Preview: Temple at Kent State Print E-mail
Written by Dave Ruthenberg   
Wednesday, November 12 2008
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Temple RB Kee-ayre Griffin
While most of the MAC will be focused on Wednesday nights nationally telecast game between Central Michigan and Northern Illinois, there is another battle Wednesday night that could still have an impact on the MAC East race as Temple visits Kent State.

(3-6, 2-3 MAC) at Kent State (2-7, 1-4 MAC), 8:00 pm ET
Site: Dix Stadium
Series: Tied 1-1. Last meeting: Temple 24, Kent State 14 in 2007.
 Scouting the Owls: Its been a heartbreakingly rough season at Temple. The Owls have lost three games on the last play of the game, including their last outing at Navy Nov 1 when the Owls blew a 27-7 lead only to fall in overtime 33-27. The loss also saw one of the Owls few playmakers, return specialist/DB Jamal Schulters, go down with an injury as well as defensive stalwart Andre Neblett suffering a late-game injury. The good news is that both may be able to play thanks to the ten-day layover. The Navy loss saw the Owls offense come to life with QB Adam DiMichele passing for a season-high 340 yards and three touchdowns and freshman RB Kee-ayre Griffin rushing for 87 yards. WR Bruce Francis caught two of DiMicheles three touchdown passes and leads the Owls receivers with eight touchdowns. It was a rare moment of offensive prowess for the Owls who are averaging a league-low 17.9 points per game, a league-low 95 yards rushing per game (the only MAC team averaging less than 100 yards) and a MAC-worst 268.7 yards in total offense. The Owls have allowed a league-high 23 QB sacks so far this seasonDefensively the Owls were lit up by the Navy ground attack to the tune of 293 yards which could be problematic going up against the MACs top-rated rushing unit. However the Owls do possess one of the MACs more dangerous defensive playmakers as Junior Galette currently tops the MAC with 7.5 sacks and is fourth in the conference with 10 tackles for loss.
 Scouting the Golden Flashes: Another season of expectations is concluding with a whimper at Kent State. The Golden Flashes are fighting to stay out of the MAC East basement at this point but they still have some playmakers keeping things interesting. QB Julian Edelman may be the most difficult player in the MAC to tackle and his rushing/scrambling ability can be a thing of beauty to watch. Edelman is third in the MAC, averaging 105.7 yards per game. Edelman has rushed for 10 touchdowns and passed for another 11 touchdowns. Unfortunately he has also thrown for 10 interceptions. The Flashes rushing attack was limited to Edelman for several games while RB Eugene Jarvis was on the shelf but Jarvis is back and has rushed for 244 yards in the past three games. The Flashes top the MAC in rushing, averaging 222.1 yards per game making them the only MAC squad averaging better than 200 yards rushing per gameMeanwhile the Flashes defense has struggled but safety Brian Lainhart as emerged with a breakout season, topping the MAC with six interceptions and is third in the conference, averaging 9.6 tackles per game which ranks right behind LB Derek Burrell who is second in the MAC with 90 tackles. But the Flashes still rank at or near the bottom across the MAC in most statistical categories, allowing 31 points per game and over 400 yards of offense per game. The Flashes have also been their own worst enemy frequently this season and are 10th in the MAC in turnover margin while the kicking game has been an absolute adventure with PK Nate Reed only 5-9 in FG attempts, including going 0-2 inside thirty yards.
Prediction: The Owls are still mathematically in contention for a MAC East crown but need a whole lotta help to get there, but, to simplify mattersa loss tonight and the Owls are done. The Flashes were long ago out of contention and could simply be playing out the string. Who wants it more? Maybe the Owls. Maybe. Temple 24, Kent State 21.
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