NCF Nation: Cody Booth

Notre Dame's long offseason comes to an end Saturday, as the Irish play host to Temple at 3:30 p.m. ET. What can they expect against the Owls?

When Temple has the ball: Under former coach Steve Addazio, the Owls were a ground-and-pound team. Now they are without their top two backs from last season in Montel Harris and Matt Brown. They have a new coach in Matt Rhule, who has implemented a pro spread offense, which allowed quarterback Connor Reilly to ascend from the fourth team to starter since the start of this past spring. Leading receiver Jalen Fitzpatrick (30 catches, 363 yards, 2 TDs) is back. But Cody Booth, who led the Owls last season with four touchdown catches, has moved from tight end to left tackle. Former signal-caller Chris Coyer added 30 pounds this offseason as he moved to H-back. Notre Dame will likely look to pressure Reilly in his first career start and force him into some early mistakes, especially now that the Irish have a secondary that is better equipped to seize opportunities than it was last season.

When Notre Dame has the ball: Tommy Rees is Notre Dame's quarterback, again. So what changes? For one, Rees is two years older than he was the last time he started extensively for the Irish. He's a bit bigger, too. He has two proven receivers in captain TJ Jones and DaVaris Daniels, and some unproven talent behind them. Notre Dame's pistol package in camp has caused some buzz in South Bend, and it figures to help a crowded but mostly green backfield. Those tailbacks, by the way, should try to avoid linebacker Tyler Matakevich at all costs, as he is the reigning Big East rookie of the year and already one of the leaders of the defense as a sophomore captain.

Intangible: This is 38-year-old Rhule's first game as a head coach. The former New York Giants assistant returned to the Owls after serving as an assistant under Al Golden. You never know how a new coach and his players will come out early, especially when entering a place with as much history as Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish, meanwhile, should know better than to look ahead to Michigan, as they had their 2011 opener ruined by what turned out to be a 3-9 Big East team (South Florida).

Prediction: Notre Dame 31, Temple 6. The Owls may be the worst team the Irish face this season. Some early first-game hiccups will keep it from eventually getting too far out of hand.

Kay leads Cincinnati rout of Temple

November, 10, 2012
11/10/12
3:40
PM ET
Was the Syracuse game the last we've seen of Munchie Legaux this season?

If Brendon Kay's performance Saturday at Temple is any indication, that may very well end up being the case.

The Bearcats could not have asked for much more from their new signal caller in a 34-10 rout of the Owls. Kay completed 13 of 21 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns and carried it seven times for 71 yards.

His touchdown passes, to Kenbrell Thompkins and Chris Moore, went for 75 and 65 yards, respectively.

George Winn, the Big East's leading rusher, added 83 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.

Cincinnati jumped out to a 24-3 first-half lead and never looked back, pressuring Chris Coyer into a costly interception late in the first half that cost the Temple signal caller the chance to start the third quarter.

That honor went to Clinton Granger, who fared little better. The two Owls quarterbacks combined to go 12-of-32 for 142 yards. Cody Booth's 4-yard touchdown catch late in the third quarter cut the Cincinnati lead to 14, but that was as close as Temple would get.

The Bearcats held Temple to just 267 yards of total offense in what was a complete, solid performance. Reality has come down hard on the Owls following their 2-0 Big East start, as they now find themselves in the middle of a four-game losing streak going into next week's game against Army.

Cincinnati scored another win Saturday when Louisville was routed by Syracuse, giving both the Bearcats and Cardinals one Big East loss. Louisville beat Cincinnati two weeks ago, so the Cardinals have to lose another game for Cincinnati to have a chance to win the conference outright and gain a BCS bowl bid.

To have that chance, the Bearcats need to start by beating Rutgers next week, which would create quite a wild race to the finish among three one-loss Big East teams. That's a scenario that looks much more possible after Kay's performance Saturday in Philadelphia.

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