Bad Boy mowers Gasparilla Bowl - Temple vs. FIU +7 Total 56
Location & Weather
Venue: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL. This will favor FIU, the last time they were in this bowl game their were 20,000 in the stands. This venue has had a hard time getting a ton of fans in the recent few bowl games even with Miss State last year they could not draw 16,000.
Conferences AAC went 4-2 against C-USA this year. FIU defeated Tulane 23-10, but earlier in the year thye lost to UCF 61-17. C-USA as I mentioned before is 4-0 vs. AAC in bowl games.
Coaching Butch Davis did a phenomenal job turning around FIU in just 1 year. This is an experienced group of players especially on defense. Davis 5-2 in bowl games from his time at Miami and North Carolina. Temple, has a young coach from the state of Florida in Geoff Collins.
X's & O's
Temple surprisingly was not as good in the trenches this year ranking 118th in adjusted line yards on the offensive line and they ranked 84th in rushing yards allowed. Their offense really started to get better down the stretch when Frank Nutile took over the starting QB position as they won 3 of their last 4 games scoring 34, 35, 19, and 43. They were not a balanced offense however ranking 100th in rushing yards so I think if they are up in this game they could have trouble putting FIU away leading to a backdoor cover. The good thing for them is FIU's weakness is in pass defense ranking 94th in yards allowed, but they also struggled ranking 79th vs. the run.
FIU's offense was pretty balanced and they have the experience at QB in SR. Alex McGough who had 17 TD's and 8 INT's as they ranked 57th in passing yards per game, and 64th in rushing yards per game behind another senior in RB Alex Gardner. Their top two receivers were also seniors. FIU did run the ball 55% of the time which favors their ability in this game because surprising as it may be Temple ranked 84th against the run in yards allowed and 83rd in rushing yards per carry. A closer look will reveal what I play in this game, but both offenses have advantages.
Lean: This line seems a bit inflated for Temple, because they are coming from a better conference, but you can ignore the bowl experience Butch Davis has over Geoff Collins who is playing in his first. However, Collins has ties to Florida from his time at Florida. Some of the things I will look at are how FIU has done against good pass rushes. Temple +13 in sack margin and I want to see what their strength of schedule looks like as I will even go as deep as opponents opponents strength to come out with a play in this one.