Temple overwhelms FIU in Gasparilla

by Gary Shelton on December 22, 2017 · 0 comments

in College Sports in Florida, general

Alexander tries to find a receiver for FIU./CARMEN MANDATO

Alexander tries to find a receiver for FIU./CARMEN MANDATO

Friday, 3:30 a.m.

For Florida International, the Gasparilla Bowl ended early.

It was still in the first quarter, in fact, when starting quarterback Alex McGough was knockd out of the game with a broken collarbone. After that, the Panthers' offense struggled in a 28-3 loss to Temple. Temple won four of its last five games.

Temple had seven sacks and 10 tackles for loss.

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Davis sees a good season end badly./CARMEN MANDATO

Davis sees a good season end badly./CARMEN MANDATO

FIU backup quarterback Maurice Alexander struggled. He was sacked on his first play, intercepted on his second play and intercepted again in the first quarter as Temple's smothering defense took control of the game.

Nutile was game MVP for Temple./CARMEN MANDATO

Nutile was game MVP for Temple./CARMEN MANDATO

Temple quarterback Frank Nutile was the game MVP, throwing for 259 yards and a touchdown.

"Nobody's ever happy about losing a game," Davis said. "But what these kids accomplished this year, nobody thought was even remotely possible."

Middle linebacker William Kwenkeu led the Owls' defense with a pair of sacks which tied the 10-year-old bowl game's record for most sacks in a single game.

“It’s very difficult when you lose Alex McGough, your starting quarterback. It was tough,” Davis said. “It was an awful lot of a load for Maurice Alexander to come in and for him to kind of

Quarterback McGough was injured for FIU./CARMEN MANDATO

Quarterback McGough was injured for FIU./CARMEN MANDATO

get a little bit of rhythm, have a little bit of success, but it wasn’t enough.”

Alexander had thrown just six passes all season, completing two. Two of his first five passes on Thursday were caught — for interceptions.

“We could just never get a situation offensively where we could just finish drives,” Davis said. “A couple of times we had some drives, we weren’t able to finish them, put it in the end zone.”

Despite the outcome, Davis said he was still satisfied with the season.
Temple head coach Geoff Collins became just the second first-year coach to earn a win at the Gasparilla Bowl.  He joins current USF head coach Charlie Strong in that category. Strong earned his win in 2010 with Louisville.

Temple, which went 4-2 with Nutile as a starter, ended the season 7-6. The senior class ended with 33 wins, most in school history. FIU finished 8-5.

Hood pulls away from an Owl defender./CARMEN MANDATO

Hood pulls away from an Owl defender./CARMEN MANDATO

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