CFN Analysis - Temple Wins New Mexico
Temple QB Chris Coyer
Temple QB Chris Coyer
Posted Dec 17, 2011

The instant analysis and reaction to the Gildan New Mexico Bowl

CFN Analysis   

Temple 37 ... Wyoming 15

By Pete Fiutak

- Going for two down 37-13 with three seconds to play is just sad. Making a play on the conversion doesn't do anything for anyone, including the players.

- Wyoming's little bubble screen thing didn't work. There wasn't a Plan B.

- Florida, right now, would you rather have Will Muschamp, who did nothing with a lot, or Steve Addazio, who did a lot with a little.

- This was the win Al Golden never got at Temple.

- Nice work, Wyoming head coach, Dave Christensen; you sign the five-year extension before the team stinks it up in the bowl.

- Bernard Pierce ran well, but the 100 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries was a bit workmanlike considering how soft the Wyoming run defense has been all season long, it should've been a more explosive day.

- Average yards per pass attempt: Temple 14.1 – Wyoming 4.2.

- Average yards per completion: Temple 21.1 – Wyoming 6.3

- The thought was that if Temple quarterback Chris Coyer could do anything, the Owl offense was going to work. 8-of-12 for 169 yards and a 61-yard backbreaking touchdown pass qualifies.

- Temple was faster on defense, more physical on offense, and Wyoming didn't have any answers for either side.

- It's not quite right to think that one game can change around a program, much less a conference, but the Mountain West needed this. With all the defections, the league needed one of the teams that's sticking around to make a statement, and it did: Wyoming can't hang with a MAC team.

- Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith maintained his cool and composure on the short passes, and did what he could with his legs, but there wasn't anywhere to go. The three interceptions weren't the reason UW lost, but they didn't help.

- This didn't have a chance from the start. Wyoming is built to control the ball and keep the chains moving; it's not supposed to make comebacks. Down 21-0 ended the fun before it began.

- This was the Mountain West's first New Mexico Bowl loss in the last five.

By Richard Cirminiello 

If Steve Addazio can cobble together another successful year or two in Philadelphia, he'll make like Al Golden, and use Temple as a stepping stone to something bigger and better.

Golden, by the way, was unable to partake in the 2011 postseason because of the off-field problems being worked through by Miami. He got the next best thing on Saturday, Temple's first bowl win since 1979. Just about every Owl that participated in the 37-15 blowout in Albuquerque was either recruited or coached by the current Hurricanes head coach.

Temple RB Bernard Pierce is NFL-ready. I'd be completely shocked if he doesn't forego his final year of eligibility, an announcement that should come down very soon.

Having watched Wyoming hold up very well against Mountain West competition throughout the regular season, I was shocked—and more than a little disappointed—by its putrid performance in today's New Mexico Bowl.

Don't make the mistake of dismissing Wyoming QB Brett Smith based solely on today's erratic performance against a very good Temple defense. The rookie has a tremendous future in Laramie, especially if the Cowboys are able to surround him with a better supporting cast.

No disrespect, Aztecs, but the Big East invites San Diego State into its league, but still hasn't extended an offer to Temple? This is not the same Owls program as the one that was exiled from the conference seven years ago.

By Matt Zemek

-- Temple finished 8-4 last season but was not allowed to play in a bowl game. One of the bowls that dealt the Owls a particularly bad hand was none other than the New Mexico Bowl, which paired 6-6 BYU and 6-6 UTEP last season. Temple came to Albuquerque with something to prove. Motivation worked in favor of coach Steve Addazio's club. That's the formula for bowl success: arrive in town with more emotional fuel than your opponent, then play with an accordingly high degree of intensity and concentration.

-- In the 2009 New Mexico Bowl, Wyoming played Fresno State as a clear underdog. This time in Albuquerque, the Cowboys were a betting underdog, but their strong showing in the Mountain West Conference season gave credence to the belief that they'd perform well against Temple. However, the Pokes simply didn't feel discounted or discredited as they took the field in this game. Motivation, motivation, motivation – that's the bottom line in bowl world.

-- Temple even hit big pass plays in this contest. That's how bad Wyoming's defense proved to be on Saturday afternoon.

-- San Diego State, with Ronnie Hillman, and Air Force – blessed with a run-first offense that's not exactly easy to stop – are wondering how they lost home games to Wyoming this season. If Wyoming's run defense was THAT bad, how come so many Mountain West teams couldn't light up the scoreboard against the Pokes? It's not as though Wyoming won a bunch of 49-45 games this season, you Aztecs of the Montezuma Mesa. It's not as though coach Dave Christensen's crew was an Oklahoma State-style juggernaut, O Falcons of Colorado Springs.

-- Let's see where Steve Addazio and his career stand three years from now. That said, the former offensive coordinator at Florida certainly delivered the goods in year one. Consider this: Temple is the state of Pennsylvania's second-best nationally known football team in a larger, more holistic sense: The Philadelphia Eagles, Penn State, and Pittsburgh are all top-level dumpster fires at the moment for different but substantially embarrassing reasons.

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee

- Wyoming's rush defense is "as advertised." Bad. Running backs Bernard Pierce and Matt Brown gashed the Cowboy defense, and when they weren't busy quarterback Chris Coyer had is way with the Pokes.

- Florida fans won't want to hear it, but maybe Steve Addazio wasn't the problem in Gainesville. He led Temple to a 9-4 record in his first season, which included the nation's No. 7 offense. He seems to have the backing of the Temple administration, and aside from joining a BCS AQ conference, that might be the last step to establishing Temple as a power.

- Temple's defense is solid, but Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith seemed off all day. Some of those picks were inexcusable.

- Did we really need recently-named New Mexico head coach Bob Davie in the booth for 15 minutes? I thought that era had come to a close. Be better than that, ESPN.

- Congratulations to Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen on his five-year contract extension. Maybe consider playing defense during those five years? Just a thought.

Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN

- Wow. There were a lot of lines for bowl games that came out and didn't quite look right. To me, this was one of them as Temple is a very underrated team. It was hard to see this white-walling coming though, and it was no fluke. Though Temple didn't win the MAC, it's an easy case to make that the Owls still might be the most talented team in the league. This was another exhibit pointing to that fact.

- If you didn't know about Bernard Pierce coming into this, then you should now. Pierce is a talented back and would be a starter on most any FBS team. He doesn't have a lot of wiggle, but shows good patience, vision, and power. He also has subtle footwork in the hole to ferret out additional yards. He's going to get every opportunity to play on Sundays--as he should.

- It would be an understatement to mention the fact that this had to be a severe disappointment for Wyoming. The Cowboys are clearly a step behind the TCU and Boise's of the Mountain West, but have shown that they are a solid third in a league looking for respect in the potential new world order of college football. This was a very bad showing with--at least record wise, the third place MAC team destroying a third place Mountain West squad.

- It's surprising that there's not more of a conversation between Temple and the Big East. The Owls are right in the heart of the footprint of the conference, fit the profile of a big metropolitan area, and although don't have a great pedigree, have things moving in the right direction. You could argue that Temple would have been a much better fit than say--I don't know--San Diego State and Boise.

- Why doesn't the MAC get more respect? Year in and year out, the little brother to the Big Ten pulls some upsets and has other very good showings. There's not a team that can be considered a blue blood, but different teams keep taking the escalator up each year to the top of the conference and can hang with the big boys.

- If Brett Smith can settle down a little, Wyoming fans have to be excited about the team's future. Batman and Robin are leaving the conference (Boise and TCU), and with Smith behind center for a few years to come, Wyoming will have every chance to make some noise in the conference--however it looks. There is no doubt the freshman has talent, he just needs to grow and make better decisions. There's no doubt that he will as he matures. As he does, Wyoming is going to be tough to beat in the future.

- Welcome back, Bowl season!
By Terry Johnson
Please follow me on Twitter @TPJCollFootball

- Congratulations to Temple. After missing out on a bowl last season with an 8-4 record, the Owls thrashed a Wyoming team that finished third in the Mountain West. After such a convincing win, it is unlikely that they will get overlooked in the future.

- Today's win was Temple's first bowl win since 1979.

- Give credit to TU head coach Steve Addazio for setting the tone of the game in the opening series. Faced with a fourth-and-one from its own 43, Addazio did not hesitate to go for it. The Owls picked up the first down, and ended up taking a 7-0 lead as a result of the aggressive play call.

- The game ball goes to Temple's mammoth offensive line. The big uglies dominated the game from the opening whistle, paving the way for 6.7 yards per carry. More impressively, they gave QB Chris Coyer all day to throw, and did not allow a sack.

- Even though the offensive will garner most of the headlines for this game, the Temple defense quietly put up one of their best efforts of the season. Yes, the Owls did give up 141 yards rushing and 4.3 yards per carry. However, they forced three interceptions and recorded a QB sack. They also held Wyoming to its second lowest output of the season, yielding only 269 yards.

- Does the Mountain West seriously expect an automatic bid to the BCS next season? What does it say when Wyoming – the top team right behind TCU and Boise loses to the fourth-place team in the MAC? That is hardly AQ material.

- Despite today's loss, Wyoming had one of the top turnarounds in the country this season, improving from 3-9 a year ago. If QB Brett Smith continues to improve, the Cowboys should contend for the Mountain West title.