Bowl eligible, but now what?

The Temple football team is bowl eligible. Now the Owls will wait to find out if and where they will play a bowl game. Temple improved to 6-6 by grinding out a 10-3 win at Tulane on Saturday night, earning the number of wins needed to be selected for a bowl. But the American Athletic Conference has five bowl tie-ins and six bowl-eligible teams.

The Temple football team is bowl eligible.

Now the Owls will wait to find out if and where they will play a bowl game.

Temple improved to 6-6 by grinding out a 10-3 win at Tulane on Saturday night, earning the number of wins needed to be selected for a bowl. But the American Athletic Conference has five bowl tie-ins and six bowl-eligible teams – Memphis, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Central Florida, Houston and now Temple.

It’s possible one of the AAC teams will end up in a bowl where a conference doesn’t have enough teams to fill its allotment.

As has been the case all year, the Owls rode their defense to victory. Temple dominated the game and stopped a final Green Wave drive that reached inside the 10 with a pair of sacks.

Avery Williams brought down Tulane quarterback Tanner Lee on fourth down to finish off the game. Tyler Matakevich finished with 16 tackles for Temple.

The Owls continued to shoot themselves in the foot offensively and on special teams. On one frustrating drive, Temple running back Jahad Thomas fell down at the 5 after catching a 75-yard screen pass.

The Owls went backwards on the next three plays and freshman Austin Jones missed a field goal, one of two misses on the day.

Finally, the Owls broke through in the fourth quarter. After nearly registering a safety on two consecutive plays, Temple forced a punt out of the end zone.

John Christopher returned the kick to the 25 and P.J. Walker hit Romond Deloatch in the corner of the end zone for an 8-yard score. Walker finished the game 20-of-38 for 255 yards and also ran 16 times for 76 yards.

The Owls will find out their fate on Sunday. Temple, which is bowl eligible for the fourth time in six years, wasn’t selected for a bowl in 2010 despite an 8-4 record – but that was when it was in the Mid-American Conference.

The AAC affiliation should help the Owls’ cause this time around, but a bid is still not a certainty.

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