Temple is headed to Florida for its bowl game.
The Owls, who had the most regular season wins in team history this year with a 10-3 mark, will play Toledo in the Boca Raton Bowl on December 22nd. The news was first reported by Jordan Strack of WTOL in Toledo.
The Owls end the regular season ranked No. 25 in the nation in the Associated Press top-25 media poll. They lost 24-13 to Houston in the American Athletic Conference title game on Saturday.
If Temple had won on Saturday, the Owls would likely be playing in a “New Year’s Six” bowl, and be playing on a more prestigious December 31st/January 1st date. Temple actually out-gained Houston in the AAC championship, 385 yards to 339, but the Owls turned the ball over on their first two drives — the second turnover a fumble deep in Houston territory. The Cougars’ Greg Ward Jr. only threw for 88 yards, but he rushed for 148 and scored 2 touchdowns on just 17 carries.
Temple’s P.J. Walker threw for 287 yards, a touchdown and a pick, while Jahad Thomas rushed for 69 yards on 19 carries. Temple was down 24-3 early in the second half, and a fourth-quarter rally fell short.
The Owls still enjoyed what’s probably been their best season in team history. They beat Penn State for the first time since 1941, were ranked for the first time in 36 years and won the AAC East division title. They also hosted a memorable College GameDay on Independence Hall before the Notre Dame game, which Temple narrowly lost on a late touchdown. On defense, Tyler Matakevich led the Owls in tackles every game; ESPN said he “has emerged as one of the best players in program history.”
Toledo will be a formidable opponent. They only lost two games this season, each by five points, and beat SEC member Arkansas in September. The Rockets — good nickname! — also beat Iowa State. They’re led by senior QB Phillip Ely, who threw for 2,680 yards, 21 TDs and 10 interceptions this season.
“This is a truly compelling matchup, one that will surely make for an outstanding game,” Boca Raton Bowl executive director Doug Mosley said in a release. We’ll continue the press release quote, since it’s not really about football: “I’m eager for the teams’ advance contingents to make their site visits this week so that we may reveal to them our plans to make their bowl experience truly one-of-a-kind. I’m really excited about what is shaping up to be an incredible bowl week.”
The game in Boca Raton is at FAU Stadium, which opened in 2011. It is the home stadium of another team nicknamed the Owls, Florida Atlantic.
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