Temple vs. FIU: Bad Boy Mowers Gasparillia Bowl Prediction, Game Preview

Temple vs. FIU: Bad Boy Mowers Gasparillia Bowl Prediction, Game Preview

Temple

Temple vs. FIU: Bad Boy Mowers Gasparillia Bowl Prediction, Game Preview


Three reasons why you should watch the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparillia Bowl, why each team might win, honest thoughts, line and prediction.


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Bad Boy Mowers Gasparillia Bowl
Temple (6-6) vs. FIU (8-4)

Broadcast

Date: Thursday, December 21st
Game Time: 8:00 pm
Venue: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Network: ESPN

Contact/Follow @PeteFiutak

The Bowl Matchup Ranking Of Awesomeness
(1 best-39 worst): 
38 out of 39

2017-2018 CFN Bowl Central: Schedules, Picks, Love
CFN Expert Consensus Confidence Picks

Three Reasons Why You Should Watch The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparillia Bowl

These two have more offense than you might think. Temple hasn’t been all that great overall, but it went on a run of three wins in the final four games – it clawed its way to get to six wins. The offense picked it up over the second half of the season, and FIU closed out scoring 104 points in the final two games.

You don’t thing FIU will be fired up to be here? There hasn’t been the excitement or buzz at FIU like there’s been at Florida Atlantic, or especially at UCF, but this is the young program’s third ever bowl game and the first since 2011 – going 1-1 so far. Butch Davis has done a phenomenal turnaround job, and the team should play like it.

Great name, nice history. Oh, come on. Of course you have to watch the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla, especially on a Thursday night as the lone bowl game. As the St. Petersburg, it had a hard time generating any sort of a buzz, but the last three have been close and entertaining – all of them decided by a touchdown or less.

Here’s Why Temple Will Win The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparillia Bowl

– The pass rush is coming. This is nowhere near the Owl defense of the past few seasons, but it’s able to bring the heat with 32 sacks and 92 tackles for loss. The Golden Panther offensive line has been fine, but it’s about to get hit from several angles by Jacob Martin, Sharif Finch and company.

QB Frank Nutile has cranked up the passing attack. Stepping in for Logan Marchi, the 6-4, 225-pound junior hasn’t always been a rock – he struggled against UCF with four picks – but he bombed away against Navy, doing a fantastic job of keeping the chains moving against a team that needs to own the time of possession. He closed out the year with ten touchdown passes in the final four games. The FIU secondary is okay, but it gives up big yards.

– It might be this simple for FIU: don’t have a stupid-bad turnover game. The Owls were a -5 in turnover margin against FIU, and gave it up six times against USF. They’re -10 in the six losses on the year, and +4 in the six wins. FIU is 2-3 this season when losing the turnover battle, and one of those games was against Alcorn State.

Here’s Why FIU Will Win The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparillia Bowl

The FIU offense has been amazing on third downs. If couldn’t seem to do anything right in the opener against UCF to start the season, and it couldn’t move the ball well enough against Florida Atlantic, but the offense was phenomenal on third downs against everyone else, converting 40% of the time – or better – seven games. The O went off in the final two games against WKU and UMass, converting a ridiculous 18-of-29 chances.

Temple has a weird problem getting kicks blocked. With six kicks getting blocked this season including two punts, the Owls have to prepare for FIU to go all out to make something happen. The Golden Panthers have been fine, but they haven’t changed games in the third phase. The coaching staff and special teams got time off and extra practices – get ready for a big rush of some sort.

Alex McGough isn’t a bomber, but he’s a smart veteran quarterback who hits his throws. Accurate, he completed 65% of his throw on the year and ran for five scores, even staying sharp after star WR Thomas Owens went out with a knee injury.

Hit the third down throws, stay in the groove he got in over the last month of the season, and don’t throw picks – with just two over the last six games. Do that, handle the Temple pass rush, and the O will be fine.

You’ve Read This Far, So You Get Three Honest Thoughts On The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparillia Bowl

No one tunes in to watch football games just because of the head coaches, but Geoff Collins is doing a nice job with Temple and should soon be in line for a bigger gig with two more good years. Butch Davis is 66 and might not be hot on moving elsewhere, but there are worse places to coach. These two will crank up their respective teams in what should be a well-coached game.

This has the potential to be a sneaky-good game. Would you watch this on a normal college football season Thursday night? Sure, but you’re different from the masses. With the way the offenses can light it up despite the lack of star Group of Five playmakers, this should be an entertaining back-and-fourth fight.

Will there be a crowd? Will the FIU fans show up? The official attendance for the 2011 game between FIU and Marshall was just over 20,000, but the last two years without a Florida angle have been rough.

Even with Mississippi State last season, the bowl game got just under 16,000, and it dipped below 15,000 in 2015 when Marshall played UConn. Temple won’t draw, so it’ll be up to the Miami contingent to make the drive.

Super. So Who’s Going To Win The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparillia Bowl?

FIU keeps on surprising even when it seems like it’s overdue to struggle. Temple might have fought its way to get in the bowl, and it has the pass rush to make this a fight, but the Golden Panther offense will be efficient, the offense will answer the Owl scores, and it’ll be a nice win for Davis and the program.

Butch Davis at Miami and North Carolina went 5-2 in bowl games, and those two losses at UNC were by a combined total of three points. He knows how to get his teams ready for these things.

Final Score

FIU 37, Temple 31

More Bowl Info & Get Tickets

Line

Temple -7, o/u: 56

ATS Confidence: 3
5: Being in the bar already
0: Watching ball drop … and then trying to get into the bar

Must See Rating: 2.5
5: New Year’s Eve: Ministry of Sound, Defected London NYE
0: New Year’s Eve with Maroon 5, Las Vegas

St. Petersburg Bowl History, Results

Dec. 26, 2016 Mississippi State 17, Miami Univ. 16
Dec. 26, 2015 Marshall 16 Connecticut 10
Dec. 26, 2014 N.C. State 34 UCF 27
Dec. 23, 2013 East Carolina 37 Ohio 20
Dec. 20, 2012 UCF 38 Ball State 17
Dec. 20, 2011 Marshall 20 FIU 10
Dec. 21, 2010 Louisville 31 Southern Miss 28
Dec. 19, 2009 Rutgers 45 UCF 24
Dec. 20, 2008 USF 41 Memphis 14

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