Game 6: Buffalo at Temple
When: Saturday October 15th
Where: Lincoln Financial
Series History: Buffalo 7 - Temple 3
Tickets: Starting at 6$
No one thing has helped to define the decent of UB Football then their recent performances against Temple. The Owls, who came into the MAC after being drop kicked from the Big East, lost their first three games to Buffalo (two conference once as an independent). Fortunes have reversed recently and the gap has gotten so wide that last season the Owls shut out UB 42-0 during UB's homecoming game.
It's not that Temple has improved all that much over the 2008 edition. They are certainly better than the sorry squad that limped their way out of an AQ conference only to saved by an associate invite to the MAC. They are probably one of the better teams in the MAC yet despite the improvement they have still not defeated a MAC team with a winning record.
The Owls have to recover from a coaching change and some pretty serious losses on defense. They are still a contender, perhaps even the favorite to win the MAC East but they are a team who enters the season with more question this season than the did last year.
Temple on offense:
Many Gator fans blame Addazio for the offensive woes at Florida last season. While that might not be completely fair there is something to it. He did not have the players to run his offense against SEC teams, this season Temple gives him a linup as good as just about any in the MAC. At Temple Adazio has the tools in place to establish the conferences best ground game. He also has a cadre of talented receivers. What he may or may not have is a quarterback to anchor an offense around.
The two more probable starters should be familiar, Chester Stewart and Mike Gerardi are listed on the depth chart with the infamous "or" relationship. Gerardi replaced Stewart last season and acquitted himself pretty well, finishing the season out. I don't think the -or on Temple's depth chart is really an indication, Gerardi is likely the starter. Neither one of them proved to be an explosive quarterback but with a reliable running game, a solid group of wideouts, and one more year under their bealt they could break out.
The running game is the real backbone of the Owls Offense. Bernard Pierce has had injury issues during his career but has always had a solid number two in Matt Brown. Brown led the owls in rushing last season and is in his own right one of hte beter backs in the conference.
Even when Pierce is healthy Brown provides a great change of pace the two backs are, stylistically, night and day but they both find great success behind the owls line.
Temple on defense:
Temple lost a lot of talent, DT Muhammad Wilkerson, and both Elijah and Elisha Joseph off the front seven are all gone. As is free Safety Jaiquawn Jarrett.These are all professional level talents that are not easily replaced.
Adrian Robinson is still up front and the Owls are still very big on the line. This is not a team that a mediocre running offense will have success against. The Bulls line added 20-30 pounds across the offensive line and in no conference game will that weight be needed more than it will against Temple.
Their secondary is going to be strong on the corners but there is opportunity to go deep. Replacing a player like Jarrett is not going to happen in one season, no matter the talent level of the guy brought in to do the job.
No, not again! (Likely Loss): The Bulls are going to be a little better than they were last year, and the Owls are likely going to be a little worse. But the gap last season was 42 points, in Amherst. It's very unlikely that the Bulls have come that far in one season but they should play Temple a whole lot closer than they did in 2010.
The Bulls Can Win If:
They can go deep to the middle of the field UB should be able to do a lot of damage to a pair safetys who are a little less distinguished than last seasons squad.. The sideline stuff will be hard against the Owls and while UB might be able to put together a somewhat respectable running attack this season it may not be the caliber needed to beat Temple.
On defense they need to contain Pierce and Brown, make Temple beat you with the vertical passing game, that's not been their strength nor should it be this year. That's asking a lot of UB's young secondary but there are few places where the Owl's struggle on offense.
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