Temple football is more than just the program Al Golden used to coach.
The Owls, ranked 24th in the nation, have some impressive wins this season, including their first victory over Penn State in 74 years. The Owls also won at Cincinnati, something Golden and the Miami Hurricanes could not accomplish this season.
Even Temple’s losses were respectable, including a 24-20 defeat against Notre Dame.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Temple (10-3) will face the Toledo Rockets (9-2) in the second annual Boca Raton Bowl at FAU Stadium.
ESPN will televise what some are calling the best bowl matchup this season between non-Power 5 programs.
Toledo went 5-0 on the road this season, rising as high as No. 19 in the polls after a string of impressive wins, including a 16-12 victory at Arkansas when the Razorbacks were in the top 20. Toledo also earned a home win over Iowa State.
Both Boca Bowl teams have Floridians — eight for Toledo and 12 for Temple.
Two of the more important local players figure to be Toledo starting center Ruben Carter, a 6-4, 305-pound senior from Miami Jackson, and Temple standout wide receiver Robby Anderson, a 6-3, 190-pound senior from South Plantation.
Anderson leads Temple receivers in receptions (64), yards (873) and touchdowns (seven). He ranks second in Temple history for single-season catches and third in yards.
In the American Athletic Conference championship game against Houston, Anderson had 12 catches for 150 yards. It was the most receptions by a Temple player since 1972.
Meanwhile, Carter, who played three seasons for Florida State, helping the Seminoles win the national championship in 2014, is competing this season as a graduate student. He earned a bachelor’s degree at FSU and is working to get his MBA in business at Toledo.
Carter stepped into the void left behind by the 2014 Toledo offensive line, which graduated all five starters.
“Ruben is a very physical player,” Toledo coach Jason Candle said. “[Yet] I never heard anything about, ‘Look at me. I’m from Florida State.’ … He’s a humble kid.”
Candle, 36, is an interesting story, too. He was the Rockets’ offensive coordinator until Dec. 2, when replaced Matt Campbell, who took the top job at Iowa State.
This will be Candle’s debut as a head coach, and he will match strategies against Temple’s Matt Rhule, who was given a six-year contract extension earlier this month.
Both teams want to run.
Temple relies on 5-10, 170-pound junior Jahad Thomas, who has rushed for 1,257 yards (4.7 yard average) and 17 touchdowns. He also has a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown against Cincinnati.
Toledo was No. 1 in the Mid-American Conference in rushing offense (213 yards per game) and No. 2 in scoring offense (35.3 points). Rockets running back Kareem Hunt wasn’t stopped all season. In Toledo’s two losses, he still produced — 140 yards against Western Michigan and 139 yards against Northern Illinois.
Hunt, a 5-11, 225-pound junior, is also a proven bowl-game performer, rushing for 271 yards and five touchdowns in last year’s GoDaddy game.
Carter, the former Jackson star, will try to spring Hunt. But he will have to block Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich, a 6-1, 235-pound senior and the winner of the Chuck Bednarik and Bronko Nagurski awards, given to the nation’s top defensive player.
Matakevich had a three-sack game against Penn State and a two-interception game against Cincinnati. He has 481 career tackles, the most of any active player at an FBS program.
“We’ll probably see each other on every play,” Carter said of Matakevich. “I would love that matchup.”
Tuesday: Temple vs. Toledo
What: Marmot Boca Raton Bowl.
Kickoff: 7 p.m.; FAU Stadium.
Favorite: Temple by 1.
Records: Temple 10-3 (AAC); Toledo 9-2 (MAC).
Series: Toledo leads 7-3.
Temple injuries: Out — DL Jullian Taylor (undisclosed); DL Josiah Bronson (ankle).
Toledo injuries: Out — LB Jaylen Coleman (leg); QB Jalen Reese (Achilles); TE Adam Kulon (knee).
Akron vs. Utah State
What: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m.; Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho.
Favorite: Utah State by 6 1/2.
Records: Akron 7-5 (MAC); Utah State 6-6 (MWC).
Series: First meeting.
Akron injuries: Questionable — RB D.J. Jones (undisclosed).
Utah State injuries: Questionable — QB Kent Myers (shoulder). Out — WR Brandon Swindall (undisclosed); NG Travis Seefeldt (undisclosed).