On commercials you can flip to Penn State-LSU

On commercials you can flip to Penn State-LSU

"The football cake" originally uploaded by Flickr user Mission Control

Understandably the Flyers will take top priority in the Philly region on the first day of 2010, but if you are looking for something to check out during intermission or on commercials than change the channel to the Capital One Bowl, which will feature Penn State and LSU.

Penn State makes their fourth appearance in the bowl formerly known as the Citrus Bowl down in sunny Orlando. They will face one of the tougher teams in the SEC in only the second meeting between the two programs. The 1974 Orange Bowl victory for Penn State is the only other time they have played the Tigers, but none of that will matter in 2010.

Penn State's offense should be able to score enough points to come away with a victory to ring in the new year but the LSU defense could pose a threat to Penn State's hopes. The Nittany Lions have lost two games this season and in each game their offense was thwarted by stingy defenses against Iowa and Ohio State. Sure, Penn State did a number on the rest of their opposition this season, but the track record shows that when Penn State plays the big boys they tend to play like Nittany Cubs.

This bowl match-up looks to be the most interesting one in the bowl schedule, perhaps even more so than one or two of the high profile BCS games. Both teams are used to big games. Not so long ago LSU won the national championship. Over the last four seasons LSU has won four bowl games by an average of over 25 points per game, although they do not seem to have the kind of offensive firepower to continue that trend against a veteran Penn State defense that allows fewer than 12 points per game.

So when the pucks stop being shot on goal for a moment or two today switch over to the Capital One Bowl for some warm sunshine and hard nosed college football. It's really what New Year's Day is still all about. consider this your game thread for the Capital One Bowl this afternoon, but if you are still aching for hockey, stay tuned.

For more college football coverage form Kevin McGuire, stop by Examiner.com where he has been covering Penn State football all season and has recently taken the role of national college football writer. In addition stop by NittanyWhiteOut.com for more on the blue and white.

Temple at No. 19 Navy: Owls go for first AAC title

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Temple at No. 19 Navy: Owls go for first AAC title

Temple (9-3) at No. 19 Navy (9-2)
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Saturday, noon, ABC

It would have been hard to picture Temple in the American Athletic Conference championship game after the Owls’ first game of the season, a 28-13 loss to Army.

But that’s exactly where they are three months later, as Temple will take on No. 19 Navy in the conference championship game Saturday.

The Owls and Midshipmen have both been handling opponents as of late. Temple’s won its last four games by at least three touchdowns, while Navy has outscored opponents 141-62 in its past two games.

Let’s take a look at how one of the country’s top offenses and one of the country’s top defenses match up.

Scouting Temple
The Owls' defense seems to get better every week. Temple ranks No. 3 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total defense and No. 10 in scoring defense. The only two teams that rank higher than the Owls in both categories are Alabama and Michigan.

Teams haven’t scored more than 13 points against the Owls in their last four games, and Temple is outscoring opponents 123-23 during that stretch.

Redshirt-senior defensive lineman Haason Reddick was named a first team all-conference selection earlier this week. He leads the FBS in tackles for loss. Redshirt-senior Praise Martin-Oguike is coming off one of his best games of the season last week against East Carolina, in which he had two sacks, including a forced fumble. He has seven sacks this season.

On offense, Temple’s goal this week will be to sustain drives and keep Navy’s offense off the field. The Owls are currently No. 5 in the FBS in time of possession, holding the ball for more than 34 minutes per game.

Earlier in the week, coach Matt Rhule said senior quarterback Phillip Walker was questionable for Saturday’s game. Walker will likely play, but the Owls might be without one of their top offensive weapons.

Rhule said sophomore running back Ryquell Armstead is doubtful. Armstead has 842 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.

Scouting Navy
The Midshipmen have one of the simplest — yet at that same time one of the best — offenses in the country. Navy ranks No. 2 in rushing yards at 342 yards per game.

Quarterback Will Worth runs the triple option for Navy. He has 2,544 total yards of offense and 33 total touchdowns. He’s passed for 1,363 yards and rushed for 1,181 more.  Worth has a touchdown in 11 straight games.

Worth has attempted 258 rushes compared to 115 passing attempts. Four other Navy players have at least 40 rushing attempts this season.

Senior wide receiver Jamir Tillman is the Midshipmen’s best receiving threat. The 6-foot-4 wideout has 32 catches for 533 yards and two touchdowns.

Navy’s defense hasn’t been quite as elite as its offense. The Midshipmen have allowed 30 or more points in four of their last five games.

The Midshipmen are allowing 265 passing yards per game. Opposing quarterbacks have averaged 313 yards and three touchdowns in their last three contests.

Storyline to watch: Can Temple find a way to stop the triple option?
The last time these two teams played was in 2014, when Navy ran for 487 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-24 win against the Owls at Lincoln Financial Field. Temple’s most recent matchup against the triple option was when it lost to Army in its season opener. The Black Knights ran for 329 yards and four touchdowns. With only a week to prepare, Temple will have to find a way to cure its option woes if it wants a chance to win Saturday.

What’s at stake?
The Owls have only won one other conference championship in program history, when they won the Mid-Atlantic Conference in 1967. A win would also give Temple its third 10-win season in program history. If Western Michigan loses Friday night, Temple also puts itself in contention for a spot in the Cotton Bowl with a win.

Prediction
Temple has to figure out this option thing at some point, right? The Owls’ ability to convert on third down and sustain long drives will help slow Navy's offense. This one will most likely come down to who has the ball last, but the Owls are a little bit more well-rounded, so they get the edge. Temple 31, Navy 28