By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Temple Owls have just two games left in the regular season, including Saturday when they host Cincinnati in American Athletic Conference action.
The Owls sit at 5-5 (3-3 in the AAC) and they are coming off a bye week. Last time out, on November 15th, they lost on the road at Penn State, 30-13.
Temple needs one more win to become bowl-eligible this season, but it has been tough sledding as of late. Since a 4-1 start, the Owls have lost 4 of 5.
This will be the final home game of the regular season for the Owls, so that makes it a very special game for Temple’s senior class.
“There’s not many of them (just eight),” Temple head coach Matt Rhule tells KYW Newsradio. “So I think what that says, right off the bat, is that these were the guys that were tough enough and dedicated enough and loved Temple enough to stay through, probably some adverse times, some different head coaches, some changes. And I couldn’t be more grateful for them and for what they’ve contributed. And to have us now be in a position to be bowl eligible, to accomplish some things that they came to Temple to do, I think is outstanding. We’re really appreciative of them and what they’ve done, both academically and athletically.”
Listen to Temple coach Matt Rhule with KYW’s Matt Leon:
The big problem as of late has been offense for Temple. The Owls scored 35 points in a 35-24 win over Tulsa on October 11th, a win which capped that 4-1 start. But in the last five games, Temple has scored a total of just 70 points (14 ppg).
The Temple defense has been consistently good all season long, but that unit will have its hands full against the 7-3 Bearcats (5-1 in the AAC), who have won five straight and average more than 37 points per game.
“They are dynamic on offense,” Rhule says. “They have four great receivers, a tremendous and veteran offensive line, and Gunner Kiel is their quarterback who really is setting a bunch of records right now. So they are a group that is scoring a lot of points on everybody, whether it is Ohio State (50-28 loss on 9/27), Miami (FL) (55-34 loss on 10/11) or the teams in conference.”
Last year the Owls lost to the Bearcats in Cincinnati, 38-20.
Saturday’s game will kickoff at the Linc at noon.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.
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