Akron will play at Temple Friday at 1 p.m. for eligibility to play in a bowl game.
Whether that will happen is another question, but the Zips seniors should not want to be sitting on their couches hopeless as the bowl picture shakes out.
Up until a few games ago, you could argue that Temple was the best defensive team in the MAC. They held Western Michigan to 7, Army to 7, Connecticut to 12, Miami to 9, Central Michigan to 24 and Ohio to 10.
Over the past three weeks, however, the Owls have allowed 293 rushing yards to Navy, 239 rushing yards to Kent State and 484 passing yards to Eastern Michigan. Regardless that Kent State and Navy are good running teams, Temple has demonstrated its weakness in stopping the pass and run.
At the same time, however, Temple's offense has heated up. While the running game has remained stagnant (and worst in the conference), quarterback Adam DiMichele has passed for 1,002 yards the past three games. DiMichele led Temple on a fourth-quarter comeback last season at the Rubber Bowl. Bruce Francis, the top receiver, has caught 13 touchdowns.
Akron should be relieved that the Owls do not run the ball well, because the Zips under J.D. Brookhart have repeatedly shown an apathy toward run defense. Temple should be relieved that Akron does not rush the quarterback well, because the Owls have given up the most sacks in the MAC (27).
Despite the recent shootouts, the Owls remain tops in the MAC on third-down. Defensive end Junior Gallette's eight sacks are third in the MAC. Linebacker Alex Joseph and defensive back Jaiquawn Jarrett led the team in tackles. Defensive back Dominique Harris has three interceptions -- the fifth-highest total in the conference.
Temple is a 2.5-point favorite.
At the basketball game, I heard more chatter than normal about the football team. People are fed up about the defense. Finally, it seems like there is a more mainstream outcry about the 3-3-5 being an abomination. I think you'll see some changes after this season. Brookhart's job is not in jeopardy. First, he does not deserve to be fired. Second, Akron is too frugal even if he deserved it. (Brookhart has two years left on his deal.) However, either the 3-3-5 has to go or some of the assistants have to go. The status quo cannot stand.
- 2013 (110)
- 2012 (199)
- 2011 (225)
- 2010 (266)
- 2009 (380)
- 2008 (327)
- 2007 (561)
- 2006 (605)
- 2005 (89)