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Temple loses leading tackler to season-ending ACL injury

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Temple was down an important man on the defensive side of the ball last night, and will remain that way for however long their season continues.

Citing multiple sources, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Chapelle Russell has been diagnosed with a torn ACL. The linebacker suffered the injury in the Week 10 win over Navy and didn’t play in Friday night’s win over Cincinnati.

As a result of the injury, obviously, Russell will miss the remainder of the 2017 season.

This is the second straight year Russell’s season has been cut short. He missed the last month of the 2016 season plus the postseason after suffering a knee injury during a November practice.

Entering the game against the Bearcats, Russell led the Owls in tackles (70) and was tied for the team lead in forced fumbles (two). Russell, who had started the last eight games, had also been credited with 3.5 tackles for loss.

At 5-5, Temple needs to win one of its last two games to become bowl-eligible.

Wild third quarter helps Temple beat Cincinnati to remain in the hunt for a bowl game

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It’s the first day of the college basketball season and for one half of play it sure seemed like the Temple and Cincinnati football teams would rather be watching hoops given their effort through the first of two extremely boring quarters of football. Luckily the pair seemed to snap out of things at halftime as things got a little crazy in the third quarter before the Owls eventually pulled away with a 35-24 win on Friday night.

The two sides traded touchdowns coming out of the locker room at the break to inject quite a bit of life into an otherwise sloppy game between teams that are fighting to remain above water on the season. As part of four trips to the end zone in the third quarter, there was also a dropped punt snap that resulted in a turnover on downs, a two point conversion off a reverse pass and an Isaiah Wright 98-yard kick return for an Owls score.

Redshirt junior Frank Nutile continued to rack up big plays for Temple with both his arm and his legs. Making just his third start behind center, the quarterback threw for 224 yards and a touchdown (one interception) while also rushing for 28 yards and a score. He formed a pretty good combo in the backfield with tailback David Hood, who ran for 89 yards and a touchdown as the Owls racked up over 400 yards of offense.

The picture was quite as so rosy on the home sideline as the Bearcats were shutout in the first half and turned the ball over on a fumble. Hayden Moore threw for 217 yards on 20-of-36 passing (two TD’s) despite the shaky effort to start the game at quarterback. Mike Boone was all over the field for the offense in the second half, winding up with 58 yards and a touchdown rushing while also throwing a pass and catching a touchdown. It just wasn’t enough to keep pace with their opponent in a loss that knocks the team out of the running to make it in to the postseason.

The flip side is the outcome was good enough to keep Temple in the hunt for a bowl game and move them to .500 on the year. They still have to play undefeated UCF among their final two games but it certainly seems like a squad hitting their stride with Nutile at quarterback and a defense that knows how to limit big plays.

AAC announced hurricane-related adjustment to league slate

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Several FBS games were affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma the first two weeks of the college football season.  Wednesday, one conference took significant steps to get their games in, although there’s still one left to take.

South Florida’s Week 2 game against UConn was postponed as the Bulls prepared for Irma to hit the Tampa area.  The AAC has now announced that game will be played on Nov. 4, which triggered the adjustment of a handful of other games in the conference involving not only those two schools but Cincinnati, East Carolina and Houston as well.

Below are all of the scheduling changes made by the league in an effort to get all AAC games played this season.

UCONN
UConn will host ECU Sunday, Sept. 24 (replacing an open date) and will host USF Saturday, Nov. 4 (replacing the original date of the ECU game). The game will be played on a Sunday due to the unavailability of Pratt & Whitney Stadium on Saturday.

USF
USF will host Cincinnati Saturday, Oct. 14 (replacing a previously scheduled game against Massachusetts), will host Houston Saturday, Oct. 28 (replacing the original game against Cincinnati), and will play at UConn Saturday, Nov. 4 (replacing the original game against Houston).

CINCINNATI
Cincinnati will play at USF Saturday, Oct. 14 and will have its open date Oct. 28 (replacing an Oct. 14 open date and the game at USF Oct. 28).

ECU
ECU will visit UConn Sunday, Sept. 24 (replacing an open date), will have an open date Saturday, Oct. 28 (replacing a game against Houston), and will play at Houston Saturday, Nov. 4 (replacing the previously scheduled game against UConn).

HOUSTON
Houston will play at USF Saturday, Oct. 28 (instead of Nov. 4) and will host ECU Saturday, Nov. 4 (instead of Oct. 28).

Still left to be rescheduled is the Memphis-UCF game, which was postponed last weekend as well because of Irma.

“I would like to thank our presidents, athletic directors and our head football coaches for their outstanding collaboration and cooperation to resolve this unprecedented situation in as fair a manner as possible,” said commissioner Mike Aresco in a statement. “I would also like to acknowledge and thank Ryan Bamford of UMass for his cooperation and understanding. This was not an easy process, but we feel that this revised schedule is a significant step toward giving us the best opportunity to decide our champion on the field.”

 

Cincinnati and Miami Ohio extend series through 2029

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The Battle for the Victory Bell will continue to be fought through at least 2029. Cincinnati and Miami Ohio have announced they will continue to play on an annual basis through 2029 in quite the long-term scheduling arrangement. The rivalry extends back to 1888 and shows no signs of being abandoned any time soon.

As part of the new scheduling agreement to keep the series going through the next decade and beyond, each school will get five home games and three games will be played in Paul Brown Stadium, the NFL home of the Cincinnati Bengals. Paul Brown Stadium will host the rivalry in 2018, 2022, and 2026. Miami will serve as the home team in 2018 and 2022 in the NFL venue.

Here is the updated series schedule between Cincinnati and Miami, starting with this week’s upcoming matchup at Miami.

Upcoming Series Dates
Sept. 16, 2017 at Miami
Sept. 8, 2018 at Paul Brown Stadium
Sept. 14, 2019 at Cincinnati
Sept. 19, 2020 at Miami
Sept. 4, 2021 at Cincinnati
Sept. 17, 2022 at Paul Brown Stadium
Sept. 16, 2023 at Cincinnati
Sept. 14, 2024 at Miami
Sept. 6, 2025 at Cincinnati
Sept. 19, 2026 at Paul Brown Stadium
Sept. 11, 2027 at Miami
Sept. 9, 2028 at Cincinnati
Sept. 8, 2029 at Miami

Miami leads the all-time series 59-55-7, but Cincinnati is enjoying a winning streak of 11 wins in the series.

No. 8 Michigan still shows room to improve on offense in win vs. Cincinnati

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A week after the defense set the tone in a season-opening win against the Florida Gators, No. 8 Michigan (2-0) once again could count on the defense to get the job done in their home opener against Cincinnati (1-1). In a 36-14 win in The Big House, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh still has some work to do to get the offense in gear.

Michigan’s defense accounted for two touchdowns, with Tyree Kinnel and Lavert Hill each recording a pick-six. Wilton Speight had a nice day in the box score with 221 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns, but there is still some passes that were off the mark and could use some polish. Ty Isaac led all players with 133 rushing yards, with 53 coming on one run. Of the 192 rushing yards Michigan compiled as a team, 97 of those yards came on two separate runs. The Wolverines converted just five of 15 third-down conversion attempts, and Michigan was flagged for seven penalties.

But defensively, the Wolverines have not skipped a beat this season. Through two games, the Wolverines have showed some of the best defense in the nation, thus putting to rest any concerns about the roster turnover from a year ago. That defense will see better tests coming their way though, as neither Florida or Cincinnati was expected to do much on offense against Michigan in the first two weeks. Air Force will present a different offensive style, but Michigan should have the depth to preview once again even if the offense is not clicking as desired.

Cincinnati hung around into the second half, cutting a Michigan lead to 17-14 in the third quarter, but the Bearcats simply could not keep any momentum with their own shaky play going up against a solid Michigan defense.

Michigan will stay home next week for a game against Air Force. Cincinnati will remain on the road but will stay in state to face Miami Ohio.