The 2017 Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl is a game between the Temple Owls and the Florida International Panthers. Here is a preview and a prediction for this bowl game.
Temple Owls (6-6)
Temple lost head coach Matt Rhule before the season, as he left for the job at Baylor. Geoff Collins was able to lead the Owls to a bowl game in his first season as the man in charge. They beat Navy for their only win over a bowl eligible team this season. With the loss of Rhule and a lot of program-changing seniors from last season, Collins will be satisfied with this season.
On the offensive side of the ball, Temple struggles. They only average 24.8 points per game. Two running backs make up the bulk of the production in the running game. Both David Hood and Ryquell Armstead have over 500 yards rushing and do a good job of complementing each other.
The Owls have started two quarterbacks this season, but Frank Nutile has been starting recently. He has thrown for 1,346 yards, 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions with only five starts. Nutile has a lot of good receivers to throw to. Adonis Jennings, Isaiah Wright and Keith Kirkwood all have over 500 yards receiving. One of their most talented receivers, Ventell Bryant, hasn’t gotten too much going this season with 273 receiving yards.
Temple’s scoring defense is decent, allowing 27.7 points per game, which ranks 74TH in the country. They rank 83rd against the run and 42nd against the pass. Defensive back Sean Chandler is one of the best players on the defense and has 74 total tackles, two interceptions and three passes defended. Delvon Randall also helps make Temple’s pass defense above average with four interceptions.
Florida International Panthers (8-4)
Butch Davis is back in college football and led the FIU Panthers to a great season. They lost out on the C-USA Championship Game, but still had a great run in Davis’ first year. They have quality wins over Marshall, UTSA and Western Kentucky.
The offense scores 27.5 points per game, making it average. They gain 165.1 rushing yards per game. Three running backs get significant carries, which keeps them fresh. Alex Gardner has 765 yards and six touchdowns to lead the team. Both Shawndarrius Phillips and Napoleon Maxwell have amazing names and have rushed for over 400 yards.
Senior Alex McGough leads the offense very well at quarterback. He has totaled 2,719 passing yards, 214 rushing yards, 22 total touchdowns and 8 interceptions. McGough is efficient too, completing 65.6% of his passes. Thomas Owens is the favorite target with 59 receptions for 887 yards and six touchdowns. He is the only receiver with over 300 yards receiving on the team.
They give up 28.5 points per game this season. The Panthers rank 77th against the run and 94th against the pass. Brad Muhammad has four interceptions on the year. Linebackers Treyvon Williams and Anthony Wint both have 56 solo tackles on the year.
FIU has beaten several decent teams this season. With a senior quarterback in McGough, the Panthers will be able to move the ball and ultimately win the game.
FIU Panthers 35 Temple Owls 29
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