(8-3, 7-4 ATS)
(7-4, 6-5 ATS)
A spot in the MAC Championship Game might be up in the air for the Miami Redhawks on Tuesday night’s standalone NCAA football betting affair, but they are going to be up against it as hefty underdogs at home against the Temple Owls.
The Owls lost their chance to win the MAC East last Tuesday night, as they were defeated by the Ohio Bobcats, who are the team the control their own destiny. Temple has had a great year from its defense, but that unit really didn’t fill the bill last week, allowing 31 points in what amounted to be the second worst affair of the campaign. Still, this is a unit that is only allowing 309.5 yards and 18.7 points per game, both numbers of which are the best in the MAC. Offensively, things were made worse by the fact that RB Bernard Pierce was knocked out of the lineup after one play last week, while his backup, RB Matt Brown, was held in check. The two are going to combine for well over 1,750 yards this season in all likelihood, as they are already near 1,500. Junior QB Mike Gerardi had his second straight 300+ yard passing performance last week, as he threw for 311 yards and two scores. However, he was picked off twice, and the 23 points that he was able to put on the board just wasn’t good enough. On the season, Gerardi has completed 63.6 percent of his passes for 1,182 yards with ten TDs and six INTs.
If the Redhawks don’t find a way to pull out a victory in this one, they’ll be in some trouble for a bowl game this year. They aren’t likely to be amongst the first four choices in the MAC, especially after a 1-11 season, and they will require an at large bid to a bowl just to extend their season. As if going against this defense wasn’t bad enough, taking it on without the heart and soul of the team, QB Zac Dysert is going to be all the more difficult. Dysert was on pace for a 3,000 yard season before going down with a lacerated spleen two weeks ago in a win against the Bowling Green Falcons. Last week, a 19-14 win against the Akron Zips was certainly nothing to be proud of. QB Austin Boucher played relatively well, completing 22-of-32 passing for 213 yards, but most importantly, he didn’t turn the pigskin over. Miami only went 3-of-14 on third downs though and had just 398 yards of offense against one of the most dreadful defenses in the nation. If all of this doesn’t improve, there doesn’t seem to be much hope to win an eighth game.
The Redhawks have all to play for in this game, and though Temple has been as hot as could be, it might be a bit deflated after losing a chance to win the MAC. We’ll back the hosts in a good spot in a nationally televised game, catching nearly a full TD as well.
College Football Free Pick: Miami Redhawks +6.5