Temple Travels to Ohio for Wednesday Night MAC East Clash on ESPN

Temple Travels to Ohio for Wednesday Night MAC East Clash on ESPN

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Temple hits the road for the last time during the regular season with a mid-week game at Ohio on Wednesday, Nov. 2.  Kickoff at Peden Stadium is set for 8 p.m. before a national television audience on ESPN.

Calling the television action are Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Ray Bentley (analyst).

The Owls' radio broadcast will air on WPHT 1210 AM with Harry Donahue calling the play-by-play and Steve Joachim providing color analysis.

Under the direction of first-year head coach Steve Addazio, Temple stands 5-3 overall and 3-2 in MAC play after a 13-10 loss at Bowling Green. The 2011 Temple squad returns 46 lettermen, including 13 starters.  The Owls utilize a multiple offense and a 4-3 defense.

Junior RB Bernard Pierce (Ardmore, Pa.) leads all rushers with 951 yards and a single-season record 18 touchdowns on 181 carries. Senior TE Evan Rodriguez (North Bergen, N.J.) is the top receiver with 285 yards and a touchdown on 21 receptions.  Senior QB Chester Stewart (Hanover, Md.) is 47-of-74 for 643 yards and two touchdowns, while junior QB Mike Gerardi (Parsippany, N.J.) is 30-of-59 for 423 yards and three touchdowns. Senior LB Stephen Johnson (Norristown, Pa.) leads the defense with 69 tackles, including a team-best 40 solos, four break-ups, three TFL, a sack, and a forced fumble.

In the national rankings, Temple ranks among the nation's Top 10 in seven categories, including No. 1 in kickoff returns (28.83), No. 2 in scoring defense (10.00), No. 5 in total defense (263.25), No. 7 in pass efficiency defense (100.10), No. 9 in rushing offense (252.13), No. 10 in pass defense (172.75), and No. 10 in rushing defense (90.50).   Individually, junior RB Bernard Pierce is No. 2 in the nation in rushing touchdowns (18), No. 2 in scoring (13.50 ppg), and No. 10 in rushing (118.88). 

Junior PK Brandon McManus (Hatfield, Pa.) is No. 2 in punting (47.66).  Senior LB Tahir Whitehead (Newark, N.J.) is No. 40 in tackles for loss (1.25). Junior RB Matt Brown (Baltimore, Md.) is No. 16 in punt returns (11.69), No. 23 in kickoff returns (27.47), and No. 29 in all-purpose running (141.75).   Over the last three seasons, Temple is 17-1 when Pierce carries the ball at least 18 times per game.

Ohio, under the guidance of seventh-year head coach Frank Solich, is 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the MAC following a 37-20 win at Akron. The Bobcats return eight starters to their multiple offense and 4-3 defense.

Senior RB Donte Harden is the Bobcats' top rusher with 514 yards and a touchdown on 91 carries.  Senior WR LaVon Brazill has 39 receptions for 571 yards and eight touchdowns. Sophomore QB Tyler Tettleton is 166-of-258 for 1,979 yards and 17 touchdowns.  Senior LB Noah Keller leads all defenders with 57 tackles, including 5.0 TFL, three break-ups, and two hurries.

Ohio ranks No. 11 in pass efficiency defense (104.69), No. 20 in total defense (320.50), and No. 26 in scoring defense (20.38). Senior RB Donte Harden in No. 2 in kickoff returns (33.90) and No. 15 in all-purpose running (161.33). Junior PK Matt Weller, this week's MAC East Specialist of the Week, is No. 3 in field goals (1.88) and No. 25 in scoring (9.12).

Temple has no players on its roster from the state of Ohio.

Ohio has 10 players from Pennsylvania, but none from the Philadelphia area.

Temple junior DB Justin Gildea (Hollidaysburg, Pa.) attended Hollidaysburg Area High School as did Ohio's sophomore OL Ryan McGrath (Duncansville, Pa.).

Former teammates reunite from Fork Union Military Academy, including Temple's senior DE Morris Blueford (Chesapeake, Va.), r-freshman OL Elijah Grant (Piscataway, N.J.), junior  DB Maurice Jones (Belleville, N.J.), sophomore WR Deon Miller (Highland Springs, Va.), and sophomore DL Shahid Paulhill (Philadelphia, Pa.), as well as Ohio's junior OL Skyler Allen, sophomore CB?Jamil Shaw, and junior LB?Jelani Woseley.     

TU junior WR Darryl Shine (Orlando, Fla.) and OU junior LB Joe Morales attended Fullerton College.

Despite the fact that Temple and Ohio have sponsored football since 1894, Tuesday's contest is just the teams' fifth meeting, all in MAC play. The teams have yet to play a football game on a Saturday.

Last fall on TU's Senior Day, two key turnovers and two key injuries proved to be too much to overcome for Temple as Ohio defeated the Owls 31-23 in a MAC East showdown on a Tuesday evening at Lincoln Financial Field. The game, televised nationally on ESPN2, was played in sloppy conditions due to a torrential rainstorm.

The loss snapped a 10-game home win streak and eliminated the Owls from any chance of playing in the Mid-American Conference championship game. 

Sophomore RB Bernard Pierce, who missed the 2009 game, was on the field for one play before leaving due to injury.  With Pierce sidelined, the Temple running game was held to a mere 81 yards with sophomore RB Matt Brown accounting for 72 yards on 20 carries. 

In the game that determined the MAC East champion in 2009, Ohio claimed a 35-17 win at home, televised nationally on ESPNU.  Freshman RB?Matt Brown led the Owls with 172 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries.  Theo Scott was the top Bobcat rusher with 69 yards and two TDs on six carries, while QB Theo Scott threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns.

In 2008 at Lincoln Financial Field, Temple evened the series with a 14-10 home win during its “Pink Out,” benefiting breast cancer awareness, before a national television audience on ESPN2. The rollercoaster fourth quarter was complete with big plays and costly mistakes on both sides, including two Cherry and White touchdowns in the come-from-behind victory.

The Owls' offense struggled mightily through three quarters in the return of redshirt senior QB Adam DiMichele, who had missed the previous three games with a shoulder injury. Temple compiled just six total yards of offense in the second and third quarters alone and could not move the football.

The Owls were rejuvenated with a running attack in the final stanza, led by freshman Kee-ayre Griffin (22 carries, career-high 85 yards). His one-yard touchdown run with 10:53 to go cut the Ohio lead to 10-7.

An Ohio fumbled snap and recovery by Temple senior DT Terrance Knighton gave the Owls the ball on the Ohio 20-yard line with 4:39 left.  DiMichele hit TE Steve Maneri in the back of the endzone from the five-yard line to give the Owls their first lead of the contest with 1:51 to play.

In their first meeting in 2007, Friday night lights were not shining on Temple at Peden Stadium as the Owls saw their three-game win streak come to a halt with a 23-7 defeat at the hands of the host Ohio Bobcats in a crucial Mid-American Conference East Division clash.

Senior RB Kalvin McRae and freshman RB Vince Davidson led the Bobcats. McRae carried 25 times for 151 yards and one touchdown, while Davidson rushed for his first collegiate score, a 22-yard TD that gave Ohio a 20-7 lead with 43 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Vaughn Charlton, making his first start of the season in place of the injured Adam DiMichele, completed a career-high 17-of-25 passes for a career-high 161 yards.  WR Bruce Francis caught eight of Charlton's passes to match his career high in receptions, while his 101 receiving yards marked the second time he surpassed the century mark.
Temple all-time vs. Ohio:  1-3
Temple in games at Temple:  1-1
Temple in games at Ohio:  0-2
First meeting in series: 2007 at Peden Stadium, L, 23-7
Last meeting in series:  2010 at Lincoln Financial Field, L, 31-23

Temple Owls 

Rushing:  Matt Brown, 25-172, 1 TD (2009)
Passing:  Mike Gerardi, 28-48-2-311, 2 TD (2010)
Receiving:  Michael Campbell, 11-131, 2 TD (2010)

Ohio Bobcats
Rushing:  Kalvin McRae, 28-151, 1 TD (2007)
Passing:  Theo Scott, 17-21-0-324, 3 TD (2009)
Receiving:  Chris Garrett, 8-82, 0 TD (2008)

Year Site Results TU Coach OU Coach
2007 Peden Stadium L, 7-23 Al Golden Frank Solich
2008 Lincoln Financial Field W, 14-10 Al Golden Frank Solich
2009 Peden Stadium L, 17-35 Al Golden Frank Solich
2010 Lincoln Financial Field L, 23-31 Al Golden Frank Solich

•  Seven of Temple's 2011 opponents— Villanova (FCS semifinal), Penn State (Outback Bowl), Maryland (Military Bowl), Toledo (Little Caesar's Bowl), Ohio (R+L Carriers Bowl), Miami (GoDaddy.com Bowl), and Army (Armed Forces Bowl)— participated in postseason play.

•  Since joining the MAC in 2007, the Owls own the league's best home record for MAC games at 14-4.

•  Temple's 38-7 win at Maryland was the first win in school history over an ACC team.

•  “We had two backs with 100 yards. We needed to throw the ball better. We had a couple sacks, dropped a couple balls. We can't have 100 yards worth of penalties.”
— Steve Addazio following the Bowling Green game

Temple returns home to Lincoln Financial Field to close out the regular season with three home games.  The first contest is a Wednesday (Nov. 9) night tilt against defending MAC champion Miami [OH] at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
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