Bowl Preview: Thursday, December 21

By | December 20, 2017

GASPARILLA BOWL St. Petersburg, FL; 8 PM ET, ESPN
TEMPLE (6-6) VS. FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL (8-4) by 7
FIU travels up from Miami for an “almost” home game even though it’s 200+ miles. They are led by first year Head Coach BUTCH DAVIS, yes that Butch Davis, who led them in flipping their record from 4-8 to 8-4. There’s more potential pro talent in this contest tan the Boca Bowl. With the help of Davis and his staff they turned a mediocre QB/ALEX McGOUGH #12 into a possible URFA Training Camp roster QB. Having never gotten his completion percentage out of the .50’s he spun it at a 65.3% rate in 2017. He also got his TD/INT down to a respectable level at 17/8. He’s athletic enough to have rushed for over 200 yards as well. #81 THOMAS OWENS/WR was the team’s leading receiver with 59 catches, for 887 yards and 6 TD. He might get a late call but more likely is another URFA. The most productive players for Panthers are LB-twins #52/TREYVON WILLIAMS (6’0/229) and #53/ANTHONY WINT (6’0/225) both of whom are 100-tackles per season guys. TEMPLE faced the 2017 season having to deal with the loss of their HC MATT RUHLE who moved on to Baylor and was rewarded with a 1-Win season. New Temple HC GEOFF COLLINS righted the nest after a tough Sept. and got the Owls to 6-6. A couple of big receivers are top offensive prospects for the Owls. #5/KEITH KIRKWOOD @ 6’3/218 and #17 ADONIS JENNINGS @ 6’3/205 led the team with matching stats of 39 receptions and 7 TD each. I would project that one gets drafted and the other is on a Training Camp roster as an URFA. My guess is that Pro Day workout numbers will indicate which is which. Two of he defensive secondary players could be considered legit Draft prospects for 2018. Transfer CB/MIKE JONES #10 had a solid season with an INT and 6 PD. #3 SEAN CHANDLER is a 6’/195 FS who recorded 74 tackles, with 2 INT and 3 PD. Temple will keep this game close but I think the FIU offense will be tough to stop all night long.