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MAC Football Preview: EMU at NIU, Miami at Temple

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Hey, great game Tuesday night, wasn't it? Now let's look at the Thursday games:

7:30 p.m. — Eastern Michigan (0-8, 0-4) at Northern Illinois (5-3, 3-1) (TV: ESPNU)

There are a few ways to combat a fire. Depending on the type of conflagration, you can either smother it, use a fire extinguisher, or dump buckets of water on it. Throwing gasoline on the fire is typically a poor idea.

I mention this useful safety tip because of the Huskies' rushing duo of Me'co Brown and Chad Spann, as compared to the 11 Eastern Michigan men on defense they will be seeing.

NIU's rushing offense: 206 yards/game, 4.8 yards/carry, 20 TD (first in MAC)

EMU's rushing defense: 277 yards/game, 6.4 yards/carry, 27 TD (worst in MAC)

Whither the quarterback. Perhaps some nerds in DeKalb can erect a Rube Goldberg machine that delivers the ball to either tailback and let the offensive line do the rest. Chandler Harnish can go play Glockenspiel Hero or whatever the kids are into these days.

And how good is this NIU offensive line? They've only allowed nine sacks all season, best in the conference. Meanwhile, EMU has nine to their credit, second worst.

If you didn't get the picture by looking at the freakin' records, it should be clear now. NIU 33, EMU 13

7:30 p.m. — Miami (1-8, 1-4) at Temple (6-2, 4-0) (TV: Nope)

So, riddle me this. The game is on a weeknight … and there are no TV cameras around? What's the freakin' point? How shall displaced fans finally get to see their team on TV? And another thing: are there really displaced Temple fans?

At least Miami fans are everywhere, or at least they showed themselves last week when they upset Toledo at home. Then again, it may be in their best interest tonight that their game isn't actually televised.

Here's an à la carte sampling of what Temple has going: a six-game winning streak, the third-leading rusher in the nation (Bernard Pierce, 1,033 yards) and an 8-2 MAC record at home since joining the conference in 2007. Miami, on the other hand, set a school record with a 55-yard field goal courtesy of kicker Trevor Cook, the longest ever by a RedHawk. And then, of course, there was the win over the team whose quarterback can't seem to stay healthy.

The 31 points MU put up last week was a season high for them. That was also Temple's most generous total on defense, when Penn State did it. You don't have to be a Temple believer to see how this one's going down. Temple 28, Miami 19

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