EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — We take you back to 2008. With 50 seconds to play, Owls quarterback Adam DiMichele on 4th-and-7 pitched the ball, which was then reversed, heaved down the field, tipped in the end zone, and finally caught by wide receiver Bruce Francis, who had a foot down in play. He was ruled out of bounds.
The play was reviewed and the call on the field was upheld. Temple went on to lose, 22-17.
Golden held onto that grudge for the next two seasons and is probably still pissed off about it down in Miami.
As for matters that actually relate to Saturday's 1 p.m. kickoff...
• Temple has not won a road game in the Big East since Nov. 16, 2002, a 20-17 victory at Rutgers. The Owls went the next two seasons without a road win in conference play.
• Temple has never won back-to-back games in the Big East. From 1991 to 2004, the team never won two games in a row against conference opponents.
• The Temple and UConn offenses are currently locked in a battle to see which can be the least effective in the nation at moving the ball. Temple averages the eighth-fewest yards per game (303) in the FBS, while UConn averages the 10th fewest (310.5). Still, Temple has an edge in points scored, putting up 29 per game to UConn's 19.8.
• On the other side of the ball, UConn boasts the sixth-best total defense in the country, and gives up the eighth-fewest rushing yards, just 82 a game. They're 21st against the pass.
• Much like last week vs. South Florida, Temple has a distinct edge when it comes to giveaways and takeways. The Owls have the 10th-best turnover margin in the nation, while UConn has the 10th worst, a stat no doubt worsened by starting QB Chandler Whitmer's 10 interceptions in six games. Whitmer's total is tied for the national lead.
Odds and Ends
• Via VegasInsider, UConn opened as a three-point favorite but is now sitting -5.5. The over/under opened at 44 and has dipped to 41.
• Watch the game on ESPN3 or listen to Harry and
Steve on 1210 AM. I'm up here in Conn. and will be tweeting from
Rentschler Field @cnmenta if you're interested.
• If you've got some time this morning or early afternoon, here's a little extra reading on today's matchup...