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Temple Owls (5-3) at Ohio Bobcats (5-3)

Temple can take a big step toward winning the Mid-American Conference’s East Division and a spot in the conference championship game with a win over Ohio University on Wednesday night in the only college football game of the night. The Owls are 3.5-point betting favorites on WagerWeb.com.

Temple has a half-game lead in the East over Ohio and Miami of Ohio, and the Owls play Miami next Wednesday. But this is Temple’s final road game. Ohio also has to play the RedHawks, at home in the season finale, but the Bobcats have back-to-back road tests after this one. So it’s essentially a must-win for them.

Temple star running back Bernard Pierce hasn’t been able to practice since mid-October with a hamstring injury but has been playing through it. Pierce leads the nation with 18 rushing touchdowns, which is a school record. He also ranks second in scoring (13.50 points per game) and  10th in rushing (118.88 yards per game).  Senior TE Evan Rodriguez is the team’s top receiver with 285 yards and a touchdown on 21 receptions.  Senior QB Chester Stewart is 47-of-74 for 643 yards and two touchdowns, while junior QB Mike Gerardi is 30-of-59 for 423 yards and three touchdowns.

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).

Temple enters off a 13-10 loss at Bowling Green. Despite the Owls’ setback on Oct. 22, Temple has outscored its opponents 230-80, which is the largest margin in the league this season.

The Bobcats enter the game after defeating Akron 37-20 on Oct. 22 to pick up their fourth-consecutive victory over the Zips. In Ohio’s three losses, the Bobcats have lost by an average of just 5.3 points per game.

The Bobcats rank second in the MAC in both total offense (450.2) and second in total defense (321.1). Quarterback Tyler Tettleton has thrown for 200 yards or more in each of the last six weeks. On Oct. 22 against Akron, Tettleton threw for 328 yards. He needs four TD passes to set the school single-season mark. Senior Donte’ Harden rushed for a season-high 123 yards against Akron.

Ohio and Temple will meet for just the fifth time. The Bobcats hold the all-time series lead at 3-1 and won 31-23 last year in Philadelphia for their second straight win in the series.

Sportsbook Advuisor take: We like Ohio at home getting points.

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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 College Football Betting 2011

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