TEMPLE DEFENSE LEADS OWLS TO 28-3 VICTORY OVER FIU IN 2017 BAD BOY MOWERS GASPARILLA BOWL
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. — Temple’s defense registered a bowl-record 7 sacks and a total of 10 tackles-for-loss and quarterback and game MVP Frank Nutile rushed for a touchdown and passed for another as the Owls defeated FIU, 28-3, in the 10th annual Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl at Tropicana Field.
Temple never trailed and led 7-0 at the half on Nutile’s 4-yard touchdown run with 11:45 left in the second quarter.
FIU’s hopes of winning in its second bowl game in three postseason appearances and its first win in two trips to St. Petersburg were dealt a major blow on the Panthers’ first offensive series when starting quarterback Alex McGough was knocked out of the game with what later was diagnosed as a broken collarbone. McGough completed his only pass attempt and rushed once for 17 yards before suffering the injury that ended his evening.
FIU backup quarterback Maurice Alexander was sacked on his first play, intercepted on his second play and intercepted again in the first quarter as Temple’s smothering defense took control of the game.
FIU closed the gap to 7-3 on a Jose Borregales 27-yard field goal with 3:12 left in the third quarter but Temple answered quickly with a 1-yard scoring run by David Hood with 28 seconds left in the third period to extend its lead to 14-3.
Nutile put the exclamation point on his MVP award with a 45-yard scoring pass to Isaiah Wright midway through the fourth quarter. An FIU fumble led to Temple adding one more score on a 5-yard scamper by tailback Ryquell Armstead in the final minutes.
Nutile finished the game with 18 completions in 28 attempts for 254 yards and the one touchdown pass. He added 18 rushing yards and was sacked just one time.
Middle linebacker William Kwenkeu led the Owls’ defense with a pair of sacks which tied the 10-year-old bowl game’s record for most sacks in a single game.
Temple head coach Geoff Collins became just the second first-year coach to earn a win at the Gasparilla Bowl. He joins current USF head coach Charlie Strong in that category. Strong earned his win in 2010 with Louisville.
Temple: Frank Nutile 4-yard rush for TD (Aaron Boumerhi kick) – 11:45 (7 plays, 68 yards, 3:08)
FIU: Jose Borregales 27-yard field goal – 3:12 (12 plays, 62 yards, 4:13)
Temple: David Hood 1-yard rush for TD (Aaron Boumerhi kick) – 0:28 (7 plays, 75 yards, 2:44)
Temple: Frank Nutile 45-yard pass to Isaiah Wright for TD (Aaron Boumerhi kick) – 7:26 (5 plays, 93 yards, 1:48)
Temple: Ryquell Armstead 5-yard rush for TD (Aaron Boumerhi kick) – 3:54 (5 plays, 23 yards, 2:09)