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Toledo-Temple Preview: Snakebitten?

At this point, I'm convinced that Tim Beckman broke every mirror at the Libbey Glass Outlet over the summer while walking under a ladder truck next to the Black Cat Animal Rescue. The penalty flags against Ohio State, Wide Left at Syracuse, and, more importantly, the slew of injuries headed into the conference schedule has really put that "preseason favorite" thing off to one side. It doesn't help that they're starting their conference jag against the Temple Owls, a team that got all of college football talking by decimating Maryland last week.

I've been writing these previews from a Toledo perspective, and since we really don't have a Temple reporter on this site (since we are all, as you know, haters), I'll try to do both sides. Trust me, I'm not feeling so hot about the Rockets right now, it should be fair enough.

What Looks Right for Toledo: The passing game continues to be stellar: ranked 28th in the nation, and 2nd best in the MAC. Austin Dantin and/or Terrance Owens has been able to hit Eric Page and/or Bernard Reedy and/or Danny Noble. And, not to jump ahead of my usual format, Morgan Williams stepped in beautifully last week when Adonis Thomas went down. And, hey, penalties are way down.

What Looks Wrong for Toledo: They are painin'. Adonis will likely miss 3-4 weeks. Dan Molls is done for the year, likely to get a medical redshirt. The good news on that front is that Bobo Rancifer should be good to go, Taikwon Paige might play, and Desmond Marrow, who had to be carted off Ernie Davis Legends Field, is surprisingly fine, listed as questionable for this week.

What Looks Right for Temple: Their defense is tighter than a drum (leading the MAC in every defensive category), their special teams are right up there with Toledo's, and Bernard Pierce is quite simply the man: 12 touchdowns make him the leading scorer in FBS football.

What Looks Wrong for Temple: The one saving grace for the Rockets: the Owls do not take to the air a whole lot. Could that be because they haven't had to between 'Nova, Akron, and Maryland? Nope: during the Penn State loss, their two QBs combined to go 12-28 for 123 yards (and two picks).

What I'm Saying: It all depends on who can stop what. If Toledo can slow up Pierce, they could pull off the win. If the Owls can stop Toledo's passing game, Temple has a cakewalk.