Nov. 17, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Army will look to snap its two-game losing streak on Saturday, Nov. 19, when the Black Knights travel to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa., to face Mid-American Conference foe Temple. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
ESPN3.com will carry a live videostreamed broadcast of Saturday afternoon's matchup with Scott Graham (play by play) and Rob Harley (color analyst) calling the action. For a complete list of internet providers that offer the service, visit www.ESPN3.com.
The Army Sports Network will have the audio call of the game on its flagship station WABC (770-AM), as well as WALL (1340-AM) and WEOK (1390-AM), Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 93) and ITT Knight Vision. Rich DeMarco (play by play), Dean Darling (color analyst) and Tony Morino (sideline reporter) will cover the game on the Army Sports Network.
Army, which has lost four of its last five games, was officially eliminated from bowl contention following last week's 27-12 setback to Rutgers. The Black Knights enter this Saturday's contest versus Temple showing a 3-7 record.
Temple (6-4) became bowl eligible last Wednesday evening when the Owls knocked off MAC rival Miami (Ohio), 24-21. The Owls were outgained by the RedHawks, 428-310, but forced three turnovers en route to the victory.
Army and Temple will be meeting for just the ninth time when the two Northeast schools match up on Saturday. The teams have split the eight previous meetings with each school winning four times. The Owls rallied from a 15-point second deficit to defeat the Black Knights, 42-35, last season at West Point. Army's most recent victory over Temple dates back to a 37-21 triumph during the 2007 campaign.
Army head coach Rich Ellerson is in his third season as the Black Knights' mentor. He enters Saturday's matchup with a 15-20 record at West Point. Ellerson, who directed Army to its first bowl victory since 1985 last year, has amassed a career record of 75-61 in 12 seasons as a college head coach. Ellerson shows a 0-2 record versus Temple.
Temple is coached by Steve Addazio, who is in first season guiding the Owls. A 1981 graduate of Central Connecticut State, Addazio arrived in Philadelphia after spending six seasons as an assistant coach at Florida. The first-year head coach also served terms as an assistant at Indiana, Notre Dame and Syracuse.
Army's offense, which is averaging 26.3 points per game, continues to lead the nation in rushing yards per game (352.0). The Black Knights have racked up more than 300 yards rushing in eight of their first 10 games this season.
Army junior quarterback Trent Steelman, who has missed the Black Knights' last three games, hopes to return to the lineup this week. Army's third-year signal caller leads the team with 347 yards passing and ranks second on the squad with 576 yards rushing. Steelman has rushed for 11 touchdowns and thrown for two scores.
Despite missing last week's game due to an injury, sophomore running back Raymond Maples leads Army on the ground with 891 rushing yards. The second-year back has posted five 100-yard games already this season. Maples lists tied for second on the team with four rushing touchdowns. He needs 109 yards to become just the third sophomore in Academy history to top the 1,000-yard plateau.
Freshman fullback Larry Dixon has emerged as an integral part of the Army offense over the past several weeks. The first-year performer, who rushed for a career-high 93 yards and a touchdown versus Rutgers last week, ranks third on the team with 435 yards rushing and is tied with Maples for second on the squad with four rushing TDs. Dixon has found the end zone in each of Army's last three games.
Senior wide receiver Davyd Brooks is one of the Black Knights' most reliable pass catchers. The rangy wideout, who matched his career high with three receptions against Rutgers last Saturday, ranks among Army's leaders with seven catches and 130 receiving yards.
Senior linebacker Steven Erzinger anchors Army's defense, which is yielding 27.0 points and 358.8 yards of total offense per game. Erzinger tops the Black Knights with 85 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 quarterback sacks. He enters this weekend's action ranked 25th in the nation in tackles per game (9.44).
Sophomore defensive back Thomas Holloway, who posted a game-high 14 tackles and recorded his first career interception last week versus Rutgers, lists second on the team with 61 tackles. Junior defensive end Zach Watts, meanwhile, ranks among the Black Knights' leaders with 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 quarterback sacks.
Temple's offense, which is averaging 28.5 points per game, finds success primarily through its potent run game. The Owls, who rank eighth nationally in rushing yards per game (254.3), have scored 27 rushing touchdowns through 10 games. Conversely, Temple is averaging just 128.7 yards per game through the air with nine aerial scores.
Junior running back Bernard Pierce, who has amassed 1,035 yards and 19 touchdowns, spearheads the Owls' prolific rushing attack. Junior running back Matt Brown, who rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown last week filling in for an injured Pierce, has totaled 702 yards and three TDs. Brown torched the Army defense last season, rushing for 226 yards and four scores in Temple's come-from-behind victory.
Temple has played three different quarterbacks this season. Sophomore Chris Coyer got the start versus Miami last week and was productive as both a passer and a runner. The second-year signal caller passed for 92 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 97 yards and a score. For the season, Coyer has thrown for 215 yards and four touchdowns, and rushed for 450 yards and three TDs.
Senior tight end Evan Rodriguez leads Temple's receiving corps with 30 receptions and 385 receiving yards. Sophomore wide receiver Deon Miller has emerged as a threat on the outside, having hauled in 16 passes for 209 yards and a team-best three touchdowns.
The Temple defense is a stingy unit that ranks fourth nationally in scoring defense (13.6 points per game) and lists 13th in total defense (305.5 yards per game). The Owls have been extremely strong against the run this season, allowing a mere 102.8 yards per game on the ground to rank 14th in the country.
Senior linebacker Stephen Johnson paces the Temple defense with a team-high 83 tackles, including 4.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks. Senior linebacker Tahir Whitehead (11.0 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks) and senior defensive end Adrian Robinson (11.0 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks) have been terrorizing opponents behind the line of scrimmage all season. Junior defensive back Justin Gildea leads the Temple secondary with a team-best three interceptions.
Following Saturday's game, Army will have three weeks to prepare for the 112th edition of the Army-Navy game, which will be played on Saturday, Dec. 10, at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. Kickoff for the contest, which will be broadcast live to a national audience on CBS, is set for 2:30 p.m.