Temple hosts UConn with chance to go to AAC title game
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Temple coach Matt Rhule knows what's on the line against UConn. Ranked again after falling out the previous week, the No. 25 Owls are poised to do something they've never done before.
Temple is already having one of its best seasons, and a win over the Huskies would give the Owls their first 10-win regular season in school history. A victory - or a USF loss - would also mean Temple clinches the American Athletic Conference East Division and a spot in the league championship game.
''If it's different now than it was then, then we weren't preparing properly before,'' Rhule said. ''We do the same drills. ... It looks the same now as it did the first week of the season. We don't change. We're either going to win the game and prepare for another game or we're going to lose the game and come in on Sunday and prepare for a bowl game.''
UConn is bowl eligible for the first time since 2010 under second-year coach Bob Diaco.
''We're right on time,'' he said. ''We're not any further along beyond expectation, but not behind where we were hoping to be either. We were hoping to be bowl eligible in Year 2.''
MIRROR IMAGES: Rhule thinks the Huskies and Owls are very similar, with both playing hard-nosed defense, liking to run the ball on offense and making plays on special teams.
INTERCEPTIONS: UConn lead the American Athletic Conference in interceptions with seven, while sophomore cornerback Jamar Summers is third in the nation and first in the American in interceptions with seven on the year.
TOP 25 STRUGGLES: UConn hasn't done very well against ranked opponents. The Huskies are 3-23 in games against teams in the AP Top 25. But they are coming off a win over previously undefeated and No. 13 Houston.
WALKER CLOSING IN ON CARRER HIGHS: Temple quarterback P.J. Walker needs 29 yards and four TDs to reach career highs in those categories. Walker would also rank send all-time in Temple history in both if he reaches the milestones.
HOSTING THE HOMETOWN: Temple senior linebacker Tyler Matakevich is a Connecticut native. The Bednarik Award finalist leads all active tacklers in FBS. He also has five interceptions this season, a new single-season record for linebackers.