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College Football Bowl Previews

Jeff Shain, OFN CFB writer
12/21/2017 9:09AM ET


Site: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Kickoff: 8 p.m. TV: ESPN.

Line: Temple by 7.

All-time series: First meeting.

Last meeting: None.


Coach: Butch Davis (1st season, 8-4; overall 11th season, 87-47).

All-time postseason: 1-1.

Last postseason appearance: Lost to Marshall 20-10 in 2011 St. Petersburg Bowl.

Draft spotlight: MLB Anthony Wint. No.2 on FIU’s all-time tackles chart (325), the reliable Floridian has started all 44 games for which he’s been healthy since arriving on campus in 2014. A bit undersized at 224 pounds, Wint’s quickness and footwork were developed as a former state champion wrestler.

Other Panthers to watch: QB Alex McGough, LB Treyvon Williams, CB Brad Muhammad.

Panther Tales: FIU’s eight wins already match the best mark in the program’s 16-year history, which also was the last time (2011) the Golden Panthers had a winning record. … FIU leads the nation in red-zone offense, scoring on 39 of 40 trips inside the opposing 20. … McGough ’s 2,791 passing yards is one of three school records rewritten in his senior season.


Coach: Geoff Collins (1st season, 6-6).

All-time postseason: 2-4.

Last postseason appearance: Lost to Wake Forest 34-26 in 2016 Military Bowl.

Draft spotlight: FB Nick Sharga. Former walk-on has made toughness his calling card since arriving on campus, blasting holes for backfield mates David Hood and Ryqyell Armstead. After an injury took his final high school season, Sharga played one year at West Virginia Wesleyan before choosing Temple.

Other Owls to watch: WR Keith Kirkwood, WR Adonis Johnson, OT Leon Johnson, FS Sean Chandler.

Owl Hoots: QB Frank Nutile’s emergence helped Temple find its offensive stride over the final two months, averaging 437.0 yards over their final eight contests. … Collins was FIU’s defensive coordinator in 2010, when the Panthers won a Sun Belt title under Mario Cristobal. Two Temple assistants also have FIU ties. … Temple’s seniors have accumulated a school-record 32 wins.

* underclass draft prospect