The Road to Detroit Begins- Ohio at Temple Preview

Last year, these two teams met with the MAC East division title on the line.  The Bobcats defeated the Owls 35-17 on their home turf in the last game of the regular season.  This time these two teams meet at the Linc on Temple’s home turf.

Both teams come into this game playing well.  Ohio has won six in a row after a sloppy 1-3 start.  Temple has won four straight, but have outscored their opponents 100-10 in their last three games.

The biggest reason for Temple’s recent success has been the emergence of quarterback Mike Gerardi.  When you compare Gerardi’s numbers to the previous signalcaller Chester Stewart, they’re not even close.  The passing yards are about the same, but it’s the turnovers and completion percentage.  Gerardi is currently completing 66.7% of his passes, while Stewart was 53.3%.  Gerardi has thrown for eight touchdowns, compared to the four that Stewart threw.

The emergence of Gerardi is huge for this game.  The Bobcats are currently 21st in the country in rushing defense.  If Gerardi can get it going in the passing game early, that stretches the defense.  There will be more running lanes for Bernard Pierce and Matt Brown to run through. 

Stafford Gattling leads the Bobcats defense.  He has 6.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss.

Temple’s defense has been playing much better, but they struggle against the spread.  The Ohio offense uses a “pistol” spread formation.  They also rotate quarterbacks.  Boo Jackson does the passing, while Phil Bates does the running.  Bates currently leads the team in rushing yards with 423 yards rushing.  He averages 7.3 yards per carry. 

(Muhammad Wilkerson)

There are currently three 5-1 teams in the MAC east, Temple, Ohio and Miami (OH).  Temple plays Miami (OH) on the road next week.  The Bobcats have already defeated the Redhawks at their place 34-13.

PREDICTION- TU- 27-17

I feel like the Ohio offense will get to the Owls early, but Temple will make the necessary adjustments at halftime and pull away a bit in the second half. 

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