Temple Football Now Just One Win From Bowl Eligibility
Despite their reputation for football futility, Temple has actually been bowl eligible for four out of the last six seasons. Perhaps because of that rep, they’ve only appeared in two bowl games. But this year, there’s absolutely no reason the Owls shouldn’t be in a bowl game. It’s not even halfway through the season and Temple is just one win away from becoming eligible for a bowl game.
The Owls are 5-0 for only the seventh time, and the first since 1974, after a 49-10 route of Tulane on Saturday. The win was Temple’s largest over a Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) opponent since a 42-0 win over Ball State in 2011. Temple is 5-0 and atop the “Also Receiving Votes” column in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. A route of 0-6 Central Florida next week at home could put the Owls into the Top 25 for the first time since it was ranked 17th at the end of the 1979 season.
Temple is ranked 43rd in Jerry Sagarin’s rankings, ahead of all of their past and future opponents except Notre Dame (who they play on Halloween). Last week we mentioned the possibility Temple would be 7-0 (for the first time in team history) going into that matchup against the Fighting Irish at Lincoln Financial Field.
Although Temple was in control for the entire game, the Owls are becoming a team that’s come out blazing after making halftime adjustments. They’ve outscored opponents 75-6 in the third this season. Defensively, Temple’s opponents third-down success rate of 24.7% ranks sixth in the NCAA.
On Saturday, Temple’s Jahad Thomas scored two touchdowns, true freshman running back Ryquell Armstead rushed for two touchdowns and quarterback P.J. Walker threw for two touchdowns. The defense had four sacks, 12 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions (one of which was returned by Sean Chandler for a score). Tulane was held to just eight rushing yards.
The Owls play Central Florida on Saturday at 7:30 at Lincoln Financial Field.
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