The Tulane Green Wave (2-2, 1-0) will travel to face the Temple Owls (4-0, 1-0) in an American Athletic Conference matchup Saturday afternoon. Temple beat Tulane 10-3 as a 2 point favorite on the road back on December 6, 2014 in the most recent meeting between the two teams.
Tulane won their second straight as they outgunned winless Central Florida 45-31 at home last week. Temple romped to a 37-3 victory on the road over Charlotte last week. The kickoff for this contest is scheduled for 12:00 pm ET from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and will be televised on ESPNEWS. Temple is currently a 15 point favorite in this contest.
Tulane outgained Central Florida 395-357 but they cleaned up in the takeaway/giveaway department with five takeaways while committing just one turnover. Four scoring drives for the Green Wave started on the Central Florida side of the field as they put up touchdowns after starting at the Knights 42, 30, 10 and 3 yard lines. It makes it easy to put up points when you force takeaways on the opponent’s side of the field. The Green Wave was up 45-17 before the Knights scored a couple late touchdowns to make the score respectable.
The Green Wave is not a great offensive unit as they average 235 yards per game through the air and 117.8 yards per game on the ground. Tulane is putting up just 25 points a game despite their offensive onslaught this past week while allowing 35 points a game, which is 106th in the nation. Tanner Lee has hit 55.2 percent of his throws for 878 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions on the year. Dontrell Hilliard is the team’s leading rusher with 29 carries for 170 yards and two scores; Lazedrick Thompson (33 carries, 133 yards, TD) and Sherman Badie (16 carries, 121 yards, 2 TD) can carry the load if given an opportunity. Teddy Veal leads the team with 17 receptions for 245 yards and two scores while Devon Breaux adds 11 receptions for 240 yards and three scores as a big play candidate. Andrew DiRocco has hit all 13 extra points and three field goal attempts on the year.
Temple found themselves outgained 354-322 in the game but they still cruised to an easy victory in this contest. The Owls took advantage of great field position as they had touchdown drives that started on the Charlotte 47, 39 and 25 yard line. Temple also scored on a blocked punt for a touchdown and in general stifled Charlotte’s offense in the contest. The Owls held the ball for 34:26 compared to Charlotte’s 25:34 in the game and both teams committed one turnover.
The Owls aren’t a powerhouse on offense as they average 189 yards through the air and 159.2 yards per contest on the ground. They tend to take advantage of good field position as they average 30 points per game; their defense is 16th in the nation in scoring defense with an average of 15.5 points allowed per contest. P.J. Walker has hit 60.4 percent of his throws for 731 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions while averaging 6.59 yards per pass attempt. Jahad Thomas is the big weapon in the ground game with 100 carries for 503 yards and six scores; he is tied for second on the team with 10 receptions for 132 yards. Robby Anderson has caught a team leading 15 passes for 147 yards and three touchdowns while Ventell Bryant contributes 10 grabs for 105 yards. Austin Jones is 13 of 14 on extra points and eight of nine on field goals this season.
Temple is 4-1 ATS in their last five conference games, 4-1 ATS in their last five overall and 4-1 ATS in their last five after allowing less than 20 points. Tulane is 2-5 ATS in their last seven overall, 3-8 ATS in their last 11 after scoring at least 40 points, 2-6 ATS in their last eight on the road, 4-12 ATS in their last 16 on grass, 1-4 ATS in their last five against teams with a winning record and 1-4 ATS in their last five after giving up at least 280 yards through the air.
Tulane has won two straight but they’re going to have a tough time with Temple, especially with their tough defensive unit. The Owls are opportunistic and force turnovers to set up short fields for the offense. The Green Wave struggles with turnovers at times and that could burn them here; look for the Owls to take advantage of Tulane mistakes to get the victory.