Birds Of A Feather

Temple comes into Saturday's game at Bowling Green off two straight shutouts, while the Falcons enter the contest lugging a three-game losing streak. While that might make the Owls more confident or Bowling Green more desperate, Falcons coach Dave Clawson has it right when he says the winner of this game controls its own destiny to represent the East Division in the MAC championship game.

Temple comes into Saturday's game at Bowling Green off two straight shutouts, while the Falcons enter the contest lugging a three-game losing streak.

While that might make the Owls more confident or Bowling Green more desperate, Falcons coach Dave Clawson has it right when he says the winner of this game controls its own destiny to get to Detroit and represent the East Division in the Mid-American Conference championship game.

"We're still in the hunt, but this week's game is critical," said Clawson. "You can't say that a week from now if we don't take care of business."

The Owls (5-2 overall, 3-1 MAC) look to take a stranglehold on the East race with a win at Bowling Green (3-4, 1-2). No other MAC East team has more than one conference win and only Miami matches the Owls with one loss.

"Every game it's all on the line," said Temple coach Steve Addazio. ‘If you think you can take a deep breath, you can get beat."

The Owls haven't let up in back-to-back wins over Ball State and Buffalo, which they won by a combined 76-0 score. The pair of shutouts followed the lone blip on the schedule, a 36-13 setback against Toledo.

"We've had two weeks of no turnovers, that's critical for our style of game," said Addazio. "The two times we failed (to win), we failed starting with turnovers."

The Falcons have struggled against the run, which would seem to play into Temple's hands. Bernard Pierce and Matt Brown have combined for 1,287 yards and 19 touchdowns.

"(We've played) spread offenses that run when you give them the run, these guys don't look (for defenses to) give you anything, they're going to take it," said Clawson. "They have four senior and one junor offensive linemen, and two or three tight ends that try to maul you and mash you and knock you off the football.

"You always talk about putting guys in the box. We could put 11 guys in the box, the guy who sells popcorn, the guy who sells pizza and half the band and they're still going to run. They're going to challenge your manhood and run downhill.

"This is the most physical offense we've faced all year, there isn't a comparison. It's indicative of their head coach. He has a reputation of being an outstanding offensive line coach, and they've taken on his personality."

Addazio also has a healthy respect for Clawson and a Falcon offense that has been successful throwing the football. Quarterback Matt Schilz is completing 60.6 percent of his passes and has thrown for 1,697 yards and 17 touchdowns.

"We always like how our defense stacks up, but you have respect for who you're playing," said Addazio. "(Schilz) makes a lot of plays. They're second in the MAC in passing offense and third in time of possession. Defensively, they're tops in third-down defense. They're pretty good in important statistical categories."

Last year, Bowling Green came into Lincoln Financial Field in the middle of a two-win season and lost by a point when it failed on a two-point conversion pass with time expired. Addazio wasn't here for that game, but many of the Owls should have long memories.

"We're very concerned about this football team," said Addazio. "They're playing a must-win at home. We sure have talked about last year, it was right down to the wire.

"Sometimes when you're smiling in the fourth quarter too much (in blowouts), you think that's the way it's going to be all the time. It's not."

Owls Daily Top Stories