CJ Johnson

Sophomore receiver CJ Johnson jumps to catch a pass in last season's matchup against Temple University.

The East Carolina University football team (1-6, 1-5 American Athletic Conference) looks to record its second win of the season on Nov. 21 against Temple University (1-5, 1-5 AAC) after a tough loss against the No. 7 ranked University of Cincinnati (7-0, 5-0 AAC).

The two teams have had similar seasons so far. Both teams have struggled this season, with both of their sole wins coming against the University of South Florida (1-7, 0-6 AAC). Each squad will enter the game on four-game losing streaks and are attempting to move up the American Athletic Conference (AAC) standings.

The Owls have lost each of its games so far this season by an average of 19.6 points. The closest loss came in their season opener, where they lost by just two points to The United States Naval Academy (3-4, 3-2 AAC). The Pirates have lost each of their games by an average of 17.6 points. Like Temple, their closest loss came against Navy, who they lost to by just four points.

The Owls average 22.6 points per game, with several games of over 24 points scored. In the game against ECU, Temple will start its fourth string quarterback freshman Matt Duncan.

Duncan has thrown two passes in his collegiate career so far. This would appear to be a favorable matchup for the Pirates defense, which has improved steadily over the course of the season, according to 247sports.com. The Owls’ leading passer, graduate student Anthony Russo, back up quarterback sophomore Re’al Mitchell and third string quarterback sophomore Trad Beatty will all be out for Saturday’s game.

Duncan will look to take advantage of the Pirates defense which, according to the NCAA, is ranked 115th in the country for overall defense and is No. 91 in pass defense, allowing an average of 257.9 passing yards per game.

The Pirates will have starting quarterback junior Holton Ahlers for the Nov. 21 game, who finished ECU’s Nov. 13 bout with Cincinnati's Bearcats 9-20 passing for just 87 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions.

Despite coming off his worst statistical game of the year, Ahlers has been solid for the Pirates so far this season, with 1,441 passing yards and 12 touchdowns to eight interceptions and a 61.5% passing accuracy mark.

The NCAA has the Pirates' passing offense ranked No. 75in the country averaging 220 passing yards per game, while Temple’s passing defense is ranked No. 56 allowing an average of 230 passing yards per game, while their total defense comes in ranked No. 81.

The game will be held at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with kickoff scheduled for Nov. 21 at noon on ESPN+.

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