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Temple Owls win Gasparilla Bowl behind quarterback Frank Nutile

UPDATED: Thu., Dec. 21, 2017

Temple quarterback Frank Nutile scores as FIU linebacker Treyvon Williams defends during the first half of the Gasparilla Bowl NCAA college football game Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AL DIAZ / Associated Press)
Temple quarterback Frank Nutile scores as FIU linebacker Treyvon Williams defends during the first half of the Gasparilla Bowl NCAA college football game Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AL DIAZ / Associated Press)

Frank Nutile threw for 254 yards and a touchdown to lead Temple to a 28-3 victory over Florida International in the Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday night in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Nutile teamed with Isaiah Wright on 45-yard TD play in the fourth quarter and also scored on a 4-yard run to give the Owls (7-6) an early lead. He completed passes of 13 and 17 yards to escape a first-and-30 hole before throwing 39 yards to Adonis Jennings to set up another TD.

The victory was the fourth in five games for Temple, which rebounded from a 3-5 start to finish with a winning record in its first season under coach Geoff Collins.

FIU (8-5) matched a school record for victories in its first year under Butch Davis, the former Miami, North Carolina and Cleveland Browns coach.

The Panthers played most of the night without quarterback Alex McGough, who left in the opening quarter with a shoulder injury. Maurice Alexander replaced him, but had limited success throwing the ball and was intercepted twice.

Nutile finished 17 of 27 passing with no interceptions and was named game MVP. He threw 13 yards to Keith Kirkwood and 17 yards to Isaiah Wright on consecutive plays before Jennings’ long reception moved the Owls into position to go up 14-3 on David Hood’s 1-yard TD run.

Wright’s TD reception made it 21-3 midway through the fourth quarter. Ryquell Armstead also scored on a 5-yard run for Temple.

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