WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Black Knights will be trying to win back-to-back games for the first time this season when they travel to Philadelphia to take on Temple. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.
TELEVISION Saturday's game will note be televised.
ARMY RADIO 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: John Minko Color Analyst: Dean Darling Sideline: Rich DeMarco Program Host: Bob Outer
The 90-minute “Army Football Tailgate Show,” hosted by Rich DeMarco and Bob Outer begins at 11 a.m. Pre-game coverage starts at 12:30 p.m.
SATELLITE RADIO The Army Sports Network game broadcast will be carried via Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 156) beginning at 1 p.m. INTERNET STREAMING A live video stream will be available to all ITT Knight Vision monthly and annual subscribers. Saturday’s video stream will be accompanied by the Temple radio crew’s game broadcast. Click here to sign up now anc catch all the action.
The entire Army Sports Network audio broadcast, including the “Army Football Tailgate Show,” will be streamed live via ITT Knight Vision on www.goARMYsports.com 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.
COACHING MATCHUP ARMY HEAD COACH RICH ELLERSON Alma Mater: Hawai’i, 1977 1st Season at Army (3-3, .500) 10th Season Overall (63-44, .589) Record vs. Vanderbilt: 0-0
TEMPLE HEAD COACH AL GOLDEN Alma Mater: Penn State, 1991 4th Season at Temple (13-28, .317) 4th Season Overall (12-28, .317) Record vs. Army: 1-1
Army is coming off a thrilling 16-13 overtime victory over Vanderbilt last weekend. Sophomore K Alex Carlton drilled a 42-yard field goal in the first extra session to secure the victory. The Owls have won three straight games against Mid-American Conference opponents, including last week’s 24-19 victory over Ball State. The Black Knights have also defeated the Cardinals this season, scoring a 24-17 victory at Michie Stadium on Sept. 19.
Carlton was a perfect 3 for 3 on field goal tries in the win over the Commodores, including a career-best 51-yard boot in the second quarter. It was the Black Knights first field goal of 50-or-more yards since Kurt Heiss knocked on through from 52 yards out against Navy on Dec. 3, 1994. Carlton is tied for sixth in the nation with 2.0 field goals per game.
Freshman QB Trent Steelman continued his development against the Commodores, rushing for 97 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries, all career-best numbers. It was the second straight game the rookie signal caller approached the century mark after running for 95 yards in the loss to Tulane. He also set career bests with seven pass completions in 16 attempts. His 47 passing yards represented his second-best day of the season. Steelman has taken every snap in each of the last two games.
Head coach Rich Ellerson’s emphasis on winning the turnover battle paid off yet again for the Black Knights. Army forced three Vanderbilt turnovers while giving the ball up just once. Army is 3-0 this season when on the positive side of the turnover ledger, while it has yet to win a game with either an even or negative turnover margin.
The biggest takeaway of the game came in the overtime period. Vanderbilt’s Warren Norman appeared destined to reach paydirt, but sophomore LB Andrew Rodriguez stripped the ball at the 1-yard line and the ball rolled out of the end zone for a touchback to give Army possession and set up Carlton’s heroics. Junior FS Donovan Travis and sophomore CB Antuan Aaron accounted for the other two takeaways with interceptions. Travis’ team-high fourth pick of the season set up a field goal that put Army on top 13-10 in the fourth quarter.
Rodriguez’s strip was the biggest of his many plays against the Commodores. He registered a career-high 13 tackles and broke up a pass.
Army’s red zone defense continued to shine against Vanderbilt. The Commodores penetrated the 20-yard line three times, but came away with only six points. In the last 17 games, the Black Knights have given up touchdowns just 23 times in 51 opponent red-zone trips (45.1 percent).
SCOUTING THE OWLS Head coach Al Golden is in his fourth season on the sidelines in Philadelphia. The former defensive coordinator at Virginia, has turned the Owls into a contender for the Mid-American Conference championship. Temple is off to a 3-0 start in league play this season after going 4-4 in MAC action in each of the last two seasons. The Owls’ five overall wins, including one against Army, last season were the most since the 1990 squad went 7-4.
The Owls have won three in a row after starting the season 0-2 with losses to Villanova (27-24) and at Penn State (31-6). They have since rebounded with wins against Buffalo (37-13), at Eastern Michigan (24-12) and versus Ball State (24-19). Temple and Army share a pair of common opponents. Each squad has scored wins at Eastern Michigan and home wins versus Ball State.
Temple forced five turnovers to aid in the win over the Cardinals last week. After taking a 10-0 first quarter lead, the Owls trailed 13-10, but scored 14 unanswered points to take the lead. Ball State scored on the final play of regulation to set the final score. The Temple defense limited the Cardinals to only 53 rushing yards and 290 yards of total offense. The Owls gained 106 yards on the ground and 292 yards of offense, while holding a 37:16-22:44 advantage in time of possession. Bernard Pierce ran for 125 yards and two scores on 26 carries. Vaughn Charlton completed 17-of-30 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown. Jaiquawn Jarrett led the defensive effort with nine tackles, a fumble recovery and two interceptions.
Offensively, Temple is averaging 331.4 yards and 23.0 points per game. The Owls boast a balanced attack, running for 146.2 yards and passing for 185.2 yards per contest. Temple has used quick starts to reach their current record. The Owls have outscored opponents 54-33 in the first half, but are on the short end of a 69-51 margin after halftime. Pierce leads the Owls’ running game with 97.8 yards per game, the 22nd-best average in the country. Charlton has completed 66-of-126 passes (52.4 percent) for 926 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions. Joe Jones is the Owls’ top receiver with 14 catches for 190 yards. Evan Rodriguez and James Nixon each have two touchdown catches.
Defensively, Temple is tied for 14th in the nation with 14 takeaways this season. Twelve of those 14 turnovers have come in the Owls’ three victories. On average, Temple is allowing 333.2 yards and 20.4 points per contest. Jarrett is the Owls’ leading defensive playmaker with 27 tackles. He has two interceptions, three pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. Adrian Robinson paceds the team with 5.0 tackles for loss and five quarterback sacks.
THE ARMY-TEMPLE SERIES Army leads the all-time series with Temple, 4-2. The Owls scored a 35-7 win at Michie Stadium in last season’s meeting, the season opener for both teams.
Of the six previous meetings between the two teams, five have come at West Point. Army is 3-2 in those games and was victorious in its only trip to Philadelphia, 17-7 in 1987.
ARMY VS. THE MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE Temple is the last of three Mid-American Conference teams on Army’s docket this season. The Black Knights are 2-0 so far this season, defeating Eastern Michigan and Ball State.
Army played four games versus the MAC last season, going 1-3 with a win versus Eastern Michigan and losses to Temple, Akron and Buffalo.
2009 marks the fourth straight season Army has played at least one game versus a MAC opponent. It is the third straight year Black Knights have opened the season versus a Mid-American Conference foe (Akron, 2007; Temple, 2008; Eastern Michigan, 2009).
The Black Knights are 6-6 against the MAC since 2005. (2005: 1-1; 2006: 1-0; 2007: 1-2; 2008: 1-3; 2009: 2-0).
Army is 19-11 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, 3-0; Kent State, 1-0; Miami, 2-2; Northern Illinois, 1-0; Ohio, 1-0; Temple, 4-2; Western Michigan, 1-1).
AN ARMY WIN VS. TEMPLE WOULD ... • Get the Black Knights over the .500 mark for the third time this season. Army did not have a winning record at any point between the start of the 1997 season and the end of the 2008 campaign. • Give the Black Knights four wins in a season for the first time since 2005 (4-7). • Be Army’s best seven-game start since the 1996 squad was 7-0. • Mark the first time since 2005 Army won at least two road games in one season. • Be the first time this season the Black Knights won two straight games. • Give the Black Knights a perfect 3-0 mark against the MAC this season. • Be the 641st win in the 120 seasons of Army football (640-452-51; .582).
LAST YEAR'S GAME: TEMPLE 35, ARMY 7 (AUG. 29, 2008) WEST POINT, N.Y. — Temple scored 14 points off of two Army turnovers and returned a kickoff for another score on the way to a 35-7 victory over the Black Knights at Michie Stadium in the season-opening game for both teams.
Army, providing the first look at its new option-based offense, outgained the Owls by 34 yards but was hurt by two fumbles and a long kick return.
Temple quarterback Adam DiMichele, one of 55 returning letterwinners, completed 15 of 22 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns, and Jamal Schulters returned a kickoff 98 yards for a score as the Owls won their season-opener.
Army fullback Collin Mooney paced the offense with career-highs in attempts (26) and yards (81). Tony Dace carried six times for 40 yards and the lone Army touchdown. The Black Knights held a 284-250 advantage in total offense.
Temple scored the first points midway through the first quarter and jumped out to a 28-0 lead before Dace put the Black Knights on the board with 7:10 left in the third quarter. The Owls tacked on its final score on a one-yard run by Marquise Liverpool just more than a minute into the fourth quarter. FIRST-STRIKE CAPABILITY Army took a 3-0 lead against Vanderbilt on a 51-yard field goal by sophomore K Alex Carlton with 6:22 left in the second quarter. It was the sixth straight game that the Black Knights posted the game’s first points. Army has jumped out to a 7-0 lead four times and a 3-0 advantage on two occasions.
The Black Knights have scored touchdowns on their first possession in four of their six games this season. The Iowa State and Vanderbilt games are the only two times they have not scored on their initial drive. Army has scored a touchdown on its first drive in seven of the last 13 games.
Last week’s victory over Vanderbilt marked the first time this season that the Black Knights did not score at least a field goal in the first quarter. Army’s 3-0 halftime lead represented the first time this season that the Black Knights did not score a touchdown in the first half. Army is outscoring its opponents 33-10 in the first quarter. It is the only quarter that the Black Knights hold the scoring advantage.
While the Black Knights have own the first quarter, the third quarter has been a struggle. Army has yet to score a touchdown in the third period and is being outscored at a 24-3 clip through six games.
WINNING WHERE IT COUNTS Vanderbilt outgained the Black Knights, 304-269, but Army scored a 16-13 victory over the Commodores. It was the sixth time in Army’s last nine wins that the opponent held the total offense advantage.
The Black Knights have used special teams and defense to make up for any offensive shortcomings in those six victories. In those games, Army has recorded at least one defensive or special teams touchdown three times. Army’s defense and special teams have totaled six touchdowns in those four games.
UP NEXT ... The Black Knights return home to face Rutgers on Friday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. Army will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1984 team that defeated Michigan State in the Cherry Bowl. The first 5,000 fans through the gates at Michie Stadium will receive a commemorative print of that squad. It is the second straight time that the Scarlet Knights have come to Michie Stadium for a Friday night game. Rutgers scored a 41-6 win on Nov. 9, 2007.