When Temple (8-4) faces North Carolina (6-6) in Friday’s Military Bowl in Annapolis, Md,. it will be the Owls’ third time playing an Atlantic Coast Conference team in a bowl game. The other two games didn’t turn out that well for the Owls. They lost, 34-26, to Wake Forest in the 2016 Military Bowl and fell, 56-27, last year to Duke in the Independence Bowl. Both those games came after Temple coaching changes and the Owls were guided by interim coach Ed Foley. This time that won’t be an excuse.
What will be more daunting is facing UNC freshman Sam Howell, who has thrown for 3,345 yards and 35 touchdowns. The Tar Heels also can run the ball, averaging 184 rushing yards per game. So the key will be whether Temple can stop the Tar Heels’ offense. The Owls should be able to score and here’s a hunch that quarterback Anthony Russo will have a big day. Another hunch is that UNC’s offense just might have a little more than the Owls.