Detroit Will Have to Wait Another Year- Ohio Defeats Temple 31-23

Al Golden wants to establish a program.  The last thing he wants to be is a one hit wonder.  To paraphrase, he stated that many of the bowl teams, whether it’s the MAC, WAC or Sun Belt may win a bowl game, but not establish the program.

On to last night, the first play of the game summarized the entire game.  Bernard Pierce busted a long 67-yard run down the left sideline, but came up lame as he injured his hamstring.  To make matters worse, the play was called back due to a holding penalty.

The loss of Pierce on that first play was huge.  I’m by no means saying Temple would have won, but his injury changed the whole complexion of the game.

The Ohio defensive line is arguably the best in the MAC.  Matt Brown is not an ”in between the tackles” runner.  Pierce is a bit like Eddie George in terms of consistently picking up positive yardage and wearing down a defense by the time the 4th quarter runs around.  Temple didn’t have too many third and shorts to convert, thus allowing the Ohio defense to pressure Mike Gerardi.  Gerardi is not established enough yet to pick up those critical third downs.

Brown racked up 72 yards rushing on 20 carries.

The Ohio ”Pistol” offense frustrated the Owls defense all night.  They had 204 total rushing yards.  They controlled the line of scrimmage,  and wore down the Temple defense.

Mistakes were very critical.  The big one came in the fourth quarter.  With Temple down 17-10 and the ball near midfield, Mike Gerardi threw a crucial interception.  Ohio would wind up scoring off the turnover, putting them ahead 24-10.  Ohio score 14 points of three Temple turnovers.  The Owls committed eight penalties for 68-yards.

Now that Temple will not win the MAC, they still have a chance to build the program.  With a win next week against Miami (OH) and a bowl win, the program will get that bowl win that they didn’t get last year.

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