.500 record within reach at E. Michigan

Temple travels to Detroit to face Eastern Michigan, which is 0-3 under new coach Ron English.

The Owls finally leave Pennsylvania and head to Detroit to face Eastern Michigan this Saturday, Oct. 3, in their second Mid-American Conference game of the season. After losing to Villanova and Penn State and winning against Buffalo, the Owls look to even their record at 2-2 overall and improve to 2-0 in the MAC. Here are three things to watch from each team on Saturday.

Temple:
Looking to build a streak: The Owls got their first win on Saturday with a 37-13 blowout of reigning MAC Champion Buffalo. Sitting at 1-2, Temple has a chance to go over the .500 mark against Eastern Michigan and Ball State the next two weeks. The Eagles and Cardinals have a combined 0-7 record.

Born to run: The Owls beat up Buffalo on the ground by rushing for 198 yards. Freshman Bernard Pierce, senior Lamar McPherson and sophomore Kee-ayre Griffin split the carries, with Pierce racking up 116 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Eastern Michigan allows 288 rushing yards a game.

Causing turnovers: After turnovers cost the Owls their first win of the season against Villanova, it was the Temple defense that caused five turnovers on Saturday. Eastern Michigan senior quarterback Andy Schmitt has already thrown five interceptions this season.

Eastern Michigan:
New leader on the sidelines: After winning just three games last season, the Eagles hired former Louisville defensive coordinator Ron English as their new coach. English has his hands full trying to lead Eastern Michigan to at least another three-win season, as the Eagles have opened 2009 with three straight losses.

Praying for a big game: If the Eagles want any shot of getting their first win of the season, they need junior running back Dwayne Priest to carry the load on offense. Priest is off to a strong start, rushing for 312 yards with three touchdowns.

Stay until the end: The Eagles have scored a combined 27 points in the first three quarters of their games this season, but the fourth quarter is where their offense picks up. Eastern Michigan has scored 28 points in the final quarter, while also allowing 27 points in the fourth quarter. Expect an exciting finish, and don’t turn off the television or radio early.

Pete Dorchak can be reached at pdorchak@temple.edu.

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