|Preview: Ohio vs. Temple|
|Written by Dave Ruthenberg|
|Monday, October 20 2008|
Ohio (2-5, 1-2 MAC) at Temple (2-5, 1-3 MAC), 8:00 pm
Site: Lincoln Financial Field
Series: Ohio leads 1-0. Last meeting: Ohio 23, Temple 7.
Outlook: Both teams have struggled through their first seven games but remain in contention in the volatile MAC East where only division leader Akron sits without a losing record at 4-4 overall and 2-2 in the conference so there is plenty on the line in this divisional tilt.
Scouting the Bobcats: Ohio arrives in Philadelphia off the bye week and following a 26-19 win on the road at Kent State in its last game October 11. The Bobcats will be playing their third straight road game and their sixth road contest in their first eight games, having tasted home cooking on game-day only twice so far this season. The Bobcats lost starting QB Theo Scott early in the season and JUCO junior transfer QB Boo Jackson has been handling the reigns of the Ohio offense since taking over for injured starter Scott during the Bobcats' week two 26-14 loss to Ohio State. Jackson has been improving each week as he gains experience and has passed for nine touchdowns on the season against eight interceptions. Jackson currently ranks sixth in the MAC averaging 228.2 yards passing per game. Meanwhile Donte Harden has provided an explosive edge to the Bobcats' ground attack. Harden is averaging 5.2 yards per carry and is coming off a 115-yard effort in the Bobcats' win over
Kent State (update: subsequent to posting this preview, we have been informed that Harden will be unavailable after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery). But the Bobcats have had difficulty finding the end-zone this season, crossing the goal line only eight times this season in 22 red-zone opportunitiesOn the other side of the ball, Ohio's pass defense has recorded a MAC-best (tied with Ball State) ten interceptions but their rushing defense has been allowing 175 yards per game. LB Lee Renfro tops the Bobcats, averaging 7.7 tackles per game and was named MAC East Defensive Player of the Week following Ohio's win over Kent State after Renfro recorded 11 tackles and was credited with a forced fumble and fumble recoveryThe Bobcats though have been their own worst enemy this season and have turned the ball over nineteen times already while being whistled for an average of 69.3 yards in penalties per game - placing them at the bottom of the MAC in both categories.
Scouting the Owls:Temple is also entering the game on ten days rest following a 24-14 loss to Central Michigan on October 11. Like Ohio, the Owls have been dealing with injury issues at quarterback. Starter Adam DiMichele suffered a separated shoulder in the Owls' 48-7 loss to Penn State in week four. DiMichele though has returned to practice and has been taking reps this past week. Head coach Al Golden indicates t
Prediction: Points will be at a premium in a contest between two squads that have struggled with offensive consistency. A key will be whether QB Adam DiMichele is back in the starting lineup for the Owls. With DiMichele the Owls could have a clear edge in offense, without him, that edge becomes considerably smaller. Temple 20, Ohio 16.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, October 21 2008 )|