Temple Owls (6-6) at FIU Golden Panthers (8-4)
College Football: Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm (Tropicana Field)
The Line: FIU Golden Panthers +8 -- Over/Under: 58 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Temple Owls and FIU Golden Panthers will face off in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl at Tropicana Field on Thursday, December 21st.
The Temple Owls won 3 of their last 4 games of the season to finish the year with an overall record of 6-6 (4-4 AAC-East) and become bowl eligible for the 3rd consecutive season. On the season, Temple is averaging 24.8 ppg on 387.6 total yards per game (251.6 passing yds/g; 136.0 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Temple started to find some success on the offensive end after QB Frank Nutile (60.8 Comp %, 11 TD, 7 INT, 192.3 passing yds/g) took over QB duties from Logan Marchi (55.5 Comp %, 9 TD, 8 INT, 236.9 passing yds/g) who sat out the last four games due to a lower-body injury and I would imagine that the Owls will stick with Frank Nutile even if Logan Marchi is available to play. The top receiving targets for the Owls were WR Adonis Jennings (3.3 rec/g, 57.6 yds/g, 7 TD), Isaiah Wright (3.4 rec/g, 49.6 yds/g, 3 TD), and Keith Kirkwood (3.3 rec/g, 47.9 yds/g, 7 TD). The Owls backfield has been led by David Hood (9.7 att/g, 46.8 yds/g, 4 TD) and Ryquell Armstead (11.8 att/g, 46.1 yds/g, 4 TD). Defensively, Temple is allowing their opponents to average 27.7 ppg on 391.8 total yards per game (210.0 passing yds/g; 181.8 rushing yds/g). DB Delvon Randall was an impact player on the defensive end as he finished the season as the 3rd leading tackler for the Owls while also leading the team with 4 INT. The Owls committed 21 turnovers on the season and finished with an overall turnover margin of -6.
The FIU Golden Panthers finished their regular season with an overall record of 8-4 which was the first winning record FIU has had since the 2011 season. On the season, FIU averaged 27.5 ppg on 403.6 total yards per game (238.5 passing yds/g; 165.1 rushing yds/g). Offensively, FIU has been led by QB Alex McGough who completed 65.3% of his passes for 17 TD and 8 INT while averaging 232.6 passing yds/g. McGough also did some damage with his legs as he scored 5 TD’s on the ground. WR Thomas Owens (6.6 rec/g, 98.6 yds/g, 6 TD), TE Pharoah McKever (2.2 rec/g, 24.5 yds/g, 3 TD), and WR Dennis Scott (1.8 rec/g, 27.4 yds/g, 2 TD) were the leading receivers for the Golden Panthers. The FIU backfield was led by Alex Gardner (14.3 att/g, 63.8 yds/g, 6 TD), Shawndarrius Phillips (8.2 att/g, 37.8 yds/g, 4 TD), and Napoleon Maxwell (5.8 att/g, 35.4 yds/g, 5 TD). Defensively, FIU allowed their opponents to average 28.5 ppg on 416.6 total yards per game (242.8 passing yds/g; 173.8 rushing yds/g). DL Fermin Silva had a solid season as picked up 45 tackles on the season and led the team with 7.0 sacks. The Golden Panthers forced 17 turnovers on the season and finished the regular season with an overall turnover margin of -1.
The Owls are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. C-USA opponents and 9-3 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Golden Panthers are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
Temple lost a lot of talent on the defensive end over the past couple of years and it looked like it was going to be a long season for the Owls, as the offensive had trouble putting up points, however, Temple’s offense started clicking towards the end of the season as the Owls averaged 32.8 ppg over their last 4 games. FIU has been solid on both ends of the field this season and must have a bunch of confidence going into this matchup after putting up a combined 104 points against Western Kentucky and UMass over their past two games. This is probably going to be a higher scoring game and as I’m not afraid of the Golden Panthers putting points up on the board against the Owls defense, I’m taking FIU to at worst cover with the points.