(7-3, 7-3 ATS)
(8-2, 7-3 ATS)
The Ohio Bobcats and Temple Owls have been the crème de la crème in the MAC East all season long, and the two will fight it out in an elimination game on Tuesday night at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
Ohio knows that it virtually clinches the MAC East with a ‘W’ on Tuesday, as it would have beaten both Temple and the Miami Redhawks and would only need one last win to close out the regular season at 9-3 to get the job done. The problem is that no one is totally sure what the quarterback situation is going to be for the Bobcats in this NCAA football betting affair. QB Boo Jackson, who has been starting since the second game of the season, broke a bone in his eye that will likely end his season thanks to a bar fight last week. With Jackson out of the lineup, one would figure that the ball would turn back over to the original starter, QB Philip Bates. However, Bates has an undisclosed injury as well and is listed as questionable. There isn’t another player on the roster that has thrown more than two passes this year, so this could be a very daunting situation for someone to walk into. RB Vince Davidson is going to be put into some rough spots this week, as he might be the only rusher capable of doing some damage. He has just 390 yards this year though, and only four scores.
The Temple defense has to be licking its chops and thinking about the prospects of another huge showing. The Owls have held their last three foes to a total of just ten points, and it is clearly this unit that is shining under the bright lights as the MAC West crown inches closer and closer. In just three outings this year, QB Mike Gerardi has proven that he is a capable leader for Temple. Gerardi has thrown for 871 yards and eight scores this year against just four INTs. RB Bernard Pierce rumbled for 1,361 yards last season as a freshman, and he is back at it again this year. Pierce missed some time due to injury, but he has since rolled up four straight games with at least 80 yards on the ground and has 728 yards and ten TDs to show for his work on the campaign as a whole. His back in tandem, RB Matt Brown doesn’t do all that much in some games, but when he is called upon, he has been fantastic. Brown, also a sophomore, has 702 yards and six scores this season.
We would feel a lot better about Ohio’s chances if it had a quarterback that we could rely on. However, with this big of a question mark at the biggest position on the field, we have no choice but to go with the Owls in this one, as the hosts should really put themselves in a position where they can win the conference and maybe even crack the Top 25.
College Football Free Pick: Temple Owls -7.5