Temple Owls

Temple caps Collins' 1st season with Gasparilla Bowl win

uspresswire-temple-team-celebrate.jpg
USA Today Images

Temple caps Collins' 1st season with Gasparilla Bowl win

BOX SCORE

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Geoff Collins has lofty expectations for Temple.

"The future is bright," the first-year coach said after Frank Nutile threw for 254 yards and a touchdown to lead the Owls to a 28-3 victory over Florida International in the Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday night.

Nutile teamed with Isaiah Wright on 45-yard TD play in the fourth quarter and also scored on a 4-yard run to give the Owls (7-6) an early lead. He completed passes of 13 and 17 yards to escape a first-and-30 hole before throwing 39 yards to Adonis Jennings to set up another TD.

The victory was the fourth in five games for Temple, which rebounded from a 3-5 start to finish with a winning record. The Owls, American Athletic Conference champions a year ago, won a bowl game for the first time since the 2011 New Mexico Bowl.

"The ceiling is the roof," Collins said amid a celebration at Tropicana Field.

FIU (8-5) matched a school record for victories in its first year under Butch Davis, the former Miami, North Carolina and Cleveland Browns coach.

"Nobody's ever happy about losing a game," Davis said. "But what these kids accomplished this year, nobody thought was even remotely possible."

The Panthers played most of the night without quarterback Alex McGough, who left in the opening quarter with what Davis said was a fractured collarbone. Maurice Alexander replaced him, but had limited success throwing the ball and was intercepted twice.

Nutile finished 17 of 27 passing with no interceptions and was named game MVP. He threw 13 yards to Keith Kirkwood and 17 yards to Isaiah Wright on consecutive plays before Jennings' long reception moved the Owls into position to go up 14-3 on David Hood's 1-yard TD run.

Wright's TD reception made it 21-3 midway through the fourth quarter. Ryquell Armstead also scored on a 5-yard run for Temple.

"It means a lot. ... We've been through a lot," Nutile said. "Our team's mindset was to go out there and leave it all on the field."

Forced into action
Alexander completed 16 of 33 passes for 162 yards for FIU. The Panthers were unable to run the ball consistently to take pressure off the backup quarterback, finishing with 88 yards on the ground and avoiding a shutout with Jose Borregales' 27-yard field goal in the third quarter.

What a rush
Temple's defense set a Gasparilla Bowl record with seven sacks. LB William Kwenkeu led the way with two. The Owls also forced three turnovers, including a fumble that Freddie Booth-Lloyd recovered to set up Armstead's late TD.

The takeaway
Temple: Collins inherited a program that won the American Athletic Conference in 2016, the Owls' first league crown since 1967. After a slow start that saw them lose five of eight, the Owls returned from a bye week to win three of four to become bowl eligible. This year's senior class won 33 games over four seasons, an Owls record.

FIU: The Panthers hope to raise their profile under Davis, and matching the school record for wins and appearing in a bowl for the first time is a start. The Panthers finished second in Conference USA's East Division and placed 12 players on the league's all-conference team.

Up next
Temple: The Owls made significant strides in first-year offensive coordinator David Patenaude's system after Nutile, a redshirt junior moved into the starting lineup in October. Starting receivers Kirkwood and Jennings are seniors, however Wright, a sophomore, led the Owls with 46 receptions for 668 yards with four TDs and will provide some continuity at the position.

FIU: Key changes on offense. McGough, the Panthers' career leader in TD passes and No. 2 in career completions and passing yards, is a senior. Alexander appeared in seven games during the regular season, however the sophomore only attempted six passes. Leading receiver Thomas Owens (59 receptions, 887 yards, 6 TDs in nine games) is also a senior.

Temple falls on last-second 3 in OT

uspresswire-temple-fran-dunphy.jpg
USA Today Images

Temple falls on last-second 3 in OT

BOX SCORE 

Jeremiah Martin scored 26 points and Kareem Brewton Jr., hit a game-winning 3-pointer off a broken play and Memphis defeated Temple 75-72 in overtime Saturday, winning its first game on the road this season.

With time running out, Brewton appeared to pass from the wing to the low post, but the ball was deflected. Brewton chased the ball down and his turnaround 3 landed with no time showing on the clock, sending the Tigers (12-6, 3-2 American) onto the court in celebration. Brewton scored half of his 10 points in the last 1:16 of overtime.

After review, one second was put back on the clock, Temple's long inbounds pass was intercepted, Jimario Rivers knocked down two free throws and Shizz Alston, Jr.'s Temple (8-9, 1-5) desperation 3 didn't fall.

Mike Parks, Jr. added 12 points for Memphis and Brewton and Kyvon Davenport scored 10 each.

Temple surged ahead in overtime with three straight from distance -- two by Nate Pierre-Louis and one from Alston.

Louis scored 23 points and Alston 19 for Temple, which was coming off its stunner in Dallas, where the Owls snapped SMU's 33-game home win streak.

Josh Brown sinks 1 of NCAA's longest streaks

uspresswire-temple-josh-brown.jpg
USA Today Images

Josh Brown sinks 1 of NCAA's longest streaks

BOX SCORE

DALLAS -- Quinton Rose and Obi Enechionyia combined for 39 points and Josh Brown scored the game-winner as Temple -- winless in American Conference play coming in -- upended SMU 66-64 Wednesday night and broke a 33-game home win streak for the Mustangs in Dallas, second longest in the NCAA.

Brown took an inbound pass with 23.1 seconds left, dribbled down the clock, drove the left side of the lane and made a jump hook with 1.5 seconds to go for a 66-64 lead. SMU's pass to midcourt was tipped out of bounds at 0.4. The Mustangs couldn't get off a shot before the final buzzer.

The loss is the first at home for SMU (12-6, 2-3) since Feb. 10, 2016 and the first for coach Tim Jankovich. A win would have tied the program record of 34 straight home wins.

Shake Milton led SMU with 25 points and he scored the last six for the Mustangs. Jarrey Foster and Ben Emelogu added 11 each.

Temple (8-8, 1-4), which snapped a five-game skid, led by as many as 13 after halftime when SMU began a 17-4 rally with a Foster dunk and an Emelogu 3-pointer --off a Foster defensive rebound. A sequence with another Foster dunk, an Emelogu layup and a Foster fast-break drive off a steal, made it 59-58 with 3:41 left. SMU made 6 of 10 shots in the rally with six steals and just one turnover.

Milton gave the Mustangs a 60-59 lead, their first in more than 20 minutes, with a pair of free throws and his jumper with 1:21 to go made it 64-62.

Rose led the Owls with 23 points, Enechionyia added 16, including a 3-pointer and jumper to tie with just under a minute and Brown scored five points.