Temple sacked FIU in a 28-3 blowout in the Bay Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. Here are five things that matter.
2017 Bad Boy Mowers Gasparillia Bowl: Temple 28, FIU 3
5. The sacks
It’s this simple: FIU couldn’t block the Owl defensive front. Temple cranked up eight sacks and ten tackles for loss with consistent big plays in the backfield. Knocking out FIU QB Alex McGough with a broken collarbone all but killed the Golden Panther hopes, and the defense took care of the rest with Maurice Alexander under center. However …
4. Give FIU’s defense credit for hanging around
The Golden Panther defense didn’t get a whole lot of help from the offense, but LB Anthony Wint and company did its part to keep the game close. Temple’s offense struggled, too, until finally pulling away in the fourth quarter. FIU made this a four quarter game, but the offense simply couldn’t get anything going.
3. Frank Nutile’s game
It wasn’t a settled quarterback situation early on for Temple, but Nutile ended up taking over with the payoff coming in the bowl win. He completed 19-of-29 passes for 259 yards and a score, and he ran for a touchdown. A junior, he’s the quarterback and leader to work around for next season. Bowl games might not always matter, but for Temple …
2. This was the tone-setter for head coach Geoff Collins and the Owl program
It took a while in a rebuilding season for Temple to get going. Head coach Geoff Collins had the unenviable task of having to replace a whole slew of talents from the 2016 American Athletic Conference championship. But in his first year, Collins had the team playing better and better as the season rolled on, and then it came up with this to close with. There’s more building to do next year, but Collins just showed that the transition of power from the Matt Rhule era could still lead to success.
1. The bowls have to get better. Fast.
The last three games – all involving Conference USA teams that went 2-1 – were decided by a combined score of 129-16 with both Akron and now FIU able to generate just three points.
Nothing against the Zips, but they ran into a Florida Atlantic buzzsaw. SMU was going through a coaching change – a decent excuse for the clunker against Louisiana Tech – and FIU seemed to run out of gas. However, for the “too many bowls” crowd, this didn’t help.
If you’re going to have a silly name like the Bad Boy Gasparilla Mowers Bowl, you had better bring the great game. This one didn’t have it.
No pressure, Ohio vs. UAB in the Bahamas. Just don’t suck.