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College Football
Preview
Army at Temple
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, September 2, 2016
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Even though last year's dream season ended in a nightmare, Temple comes into the 2016 campaign feeling particularly optimistic. The Owls kick off the season Friday against visiting Army, which is essentially coming off five nightmare seasons in a row.

The Owls started 7-0 last season before a heart-breaking loss to Notre Dame began a tough season-ending stretch that included back-to-back defeats in the American Athletic title game and the Boca Raton Bowl. “(This season) is an opportunity for us for to be great this year again and we’re looking forward to it," quarterback Phillip Walker said to reporters this week. "I think we have a great team that’s willing to go out there and put everything on the line each week just to have success at the end of the season.” Walker passed for 2,973 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2015, while Jahad Thomas also returns for a fourth season after posting 1,262 rushing yards and 17 scores on the ground in 2015. On the other hand, the Black Knights have won a total of 14 games over the last half-decade, including a 2-10 campaign in 2015.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network. LINE: Temple -16

ABOUT ARMY (2015: 2-10): The Black Knights suffered seven of their 10 losses by a touchdown or less in 2015 and now they will be without star running back Aaron Kemper, who was dismissed from the team earlier this summer. Starting quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw threw a team-high 48 passes all of last season (and he completed less than half), although he accounted for 468 rushing yards and five of the team's 24 rushing touchdowns. "We want to run the football, and that's not a secret to anybody. Temple probably knows that," Army coach Jeff Monken said this week. "I'm sure they are preparing to play the option run game, and we're planning to run the option against them."

ABOUT TEMPLE (2015: 10-4, 7-1 American Athletic): "We want to be the greatest Temple team ever, every year," boasted senior linebacker Avery Williams. "When I leave, I want those dudes to focus on being the greatest Temple team that year. Nobody’s complacent around here. We want to get better each year and just keep getting better.” In order to be truly great, Williams and his defensive teammates will need to replace linebacker Tyler Matakevich, the reigning Bronco Nagurski Award winner as the nation's best defensive player. Matakevich is one of three defensive starters from last season who are now in the NFL, leaving some big shoes to fill for a defense that ranked 17th nationally in points allowed (20.1) in 2015.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Only 11 teams in the nation averaged more rushing yards than Army (244.25) in 2015.

2. Haason Reddick is the Owls' leading returning pass rusher with five sacks a season ago.

3. Temple returns its kicker, punter, top two kick returners and top punt returner from 2015.

PREDICTION: Temple 33, Army 16
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Army 0-0 - 0.0 0.0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Temple 0-0 - 0.0 0.0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Last Meeting
Army Temple
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/19/13 ARMY 14 TEM 33 338 255 83 361 158 203
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Army K. White 43.8 79 1 2
Temple P. Walker 62.5 203 2 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Army L. Dixon 16 84 5.2 0
Temple Z. Williams 19 94 4.9 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Army X. Moss 5 40 8.0 0
Temple J. Fitzpatrick 4 128 32.0 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Army P. Laird 1
Temple J. Christopher 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Army N/A
Temple N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Army N/A
Temple N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Army N/A
Temple N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Army N/A
Temple N/A
Quickchart Matchup
Army Army Off vs  Temple Temple Def
Army 0 yards
Temple 0 yards
Army 0 yards/rush
Temple 0 yards/rush
ArmyTemple
Temple Temple Off vs  Army Army Def
Temple 0 yards
Army 0 yards
TempleArmyTempleArmy