In what is probably the best bowl game of them all, the Temple Owls and FIU Golden Panthers meet in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. A Gasparilla refers to a pirate, and Bad Boy Mowers refers to a lawnmower company. Your guess is as good as mine. Are these the only companies that want to sponsor these lower-tier bowl games? Apparently so. The Cheribundi Tart Cherry Bowl was another good one.
At the end of the day, though, these are real football games despite the fact reading the bowl names out loud may make you think WTF. Temple and FIU will have the honor of playing in the Gasparilla Bowl. Temple and FIU couldn’t care less about the bowl, they should just be happy to finish their year with a bowl. Temple finished 6-6 and FIU had a nice year at 8-4. It’s their first bowl since 2011 in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl where they lost 20-10 to Marshall.
They reached their first ever bowl in program history in 2010 in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, winning that one behind head coach Mario Cristobal who is now the head coach of Oregon. This is only their third bowl in school history. They’ll look to advance to 2-1 in bowl games with a win over the Owls. Temple got a big win over Tulsa, 43-22, in the finale to reach a bowl. Conversely, FIU finished strong with a couple of wins in a row over Western Kentucky and UMass. Prior to those two victories, they dropped games against Old Dominion and Florida Atlantic.
Like most teams in these smaller bowls, they’ve had up and down seasons. There is a little bit of good and a little bit of bad. It just has to feel good for Florida International to be back in a bowl game after a quality year. The last time the Panthers won a bowl and were a decent team, T.Y. Hilton, of the Indianapolis Colts, was doing it all for FIU. He was their team and carried them to a bowl win in 2010. They do not have a Hilton on their roster this season, but they’ve been getting a nice mix of production from their offense. We’ll see if Temple can contain them in this one. Head below for our free Temple vs. FIU pick in the Gasparilla Bowl.
Temple Owls vs. FIU Golden Panthers Betting Odds:
vs. FIU +7(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Temple vs. FIU Pick:
Temple exploded on the scene a couple of years ago out of the blue. They put together one of their best seasons in school history. The Owls started 7-0 for the first time ever. However, the air was sucked out of their season after they met Notre Dame. It was supposed to be a game to prove they were for real, but fell to the Irish. Their season went into a slippery slope after that, ultimately going to the Boca Raton Bowl and losing to Toledo. It was nevertheless a good season for them, as they caught some national recognition and was a ranked team for a portion of the year.
Outside of their final game of the year against Tulsa and Navy, their other wins aren’t too impressive. Along with those two schools, they also beat Villanova, UMass, East Carolina, and Cincinnati. Quarterback of Temple, Frank Nutile, ended the regular season on a high note, throwing 3 touchdowns and no interceptions against Tulsa. It was his best outing after a rough year. Nutile threw 11 touchdowns and 7 interceptions with a 60.8% completion percentage. The Owls finished 80th in the country with 388 yards per game. They also averaged 24.8 points per game for 93rd.
The FIU offense, on the other hand, has been on fire lately with 104 points in their last two games. The key for Temple will be containing quarterback Alex McGough. He ran for 108 yards and a touchdown, along with 295 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air. He has some giddy-up in his step. In his last four starts, he threw 9 touchdowns and just 1 interception. FIU hopes that he stays hot despite the break between this game and the last. Nutile is a pure pocket-passer, he does not move around all that much. I can’t see Temple running away with this game. Florida International will give them everything they can handle. I’d go with the points in the Gasparilla Bowl.
PICK: FIU +7 (-110)