Temple, FIU reach Gasparilla Bowl under new coaches
Gasparailla Bowl: Temple: (6-6) vs. FIU (8-4), Dec. 21, 8 p.m. Eastern (ESPN)
Line: Temple by 7.
Series Record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Temple in appearing in a bowl game for the third straight season, seventh time overall. The Owls, seeking their first bowl victory since the 2011 New Mexico Bowl, lost to Wake Forest in last season’s Military Bowl and Toledo in the Boca Raton Bowl two years ago. FIU has already tied a school record for wins in a season and is making its third bowl appearance, second in St. Petersburg, where the Golden Panthers played in the Beef `O Brady’s Bowl in 2011.
FIU QB Alex McGough against a Temple defense anchored by ends Jacob Martin and Sharif Finch. The Owls ranked among the best in the American Athletic Conference in sacks per game and tackles for losses. McGough has been sacked 21 times.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Temple: QB Frank Nutile completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 1,346 yards, 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions. David Hood and Ryquell Armstead pace the Owls in rushing with 562 yards and four TDs and 553 yards and four TDs rushing, respectively. WR Isaiah Wright leads Temple in receiving with 41 for 595 yards and three TDs. Adonis Jennings (39 catches, 691 yards) and Keith Kirkwood (39, 575) have seven TD receptions apiece.
FIU: McGough completed 231 of 354 passes (65.3 percent) for 2,791 yards, 17 TDs and 8 interceptions. Alex Gardner leads the Golden Panthers with 765 yards rushing and six TDs. Injured WR Thomas Owens led team with 59 receptions for 887 yards and six TDs, despite missing the final three games of the regular season.
FACTS & FIGURES
Temple coach Butch Davis and FIU’s Geoff Collins are completing their first seasons in their current jobs. … The Owls have won three of four games to even their record. … Temple has started 42 different players this season, tied with Western Kentucky for the most among bowl eligible teams.
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