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Temple Owls (-8) vs. Central Michigan Chippewas
Thursday, September 9th
7:00 ET, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
The Owls were just able to squeak out a 31-24 win last week against a powerful FBS team in Villanova that came close to upsetting them for the second straight year. Temple was down late in the fourth, but K Brandon McManus hit his fourth field goal of the game to put HC Al Golden and the Owls ahead for good with just eight seconds left. QB Chester Stewart managed the game well for the Owls, completing 16 of 27 passes for 200 yards with a touchdown. In their first game without former all-everything QB Dan LeFevour, the Chippewas and new QB Ryan Radcliff cruised to a 33-0 win over lowly FBS Hampton. Radcliff headed a Chippewa offense that racked up 427 total yards of offense on the day and completed 20 of 34 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown while also running for a score. RB Paris Cotton also impressed with 94 yards rushing and a TD on 18 carries. Some love should also be given to the CMU defense for holding Hampton to a paltry 129 total yards of offense on the day.
Prediction: Temple 28 – Central Michigan 17
#20 Auburn Tigers (-1.5) @ Mississippi State Bulldogs
Thursday, September 9th
7:45 ET, Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field, Starkville, MS
The Bulldogs looked extremely impressive in their win against Memphis last week, but face their first real test of the season when #20 Auburn comes into Starkville on Thursday night. HC Dan Mullen has the faithful energized after the team’s dominating performance in their 49-7 thumping of Memphis last week. The Bulldogs offense racked up 569 total yards and dominated Memphis in all facets of the game. QB Tyler Russell was particularly impressive, completing 13 of 16 passes for 256 yards and four touchdowns while he was in the game. However, the Tigers of Auburn are a big step up from the ones out of the Volunteer State. Whereas Memphis may be the worst team in Conference USA this year, Auburn has a legitimate shot at an SEC West title with a talented roster and the offensive of guru Gus Malzahn. Despite two turnovers, the Auburn offense still put up 600+ yards of total offense in a 52-26 romp of Arkansas State. QB Cam Newton was studly in the win, completing nine of 14 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns while also carrying the ball for 171 yards and two scores. Although the Bulldogs are certainly improving under Mullen, look for Auburn to show they are still above them on the SEC West pecking chain.
Prediction: Auburn 30 – Mississippi State 20