Free College Football Pick Temple at Northern Illinois 10-9-10

October 4, 2010


Temple Owls (4-1) vs. Northern Illinois Huskies (3-2)

Saturday, October 9th, 2010, 12:00PM EST

Line: Northern Illinois -4

The Northern Illinois Huskies enter this game as favorites despite their inferior record to Temple mainly because of their impressive wins against both Minnesota and Akron. They’ve recently found unbearable success behind their senior running back, Chad Spann, who ran for 223 yards two weeks ago against Minnesota. Their junior quarterback, Chandler Harnish has also been doing a good job in finding the open receivers this season; Harnish has thrown for six touchdowns and 716 yards so far this season. The Temple Owls possess a surprising record of 4-1, they nearly could’ve been undefeated today if it wasn’t for a close loss against a defensive-savvy Penn State. They’ve found primitive success in their running game with Matt Brown and Bernard Pierce, and their defense has helped them stay in games.

Keys to the Game:

–          Temple’s running load comes from their two backs in Brown and Pierce. Bernard Pierce recently suffered an ankle injury against Penn State that sidelined him for last week’s game against Army. In Pierce’s absence, Matt Brown racked up an impressive 225 rushing yards and four touchdowns against Army. Both running backs have rushed for over 340 yards this season and have five touchdowns a piece.

–          Northern Illinois has a talented running game also, behind Spann. The senior running back has run for 542 yards and five touchdowns out of 82 touches this season. Their quarterback, Harnish is also a running threat when out of the pocket, rushing for 311 yards and two touchdowns this season.

–          The Huskies also have a more reliable receiving squad in Martel Moore and Landon Cox. Moore has caught 19 receptions this season for 179 yards and two touchdowns, while Cox has ten receptions for 151 yards and a touchdown.

Temple has yet to show too many signs of their previous struggles in their past years. This year, they seemed revamped when it comes to stopping other teams and running the ball. Northern Illinois has more options on offense though, can will use them to give Temple a hard time.

Free Pick: Northern Illinois -4

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