#24 Owls Heading to the Military Bowl

Phillip Walker celebrates after winning Most Outstanding Player of the game. // Credit: CSN Philly
Phillip Walker celebrates after winning Most Outstanding Player of the game. // Credit: CSN Philly

The Owls are making their second consecutive bowl appearance and have the opportunity to win 11 games for the first time in program history, a feat they could not reach last season after losing to Houston 24-13 in the AAC Championship then Toledo 32-17 in the Boca Raton Bowl to finish 2015.

This year, the Owls have played their best football at the end of the season. The Cherry and the White have won seven straight, including the 34-10 trouncing of Navy in the AAC Championship game on Saturday, and are currently ranked 24th in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Temple’s appearance in the Military Bowl means that they will be heading to the same stadium where they beat Navy to capture the AAC title. Head Coach Matt Rhule noted in a press conference on Sunday afternoon that the fact that Annapolis is so close to Philadelphia is a good thing since fans can attend the bowl game, and the game is taking place right in the region where the Owls recruit high school prospects.

The Owl’s opponent, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, will be a huge underdog in the game. After starting the season 4-0, the Deacs have gone 2-6 since and have dropped their last three contests. Head Coach Dave Clawson has done a good job turning around the program after posting a 3-9 record the last two seasons. Wake Forest has not appeared in a bowl game since the 2011 Music City Bowl, where they lost to Mississippi State 23-17, and have a career 6-4 record in bowl game.

The Military Bowl provides a great opportunity for the Temple Owls to send off their seniors in a great way as they face a team from a “Power 5 Conference”. Quarterback Phillip Walker, the most outstanding player in the AAC Championship game, along with exceptional seniors Dion Dawkins, Jahad Thomas, and Haason Reddick will be wearing the Cherry and the White for the final time. The 20 wins over the past two seasons is a Temple football record, and record has come thanks to the contributions by a talented senior class. This is the first time these seniors will face an ACC opponent, with the last ACC matchup coming all the way back in 2012 against Maryland.

The Military Bowl has been played every year since 2008. RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. was the original host of the bowl game, but was switched to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in 2013. The Military Bowl is sponsored by Northrop Grumman.

The Military Bowl will kickoff on December 27th at 3:30 pm on ESPN.

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