Temple (3-0) at Charlotte (2-2)
7:05 p.m., Jerry Richardson Stadium
TV: CBS Sports Network
Radio: WFNZ, 610. Pregame show at 6 p.m.
Weather: Cloudy and breezy with intermittent rain, possibly heavy at times. Temperatures in the upper 50s.
The Owls might be the best team Charlotte has faced. Temple has toppled Penn State and Cincinnati this season … Temple combines a ball-control offense with smothering defense … Running back Jahad Thomas is averaging 131 yards a game, which tops the American Athletic Conference and is 10th nationally … Quarterback P.J. Walker doesn’t make many mistakes, completing 64 percent of his passes and throwing only two interceptions … The Owls defense is opportunistic, with six interceptions and two fumble recoveries. That doesn’t bode well for the 49ers offense, which has committed 14 turnovers in the last two games.
Matchup to watch
Temple offensive linemen Kyle Friend, Shahbaz Ahmed, Brian Carter and Jahad Thomas against Charlotte nose tackle Larry Ogunjobi and inside linebacker Nick Cook. The 49ers lead Conference USA in defense and twice this season have held opponents to fewer than 200 yards total offense, but the Temple offensive line anchors a ground game that is No. 1 in its conference.
▪ Charlotte will have a different set up at quarterback Friday night. Lee McNeill and Matt Johnson alternated last week against Florida Atlantic. Johnson suffered a concussion, so McNeill and Brooks Barden, who was hurt last week, will alternate against Temple.
▪ The Owls are playing their third straight road game. They opened with a home victory against Penn State, then beat Cincinnati and Massachusetts on the road.
▪ Temple is coming off a bye week and is in good shape physically. That contrasts with the 49ers who have several injured players. Charlotte will get a chance to rest and recoup during next week’s bye.
▪ Temple coach Matt Rhule praised Charlotte defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi this week, saying “He looks like an NFL player.”
▪ Rhule, a former assistant at Western Carolina from 2002-2005, said 49ers running back Khalif Phillips “might be the best back we’ve faced.”
By the numbers
1 Number of teams Temple has faced in its history from North Carolina, other than conference foe East Carolina. The Owls faced Wake Forest in 1930, beating the Deacons 36-0.
11 Number of times, in 12 attempts, that the Owls have scored in the red zone this season. They are among the most efficient red-zone teams in college football.
23.7 The percentage of third-down conversions by Charlotte opponents. It’s the lowest in Conference USA.