Temple Plays in Boca Raton Bowl Tonight
Temple goes for a program-record 11th win tonight when it takes on Toledo in the Boca Raton Bowl. The game is at 7 on ESPN.
The Owls are 10-3 this year, and currently ranked No. 24 in the nation by the Associated Press. A win against Toledo tonight and the Owls will likely finish the season ranked for the first time since 1979.
A late touchdown by Notre Dame ended Temple’s undefeated season bid, but the Owls eventually won the American Athletic Conference East division. They lost in the AAC title game but accepted a bowl bid against a good opponent. Coach Matt Rhule signed a new six-year deal.
The Toledo Rockets are an evenly matched opponent for the Owls tonight. They’re just two spots ahead of the Owls in the Sagarin rankings. Toledo has a stacked run game led by Kareem Hunt. After missing the first two games of the year due to a suspension, Hunt has run for 894 yards on 163 carries (5.5 yards per carry). He also has 10 scores. Toledo also has Terry Swanson, who’s run for 870 yards on 132 carries (6.6 yards per carry). The Rockets have run for 2,345 yards as a team this year, a 5.1 yards per carry average.
Toledo doesn’t do as much through the air; Phillip Ely completed just 55 percent of his passes this year with 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The game is the first for new coach Jason Candle, as Matt Campbell left after the regular season to become head coach at Iowa State.
Tonight is the last game for Temple star linebacker Tyler Matakevich, a consensus All-American this year and winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award. He recorded 100 tackles in all of his four seasons at Temple.
Follow @dhm on Twitter.