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No. 20 Cincinnati plays 1st game as ranked team at Temple

No. 20 Cincinnati plays 1st game as ranked team at Temple
Posted at 5:04 PM, Oct 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-18 17:04:34-04

Cincinnati (6-0, 2-0 American) at Temple (4-3, 3-0), noon, ESPNU.

Line: Temple by 3½.

Series record: Temple leads 12-7-1.

What's at stake?

The surprising Bearcats are playing their first game as a ranked team this season, facing their toughest test. They're one of eight unbeaten teams left in the FBS — three of them are in the American Athletic (along with UCF and South Florida). After dropping home games against Villanova and Buffalo to open the season, Temple has won four of five and remains unbeaten in the AAC.

Key matchup

Temple redshirt sophomore Anthony Russo had his best game during a 24-17 win at Navy, throwing for 300 yards and a touchdown. He'll be facing a defense ranked No. 4 nationally in yards and points allowed.

Players to watch

Temple: CB Rock Ya-Sin has two interceptions and has knocked down nine passes in a young secondary that has allowed only six completions of at least 20 yards. The Owls' defense is the toughest that redshirt freshman Desmond Ridder will face so far. Ridder has completed 66 percent of his passes for 1,062 yards, 10 TDs and two interceptions.

Cincinnati: RB Michael Warren leads a running game that has been a key to Cincinnati's fast start. He's scored 11 touchdowns and averaged 110.7 yards per game, taking the pressure off Ridder.

Facts & figures

Temple has won three straight in the series, outscoring Cincinnati 103-63. ... Temple has scored two touchdowns off interceptions, two off fumbles, and one each off a blocked field goal, a blocked punt, a fake punt and a punt return. ... WR Ventell Bryant has caught at least one pass in all 42 games of his career, tied for longest active streak in FBS with Fresno State's KeeSean Johnson. ... The Bearcats are bowl eligible for the first time since 2015. ... Cincinnati has four comeback wins in its unbeaten start. The Bearcats trailed by 10 points at UCLA, 21 points against Ohio, seven at UConn and four against Tulane.