College Football
Cincinnati at Temple
When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 28, 2020
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Undefeated and No. 7 Cincinnati might be on the edge of the conversation for the College Football Playoff, but all coach Luke Fickell said he is focusing on is getting an American Athletic Conference title for his Bearcats.

"We don't talk about outside," Fickell said after his team's 36-33 win last week over UCF. "We talk about opportunities to win a championship. We have not done that yet. If we can do that, it will give us an opportunity to continue to state our case for our league and whatever people believe in."

Next up for the Bearcats (8-0, 6-0 AAC) is Saturday's game at Temple, where a win would eliminate the possibility of any messy tie-breaking procedures to get the Bearcats into the AAC Championship Game on Dec. 19.

The Owls (1-6, 1-6 AAC) are on a five-game losing streak and are closing a frustrating season marred by COVID-19 cases and injuries.

Last week the Owls started a walk-on freshman at quarterback after Anthony Russo had a positive COVID-19 test and injuries sidelined sophomores Trad Beatty and Re-al Mitchell, who had stepped in when Russo was out four games because of a shoulder injury.

With freshman Matt Duncan suspended for violating team rules, Temple started Kamal Gray, who completed only 10 of 21 passes for 95 yards. Branden Mack moved over from his wide receiver position at the start of the second half, but went down with a shoulder injury that has sidelined him his week.

Russo has returned to practice, but coach Rod Carey said he isn't sure he will be ready for game action.

"He hasn't thrown a ball in two weeks, so we don't know," Carey said.

Gray will start again if Russo can't play.

Fickell has no such issues. His quarterback, junior Desmond Ridder, is having a banner season (66.5 completion percentage, 227.6 average yards a game passing, and 65.8 rushing), and he rushed for two touchdowns and passed for two in the win over UCF. He has rushed for 11 touchdowns and passed for 16 for the season.

"The guy never ceases to amaze me," Fickell said. "I love it when people start to doubt him or start to question what is he doing or how good is he or can he really throw the football. All those things to him just really make him better, make him lock in and focus."

The Bearcats are looking to improve to 9-0 for the first time since the 2009 team finished the regular-season 12-0 under coach Brian Kelly before losing to Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

After the trip to Temple, the Bearcats will have an open date before going to Tulsa on Dec. 12. Home field in the AAC title game could be on the line if the Golden Hurricane (5-1, 5-0 AAC) beat Houston and Navy in their next two games.

--Field Level Media

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Cincinnati 8-0 W8 40.9 15.0 6-0 2-0 1-0 0-0 6-0
Temple 1-6 L5 19.9 37.1 1-2 0-4 1-3 0-0 1-6
Last Meeting
Cincinnati Temple
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/23/19 TEM 13 CIN 15 210 148 62 310 78 232
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Cincinnati D. Ridder 36.0 62 0 1
Temple A. Russo 55.8 228 1 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Cincinnati M. Warren II 24 106 4.4 1
Temple R. Davis 13 71 5.5 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Cincinnati R. Medaris 2 19 9.5 0
Temple J. Blue 13 120 9.2 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Cincinnati M. Warren II 1
Temple R. Davis 1
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Cincinnati D. Ridder 66.5 1821 16 6
Temple A. Russo 68.1 863 9 6
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Cincinnati G. Doaks 137 660 4.8 7
Temple R. Davis 78 308 3.9 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Cincinnati J. Jackson 20 297 14.8 1
Temple J. Blue 41 371 9.0 5
Touchdowns Player TD
Cincinnati D. Ridder 11
Temple J. Blue 5
Quickchart Matchup
Cincinnati Cincinnati Off vs  Temple Temple Def
Cincinnati 473.1 yards
Temple 433 yards
Cincinnati 5.9 yards/rush
Temple 4.8 yards/rush
Cincinnati 8.3 yards/attempt
Temple 9.2 yards/attempt
Temple Temple Off vs  Cincinnati Cincinnati Def
Temple 348.3 yards
Cincinnati 308.1 yards
Temple 3.5 yards/rush
Cincinnati 3.1 yards/rush
Temple 6.1 yards/attempt
Cincinnati 5.5 yards/attempt