Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Early forecast for Saturday: Temple sunshine

While the rain won't be coming into Philadelphia until dinner time, it should be at Penn State by kickoff.

The early forecast is for rain on Saturday during Temple's game at Penn State.
They might as well call it Temple sunshine.
Before the season, Penn State lost its top running back, Silas Redd, to a USC transfer.
Early reports this week indicate his top two replacements, Derek Day and Bill Belton, are banged up and might not play.
Bill O'Brien answers a question about the availability of top tailbacks Derek Day and Bill Belton.

Conversely, Temple lost its top tailback, Bernard Pierce, to the NFL draft but replaced him with an arguably better version of Pierce in Montel Harris. Also, Matty Brown, not Pierce, was Temple's No. 1 all-purpose runner last year.
Unlike two Penn State tailbacks, Harris and Brown are 100 percent healthy and ready to go Saturday (ABC-TV, Channel 6).
As good as Pierce was, not even the biggest Pierce fan (err, me) is ready to say that Pierce would have been the second-leading all-time rusher in the ACC had he played in that conference.
Harris was and would have been the all-time leader had he remained at Boston College for his senior season.
History shows rain tends to dramatically reduce scoring and teams that can run the ball and have a good field goal kicker have a major advantage.
Temple can run the ball and its field goal kicker, Brandon McManus, is a darn sight better than Penn State's (Sam Ficken). McManus is also a great punter and field position could be especially important under adverse weather conditions.
One of the most infamous times Penn State played a home game in a pouring rain and mud at Beaver Stadium, Navy posted a big upset win, 7-6, in 1974, one year after Penn State beat Navy in Annapolis, 39-0. In the rain, maybe it is a 10-7, 6-3 game and not in a 24-21 range. The last time Temple played in a steady rain was a 12-6 overtime loss to UConn during Hurricane Hanna.
I've never placed a bet on a Temple game and probably never will (it hurts enough to lose straight up and covering in a loss doesn't make me feel any better), but it's something to consider for those so inclined.
The under looks very appealing, Still, I'll take any Temple win over cashing in at the payout window.