Let’s Go Bowling – Temple Football

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Last week, in the regular season finale, the Temple Owls knocked off conference opponent Tulsa by a score of 43-22. The victory made the team winners of three of their last four contests and 6-6 overall, making the Owls bowl eligible for the third straight year.

In 2015, the team posted a 10-4 record, with signature games featuring a 17-point win against Penn State and a 4-point loss to No. 9 Notre Dame. At the tail end of the season, the Owls earned a spot in the AAC championship game but fell short 24-13 to the Houston Cougars. They got selected to play in the Boca Raton Bowl against the Toledo Rockets (10-2). The Owls fell short in that game as well, losing 32-17.

Last season, the team posted another 10-4 record with a signature win coming at the end of the season. The Owls took on the Houston Cougars in the AAC championship game for the second year in a row. This time around though Temple came out victorious with a 34-10 victory. Big games from Keith Kirkwood, Ventell Bryant, Ryquell Armstead, and then senior Jahad Thomas helped the Owls on their way to the win. Following the conference championship, Temple was selected to play in the Military Bowl against Wake Forest (7-6) but lost 34-26 after losing their Head Coach Matt Rhule, of four seasons, to the head coaching position at Baylor University.

Fast Forward to the current 2017 season. To this point, the Owls are 6-6 overall and 4-4 in conference play during Head Coach Geoff Collins first season at Temple University.

The season started out in a blowout loss at Notre Dame followed by two straight wins at home against Villanova and UMass. The Owls would go 1-3 in their next four games including a blowout loss to No. 21 USF, a blowout win vs. ECU and a heartbreaking loss to UConn on homecoming. Following the UConn loss, Coach Collins decided to switch things up at QB and start Frank Nutile over Logan Marchi after Marchi got a minor injury at practice. Nutile stepped in and right away looked like the right choice. The team suffered a tough overtime loss at Army but bounced right back off of their bye week when they played Navy and won 34-26. After that convincing win in primetime against Navy, the Owls went 2-1 with the loss coming from No. 14 UCF. Making QB Frank Nutile 3-2 in his 5 games as a starter throwing 11 touchdowns and 6 interceptions (4 of which coming in the blowout loss to No. 14 UCF).

After the team notched their 6th win of the season, one question remains: which bowl game will the Temple Owls be selected for? Let’s take a look at some possibilities.

AutoNation Cure Bowl
The Cure Bowl made its debut in 2015 and is played at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. The game features one team from the American Athletic Conference and the Sun Belt Conference. The net proceeds from the game benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Possible opponents for this game would be Georgia State (6-4), Louisiana (5-6) or New Mexico State (5-6).
Boca Raton Bowl
The Boca Raton Bowl began in 2014 and features one team from the AAC in a 6-year cycle and from Conference USA. The game is played in Boca Raton, Florida, at FAU Stadium. Possible opponents for this game would be Marshall (7-5), Louisiana Tech (6-6), Middle Tennessee (6-6) or WKU (6-6).

DXL Frisco Bowl
This is the first year for the DXL Frisco Bowl. It was formerly known as the Miami Beach Bowl but got relocated to Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. An American Athletic Team plays in the bowl each year but has no specific opposing conference.

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
This bowl game is played at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The AAC gives a team 3 times in a 6-year cycle, and this season Conference USA will also play in this bowl as well. Possible opponents for this game would be Marshall (7-5), Louisiana Tech (6-6), Middle Tennessee (6-6) or WKU (6-6).

Birmingham Bowl
This bowl game has been around since 2006 and is played at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. The AAC annually faces an opponent from the SEC. Possible opponents for this game would be Kentucky (7-5), Missouri (7-5), Texas A&M (7-5), Ole Miss (6-5) or Vanderbilt (5-7).

Hawai’i Bowl This bowl game is played on Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium on the campus of the University of Hawaii. The AAC will send one team 3 times in 5 years to compete against an opponent from the Mountain West Conference. Possible opponents for this game would be Colorado State (7-5), Utah State (6-6), Air Force (5-7) or UNLV (5-7).

Military Bowl
This bowl game takes place at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. In the current format, the AAC will square off against an opponent from the ACC. Possible opponents for this game would be Boston College (7-5), Wake Forest (7-5), Duke (6-6), Virginia (6-6) or Pittsburg (5-7).

Head Coach Geoff Collins and his Temple Owls will look to end the season on a high note and finish 7-6, setting the tone early for next season with a big win.

Make sure to stick with the SportsDesk for continued coverage of Temple Football’s bowl game status.

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