The College Bowl Season officially begins tomorrow with a game between two eight-win teams. The 8-4 Temple Owls will face off against the 8-4 Wyoming Cowboys, as MAC takes on the Mountain West in the New Mexico Bowl.
Temple ended the regular season winning three consecutive games and were a four-point loss away from playing in the MAC title game. Their last loss came against the Ohio Bobcats, a 35-31 affair. The Bobcats went on to play in the MAC title against Northern Illinois, so a late Ohio touchdown in Temple's last loss may have cost the Owls a chance at a MAC title. Fortunately, the Owls were selected to play in a Bowl Game after being snubbed last season, despite an identical eight-win season.
Their opponent: the Wyoming Cowboys.
Wyoming had an impressive regular season of their own, winning eight games, which matches their total for the last two regular seasons combined. The Cowboys are also no stranger to the New Mexico Bowl; they won it just two years ago against the Fresno State Bulldogs 35-28 in double overtime.
The key to the game – as is most games involving Temple – is the running game. The Owls are seventh in the entire nation in rushing, averaging 257 yards per game and 5.3 yards per carry. Wyoming's rushing attack isn't too shabby either; they average 185 yards per contest. However; it's the Cowboys run DEFENSE that will be the key to the game. They give up the sixth most rushing yards in college football, an average of 230 per game, on 5.1 yards a pop.
If the Cowboys find a way to slow down Temple's potent rushing attack they have a legitimate chance to upset the seven-point favorite Temple Owls. But if Bernard Pierce and company get it going on the ground, and take an early it could be a long day for the Cowboys.
For more on the New Mexico Bowl, visit the Bowl Game's official website.