"I am really looking forward to coming home and playing a great football team," Hazell said at Monday's Mid-Atlantic Conference teleconference. "I have a lot of friends coming to this game, and it will be exciting to play in the Eagles' stadium."
As for Temple, after going 8-4 and not earning a bowl berth last season, the Owls will approach the game with the same urgency as Kent State.
"I think honestly we are approaching it as a one-game season and a championship game," Temple coach Steve Addazio said during Monday's media luncheon.
Getting that eighth win won't be easy against a Kent State team that has won four in a row and overcame a 13-0 deficit to defeat Eastern Michigan, 28-22, on Saturday.
"They have our attention completely," Addazio said.
And Temple has Kent State's attention, especially with the running back tandem of Bernard Pierce and Matt Brown. Pierce has rushed for 1,220 yards (5.3 average) and 22 touchdowns and Brown has added 835 yards (6.4 average) and five scores.
"They have two great backs, and they are physical and have great balance," Hazell said.
Addazio said a key will be to change the defensive philosophy. After preparing for Army's triple option attack in Saturday's 42-14 win over the Black Knights, Temple will play a more conventional offense.
Preparing for the Golden Flashes defense won't be easy. Kent State is second in the MAC in turnover margin, (plus-10) and first with 29 caused turnovers. The Flashes' 6-foot, 244-pound defensive tackle Roosevelt Nix is second in the MAC with 17 tackles for loss.
At least on paper this should be a defensive struggle.
Temple is first in the MAC in total defense, allowing 311.2 yards per game. Kent State is second at 326.2,
On Monday, Owls senior linebacker Stephen Johnson was named the MAC defensive player of the week. Johnson had a career-high 16 tackles, including a career-best eight solo stops, against Army. This is the third time Johnson has earned the award, and he has a team-high 99 tackles.
Johnson is a leader of a unit that is fourth nationally in scoring defense, allowing 13.64 points per game.
Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, email@example.com, or @sjnard on Twitter.