Temple 13, Central Michigan 10 (OT): Extra Sloppy!

 



Well, that was slightly lower scoring than you expected out of CMU's and Temple's offenses. But there we have it. 13-10. I know how much you kids like 'em sloppy.

• Five turnovers
• Five sacks
• Three missed field goals
• Fumbles to end each half
• An interception in the end zone to end CMU's overtime
• The knot on Temple coach Al Golden's tie was reaching John Chaney levels

But it was totally indicative of how you would expect two teams to come out and play their first conference game. Jittery, tentative, mistake-riddled, but overall competitive.

Again Brandon McManus had the heroic leg with the game-winning 30-yard field goal, but after Kee-ayre Griffin's pick of Ryan Radcliff in overtime, they just kept running Matt Brown then scooched the ball to the center for a layup kick.

I wholly underestimated the quarterback play on both sides. Radcliff topped 300 yards with a 72% completion rate. Chester Stewart had only half as many yards but was equally on-target. Brown and Pierce moved the ball decently, but neither was all that spectacular.

CMU linebacker standout Nick Bellore was not everpresent in this game. You can thank Matt Berning (9 tackles, one sack, one FF) and Kashawn Fraser (two sacks, one FF) for picking up the slack and disrupting some possible big plays all night. And I don't think any of us expected Cody Wilson to have 6 catches for 148 and 6 carries for 25 yards.

But what the heck was up with all the Wildcat formations? (On both sides.) Oftentimes they didn't gather many positive yards, and there were far too many miscues and even some fumbles to make them worthwhile. CMU tried lining up both Wilson and Paris Cotton under center. It just wasn't that cool, guys. The Wildcat is so 2008. They were much more efficient when Radcliff was throwing on the run. Just like some other former CMU quarterback.

CMU's No. 1 receiver Kito Poblah was nowhere to be found. Just one catch for eight yards and some punt returns. Michael Campbell also had a big receiving day last week and had a single catch for nine yards. Strangeness.

So we got the first out of the way. Sloppy, yes. At times frustrating, yes. But it begins with Temple 1-0 in conference play, and CMU down to 0-1.

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