TEAM Army and Temple squared off for just the seventh time on Saturday. It marked the third year in a row that the teams have clashed and the first meeting between the squads at Lincoln Financial Field. The Black Knights now lead the series 4-3.
Prior to Saturday, the Black Knights had not played Temple in the city of Philadelphia since soaring past the Owls 56-21 at Veterans Stadium in 1993.
Army’s struggles at Lincoln Financial Field continued on Saturday. The Black Knights are now 0-6 in games played at the “Linc.” The Black Knights had dropped each of their previous five showings at Lincoln Financial Field, all to Navy.
Temple marked the third and final Mid-American Conference opponent to face Army this fall. The Black Knights defeated Eastern Michigan and Ball State earlier in the year.
When Temple reached the end zone on the game’s opening possession, it marked the first time this year that Army’s opponent scored first in a game. The Black Knights trailed 13-3 at halftime, marking only the second time this season that Army has faced a deficit at the break.
The Black Knights were flagged for five penalties in the game’s first five minutes. Four of those penalties came on Temple’s opening drive, which resulted in a touchdown. In all, Army was whistled for eight penalties in the first quarter. Army was penalized a season-high 14 times for 100 yards in the game. It was only the seventh time since 1989 that Army was assessed 10-or-more penalties in a game.
When Army scored on a four-yard touchdown pass from Trent Steelman to Alejandro Villanueva in the third quarter, it marked the Black Knights’ first third-quarter touchdown of the season. Army scored 10 points in the third quarter versus Temple after managing a total of just three points in the third quarter in its previous six contests.
OFFENSE Freshman QB Trent Steelman made his seventh consecutive start for the Black Knights. It marks the highest total by a freshman quarterback in Army history.
Trent Steelman hit Alejandro Villanueva with a 4-yard scoring pass in the third quarter. It marked Steelman’s second touchdown pass of the season and Villanueva’s fourth touchdown reception.
DEFENSE Senior CB Mario Hill registered his second career interception during the first quarter on Saturday. Hill’s first pickoff came against Ball State last month.
Junior DE Josh McNary became Army’s quarterback sacks leader on career (15.0), single-season (9.5) and single-game (4.0) levels on Saturday. McNary registered four sacks against Temple to set the Army single-game record. He surpassed Cameron Craig (13.5) on the career chart and the trio of Jim Slomka, Zac Hurst and Clarence Holmes on the single-season mark.
Army’s defense was credited with five quarterback sacks against Temple on Saturday. The Black Knights registered a season-best six sacks in their opener against Eastern Michigan.
SPECIAL TEAMS Alex Carlton missed a 42-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter, marking his first failed attempt beyond 40 yards after four straight connections. He later drilled a 24-yarder and a 23-yarder, raising his season total to 12 field goals made this year. Carlton is now 12-for-16 on field goal tries this season overall and 4-for-5 from beyond 40 yards.
Alex Carlton stands tied for sixth on Army’s single-season list, six behind the Black Knights’ single-season record of 18 set by J. Parker in 1996. It marks only the fifth time that an Army player has reached double figures in field goals during a single season since 1991.
Alex Carlton has hit on 75.0 percent of his field goal attempts this season. That figure ranks sixth on Army’s career field goal percentage list (10 attempts minimum) and 11th on the Black Knights’ single-season chart.