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Temple-Florida International Gasparilla Bowl preview: Can the Owls finally win a bowl game?

Marc Narducci, STAFF WRITER

Updated: Wednesday, December 20, 2017, 9:50 AM

Florida International quarterback Alex McGough has played under center for all four years of his college career.

Temple (6-6) will compete in a bowl game for the third consecutive year when the Owls meet Florida International University (8-4) in Thursday’s Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Kickoff is set for just after 8 p.m.

It’s the first time the Owls have earned bowl berths in three consecutive years. Temple seems serious about snapping its two-game bowl losing streak. A key will be stopping four-year starting FIU quarterback Alex McGough, whom coach Butch Davis feels is a definite NFL prospect.

Temple has momentum, having won three of its final four games. FIU, which was 4-8 last season, was second in Conference USA. The Panthers ended the regular season with consecutive wins over Western Kentucky and Massachusetts.

TV/online streaming: ESPN, WatchESPN.com

Radio: WTEL 610-AM

Twitter: @sjnard

Head-to-head: This will be the first game between the two teams.

Coaches

Temple: Geoff Collins (first season, 6-6)
Florida International: Butch Davis (first year, 8-4; 87-47 overall)

Key players

Temple

— QB Frank Nutile, 6-4, 225, R-Jr.: 60.8 completion percentage for 1,346 yards, 11 TDs, 7 interceptions
— RB Ryquell Armstead, 5-11, 205, Jr.: 553 yards rushing, 3.9 avg., 4 TDs
— WR Isaiah Wright, 6-2, 212, So.: 41 receptions, 591 yards, 3 TDs; 13 KO returns, 24.9 avg., 1 TD
— DE Sharif Finch, 6-4 250 Sr.: 51 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss 7.5 sacks)
— S Delvon Randall, 6-1, 220, Jr.: 76 tackles, 4 interceptions, 1st-team all-AAC)
— S Sean Chandler, 6-0, 195, Sr. (74 tackles, 2 INT).

Florida International

— RB Alex Gardner, 5-10, 195, Sr.: 765 yards rushing, 4.5 avg., 6 TDs
— QB Alex McGough, 6-3, 218, Sr.: 65.5 completion percentage, 2,791 yards, 17 TDs, 8 INT, 214 yards rushing, 2.8 avg., 5 TDs
— WR Thomas Owens, 6-1, 240, Sr.: 59 receptions, 887 yards, 6 TDs, 1st-team all-conference
— OG Joran Budwig, 6-4, 311, Sr.: 2nd-team all-conference
— DL Fermin Silva, 6-2, 235, Jr.: 45 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 7 sacks
— LB Anthony Wint, 6-0, 230, Jr.: 81 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss

Marc Narducci, STAFF WRITER

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