The Temple Owls are on the road and set to take on the Akron Zips at InfoCision Stadium — Summa Field (6 p.m. / ESPN 3). If the stadium's name seems like a mouthful, bear in mind that their old home field was named the "Rubber Bowl;" so, they sort of went the other way on that one.
Anyway, on paper, this should prove the Owls' easiest game of 2011. The Zips went just 1-11 in 2010 and opened up their season last week with a 42-0 loss to The Ohio State University. While getting waxed by OSU isn't necessarily the end of the world for a MAC program, consider that Toledo just gave those same Buckeyes one hell of a game from inside the Horseshoe earlier today. It should also be noted that Akron amassed just 90 total yards in the loss.
As for the series history between the Owls and Zips, Temple leads the all-time head-to-head at 13-7; they hold a 6-3 advantage over the Zips in games played at Akron. Last year, in a mid-season match up at Lincoln Financial Field, Temple hammered the Zips by a final score of 30-0. Up just by just six at the half, Temple ripped off 24-straight in the second half to cover the 28-point spread by just 2. They'll be giving 16 today.
With all that in mind, the Owls should nonetheless be wary of a potential letdown. Underestimating the Zips and looking one week ahead toward Penn State seems like the perfect recipe for disaster. Thankfully, coach Steve Addazio's insistence on "taking things one week at a time" should keep Temple directed.
Quarterback Chester Stewart and defensive back Kee-ayre Griffin are set to make their returns for the Owls after serving one-week suspensions and missing the Mayor's Cup. While Griffin will more than likely get his reps, it remains unclear as to whether Stewart will fill in as the No. 2 behind quarterback Mike Gerardi, or if he will instead begin his senior year behind Gerardi's week 1 back-up, sophomore Chris Coyer.
Local forecasts are calling for clear skies and a temperature of 71-degrees at game time. Sounds like a nice night in Akron. 17-1 odds LeBron James shows up to root on the Zips. Who wants action?
Update: With just over six minutes left to play in the 1st quarter, the field has been cleared and the game has entered into a weather delay as a result of storms in the Akron area. So much for that "hourly Weather Channel forecast" we cited above. Meteorology!
We'll update when they come back out.
Update 2: They're back out (7:45 p.m.).