September 8, 2010

NCAA Football Free Picks: Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Temple Owls



Central Michigan Chippewas
(1-0, 1-0 ATS)

Temple Owls
(1-0, 1-0 ATS)

For years, the Temple Owls have been doormats in the MAC. Now, they have their chance to divide and conquer one of the biggest behemoths in the conference on Thursday night in college football betting action as they take on the Central Michigan Chippewas.

This clearly isn’t the same CMU team of recent years. If for no other reason, QB Dan LeFevour has moved on and is now with the Chicago Bears. The mentality of the team has changed as well with Butch Jones leaving the team to go coach at Cincinnati. However, if what the Chippies’ faithful saw last week is an indication of what’s to come, this could be a great season in Mount Pleasant nonetheless. Central Michigan had a better use of its running game in last week’s 33-0 win over the Hampton Pirates. Both RB Paris Cotton and RB Carl Volny rushed for TDs on the day, and the two combined for 146 yards. QB Ryan Radcliff, making his first career start, went 20-of-34 for 242 yards with a TD. The defense for CMU held the Pirates to just 129 total yards of offense and 11 first downs.

Even though it flew under the radar last week, Temple scored one of the craziest NCAA football betting covers that you’ll ever see. With just 0:03 remaining, the Owls booted a 43 yard field goal that appeared to win the game 25-24. However, on the ensuing kickoff, Justin Gildea recovered a fumble and raced it 26 yards for the score that gave Temple a 31-24 ‘W’. It was the first, and only time over the course of the game that the Owls were covering the Villanova Wildcats on the day. The win avenged last season’s loss to the FCS powerhouses. RB Bernard Pierce put forth a respectable day, but he’d be the first to tell you that he should’ve done a lot more with his 20 carries than account for 75 yards. The passing attack was fantastic at times, as QB Chester Stewart hooked up with WR Michael Campbell eight times for 127 yards and a TD. Stewart had 200 total yards on the day on a respectable 16-of-27 passing. Normally, holding an FCS team to 311 yards of offense is nothing to write home about, but in the case of Villanova, this would probably be one of the Top 50-60 programs in the country if it were in FBS, so that type of number is very, very respectable.

Temple has to have this game. The Owls are playing on national television in primetime, something that very, very rarely happens. Their youth will probably show at times, but they just have more talent than the Chippewas do right now. Asking Temple to win this game by at least eight is going to be tough for a team that has never beaten Central Michigan, but this is a task that the Owls should be up for.

Selection: Temple -7.5

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