Temple wins the Gasparilla Bowl for third consecutive winning season

(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /

For the third straight season, Temple is returning to North Philly with a winning record. Here’s how the Owls won the first bowl game of the Collins era.

The Temple Owls win again.

After starting off the season with a rough 3-5 record, including a particularly disheartening loss to Notre Dame in the season opener, the Owls pulled off a 3-1 record down the stretch to make themselves bowl eligible for the third consecutive season.

And unlike last season, in a game without former head coach Matt Rhule, Temple actually won.

In the marquee, and to be fair, the only game of the night, Temple gave Florida International everything they have in front of a national audience and proved once and for all that the last three seasons were not just a fluke.

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After both teams failed to score in the first quarter, Temple’s back seven picked off a pair of passes and helped to set the offense up for their first two touchdowns of the evening, it what would ultimately turn into a blow out victory for your favorite neighborhood Owls.

While the Golden Panthers did put up a quick three points early in the second half, they simply looked outmatched for much of the evening, unable to get much going on either side of the ball.

Now no one’s going to say mistake Butch Davis‘s FIU squad for Alabama anytime soon, but the fact that Temple, under a first-year head coach, could defeat a team helmed by a former NFL head coach on national television should be commended.

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Seniors like Sean Chandler, Keith Kirkwood, and Adonis Jennings all made their presence known in their last game in Cherry and White and should be incredibly proud of everything they accomplished in North Philly, as they were a part of the class that really turned this University’s football program around.

Additionally, the Owls also got some incredible production out of junior quarterback Frank Nutile, a player who started the season off as a backup to sophomore starting quarterback Logan Marchi and didn’t even get much in-game action until late October. Nutile picked apart the Golden Panthers’ secondary with relative ease and only solidified that Temple quarterback competition before the 2018 season will be incredibly interesting to watch.

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This victory was a great sign not only for Temple now but also for the program’s future. If the team can continue to progress under Geoff Collins as he continues to shape the roster in his image, Temple could continue to establish itself as a legitimate football school, and a perennial challenger for the American Athletic Conference title. Hopefully, he actually sticks around long enough to cement his legacy in North Philly.