasons, its largest win total in back-to-back years since the 1996 (10) and 1997 (4) teams totalled 14 victories.
• Improve head coach Rich Ellerson's record at Army to 9-8, the best 17-game start for an Army coach since Tom Cahill posted a 14-3 mark (1966-67).
• Be the Black Knights' second straight win against an opponent that defeated them in 2009.
• Mark Army's third straight win, its longest winning streak since a four-game run in 2005.
• Be the 646th win in the 121 seasons of Army football (645-457-51; .582).

Temple head coach Al Golden is in his fifth season with the Owls. He has posted a 22-31 record, including a 9-4 mark last season. It was the program's first winning season since 1990. The Owls earned a berth in the 2009 EagleBank Bowl opposite UCLA, the schools' first postseason game in 30 years and only the Owls' third bowl appearance in school history.

The Owls nearly pulled off an upset at #23/20 Penn State last weekend. Temple led for much of the game before the Nittany Lions went ahead with 1:38 left in the third quarter and sealed the game with a late fourth-quarter touchdown. The Temple defense held Penn State to five field goals despite giving up 439 yards of total offense. Leading rusher Bernard Pierce ran for 42 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries before leaving the game with an ankle injury. Quarterback Chester Stewart was 8 for 19 for 46 yards and three interceptions.

Temple enters this week's game ranked 109th in the nation in total offense (286.25) and 85th in scoring offense (21.75). The Owls are averaging 146.5 yards per game on the ground, led by Pierce's 85.75 yards per contest which ranks 44th in the nation. Pierce has accounted for five of the Owls' six rushing scores this season.

Stewart has completed 57.3 percent of his passes (51-89) for 556 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in four games this season. Michael Campbell has been Stewart's most frequent target with 10 catches for 142 yards and one score. Pierce has caught four passes for 44 yards and a touchdown out of the backfield.

Defensively, the Owls are allowing 370.5 yards per game, but rank 33rd in the country in scoring defense at just 18.0 points per game. Temple has not allowed an opponent to score more than 24 points in a game yet this season.

Elijah Joseph is the team's top tackler with 28 stops. Tahir Whitehead has a team-leading 5.5 tackles for loss and is tied for the team lead in quarterback sacks with Muhammed Wilkerson (2).

Army leads the all-time series with Temple, 4-3. The Owls have won the last two meetings, including a 35-7 win their last trip to Michie Stadium on Aug. 29, 2008.

Of the seven previous meetings between the two teams, five have come at West Point. Army is 3-2 in those games.

Temple is the second of three Mid-American Conference teams on Army's docket this season. The Black Knights have already defeated Eastern Michigan and travel to Kent State on Nov. 13.

Army played three games against the MAC in 2009, going 2-1. The Black Knights scored wins over Eastern Michigan and Ball State, but lost to Temple.

2010 marks the fifth straight season Army has played at least one game versus a MAC opponent. It is the fourth straight year Black Knights have opened the season versus a Mid-American Conference foe (Akron, 2007; Temple, 2008; Eastern Michigan, 2009, 2010).

The Black Knights are 7-7 against the MAC since 2005. (2005: 1-1; 2006: 1-0; 2007: 1-2; 2008: 1-3; 2009: 2-1; 2010: 1-0).

Army is 20-12 all-time against teams currently competing in the MAC (Akron, 3-1; Ball State, 2-0; Buffalo, 1-2; Central Michigan, 0-2; Eastern Michigan, 4-0; Kent State, 1-0; Miami, 2-2; Northern Illinois, 1-0; Ohio, 1-0; Temple, 4-3; Western Michigan, 1-1).

A total of nine games against MAC teams are slated for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The Black Knights will travel to Northern Illinois, Ball State, Miami (Ohio) and Temple next season, and will host Northern Illinois, Kent State, Ball State and Temple as well as a road game at Eastern Michigan in 2012.

Temple scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to break open a 13-13 tie and score a 27-13 victory over Army at Lincoln Financial Field. The Black Knights rallied from a 13-0 second-quarter deficit to tie the game, but could not put any more points on the board.

The game turned on an Army 4th-and-less-than-1 from its own 24-yard line midway through the final stanza. The Black Knights elected to go for it, but Trent Steelman was stopped short on a quarterback sneak.

The Army defense appeared take the ball right back on the next play when Steve Erzinger pressured Temple's Vaughn Charlton and deflected the ball into the waiting arms of Donovan Travis with 9:09 left in the fourth quarter. There was a pass interference penalty on the play that was originally nullified with the tipped-ball ruling, but Temple challenged that determination. The replay officials reversed the call on the field that the ball was deflected, giving the Owls a first down at the Army 12-yard line after the interference penalty was enforced.

On 3rd-and-4 from the 6-yard line, Charlton hit Steve Maneri on a lob pass in the end zone to give the Owls back the lead for good. Temple tacked on another score following a Steelman fumble while being sacked at Army's 1-yard line.

Army outgained Temple, 256-195, including a 181-80 advantage on the ground, but the field position in the fourth quarter was too much to overcome.

Steelman was Army's leading rusher with 67 yards on 19 carries and completed all five of his throws for 56 yards and a touchdown. lejandro Villanueva caught four passes for 62 yards and a score

Temple's Bernard Pierce ran 11 times for 65 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game with an injury with 1:36 left in the first half. Kee-Ayre Griffin gained 41 yards and scored a touchdown on 12 carries. Charlton completed 8-of-14 passes for 115 yards and two scores.

The Army defense sacked Temple's quarterbacks five times, including four by Josh McNary.

Army has made one of its goals for the 2010 season to be the No. 1-ranked team in the nation in turnover margin. The Black Knights are close to their goal, ranking 3rd in the nation through three weeks with a +2.25 average turnover margin. Army was +5 in the win at Duke, forcing five miscues without giving the ball away.

After the Duke win, Army is 7-0 under Rich Ellerson when on the plus side of the turnover battle.

In Army's last eight wins Army is averaging 3.4 takeaways and holds a +2.4 turnover margin average (27-8 overall). Conversely, in its last eight losses, Army is averaging just 1.1 takeaway per game and is on the wrong end of a -0.63 turnover margin average (9-14 overall).

Since the start of 2006, the Black Knights have posted a 11-2 record when winning the turnover battle. On the flip side, Army is 5-22 when on the wrong end of the turnover margin and 1-10 when the turnover margin is even.

Army is 1-8 in its last nine games without forcing an opponent turnover.

Army reached the end zone via the rush four times in each of its first two games. It was the first time the Black Knights scored four rushing touchdowns in consecutive games since scoring four times on the ground against Cincinnati on Oct. 9, 2004 and five times at South Florida on Oct. 16, 2004.

Since the start of the 2000 season, Army has run for at least four touchdowns 11 times. The Black Knights are 8-3 in those games.

On the flip side, Army has lost its last 12 games when not scoring at least one rushing touchdown.

Army's first 14 touchdowns this season came via the rush. The 14 rushing scores without a passing touchdown represented the most since the 1997 squad scored its first 22 offensive touchdowns on the ground. Army threw its lone scoring pass of the season in the 10th game of the ‘97 campaign.

Army starts a two-game road stretch at Tulane on Saturday, Oct. 9. Kickoff in the Louisiana Superdome is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET.

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