Scores
GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL

Final

Temple 37

(9-4, 5-3 American)

Wyoming 15

(8-5, 5-2 MW)

Coverage: ESPN

2:00 PM ET, December 17, 2011

University Stadium (NM), Albuquerque, NM

1 2 3 4 T
TEM 7 21 3 637
WYO 0 7 0 815

Top Performers

Passing: C. Coyer (TEM) - 169 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: B. Pierce (TEM) - 25 CAR, 100 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: R. Streater (TEM) - 1 REC, 61 YDS, 1 TD

Temple wins New Mexico Bowl with romp over Wyoming

Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Temple came out swinging against Wyoming, jumping to a 21-0 lead in the first half of the Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Saturday.

But when Wyoming freshman Brett Smith threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Josh Doctson with 37 seconds remaining in the first half, Temple quarterback Chris Coyer feared that Wyoming found a spark.

"We knew they had swung the momentum their way. It was a big touchdown for them," Coyer said.

Then, moments later, Coyer responded with 61-yarder to Rod Streater to give the Owls a 28-7 lead.

It was never close again.

Bernard Pierce ran for two early touchdowns and Coyer threw for 169 yards and the touchdown to help Temple overwhelm Wyoming 37-15 in the New Mexico Bowl -- the first bowl game of the season.

The Owls (9-4) had three interceptions -- tying a New Mexico Bowl record -- en route to the second bowl victory in school history. The first interception came at the start of the second quarter when Temple's Kee-arye Griffin picked off Smith's pass to setting up Matt Brown's 1-yard touchdown run that gave the Owls a 21-0 lead.

The last one came late in the game to Temple's Kevin Kroboth, resulting in a field goal.

"Our starting point is playing great defense," first-year Temple coach Steve Addazio said. "That's what our program's built around. We lead a lot of statistical categories in the country, and we have a lot of pride in playing great defense."

The New Mexico Bowl was Temple's second bowl game in three years, but that 2009 game -- a 30-21 loss to UCLA in the EagleBank Bowl in Washington -- was the Owls' first bowl in 30 years. The Mid-American Conference East runner-up did not get a bowl invite last year despite going 8-4.

Coyer, who also rushed for 71 yards, was selected the game's offensive MVP.

"Getting on top early, of course, was going to be a big deal in this game," Coyer said. "We knew that they had a very explosive offense, and throughout the year that's been big for us -- to get ahead early."

Meanwhile, Smith was held to just 127 yards by a greedy Owls defensive line that prevented the Cowboys from getting anything started.

"Not his best day," Cowboys coach Dave Christensen said. "But the great news is he's got three more years and he'll work extremely hard in the offseason. He'll bounce back. He always does."

The loss dropped the Cowboys (8-5) to 6-7 in bowl games. It was a disappointed effort by Wyoming after the Cowboys won the 2009 New Mexico Bowl in double overtime, beating Fresno State 35-28.

"They just played physically better than us," Christensen said. "My hat's off to them. They're a good running team. They're a good football team."

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Team Stat Comparison

 
TEM
WYO
1st Downs2317
Total Yards424267
Passing169127
Rushing255140
Penalties7-555-56
3rd Down Conversions8-135-14
4th Down Conversions1-15-5
Turnovers03
Possession32:3327:27

Passing Leaders

TempleC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Coyer8/1216914.110
WyomingC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Smith20/301274.223

Rushing Leaders

TempleCARYDSAVGTDLG
Pierce251004.0215
Coyer12715.9014
WyomingCARYDSAVGTDLG
Smith16654.1016
Sutton4338.3022

Receiving Leaders

TempleRECYDSAVGTDLG
Streater16161.0161
Rodriguez25226.0040
WyomingRECYDSAVGTDLG
Doctson33210.7121
Herron33110.3017

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERTEMWYO
TD08:41Bernard Pierce 1 Yd Run (Brandon Mcmanus Kick) 70
SECOND QUARTERTEMWYO
TD14:28Bernard Pierce 1 Yd Run (Brandon Mcmanus Kick) 140
TD10:21Matt Brown 1 Yd Run (Brandon Mcmanus Kick) 210
TD00:37Josh Doctson 21 Yd Pass From Brett Smith (Daniel Sullivan Kick) 217
TD00:19Rod Streater 61 Yd Pass From Chris Coyer (Brandon Mcmanus Kick) 287
THIRD QUARTERTEMWYO
FG01:22Brandon McManus 34 Yd 317
FOURTH QUARTERTEMWYO
FG12:50Brandon McManus 37 Yd 347
FG03:22Brandon McManus 34 Yd 377
TD00:03Kody Sutton 14 Yd Pass From Brett Smith (Brett Smith Run For Two-Point Conversion) 3715

Research Notes

Watch out for the MAC, after going 2-15 in bowls from 2006-09, MAC schools recovered to go 2-2 in bowls last year. But bowl season is off to a better start this year, as Temple and Ohio have given the MAC a 2-0 starts with 3 games remaining.
  [+]

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