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No joke, Temple praises Wyoming's run defense

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Call it being politically correct.

Temple coach Steve Addazio did it during Monday's press conference at Edberg-Olson Hall. And his players are doing it here in the days leading up to Saturday's Gildan New Mexico Bowl game against Wyoming.

The Owls (8-4) have the Football Bowl Subdivision's seventh-best rushing offense, averaging 256.67 yards per game. Wyoming (8-4), on the other hand, is ranked 115th out of 120 FBS squads in rushing defense.

The Cowboys are giving up 230.1 rushing yards per game. They yielded more than 300 yards against Nebraska (333 yards), Utah State (303), Texas Christian (390), and Air Force (312).

But Temple keeps preaching that Wyoming's statistics are misleading. The Owls want everyone to realize that the Cowboys will be much better stopping the run Saturday. And Temple wants us to believe its huge size advantage actually isn't an advantage.

The Owls' offensive line is on average 71.8 pounds heavier than the Cowboys front seven.

"They are slightly undersized," Temple senior left tackle Pat Boyle said. "But they are not undersized [when it comes to effort] at all."

The first-team all-Mid-American Conference selection said Wyoming's effort concerns Temple.

"They do a lot of run-stuff formations," he said. "So they go hard. And they are not going to stop.

"Even if they do miss a gap one play, they are going to make up for it with their effort. I can't overlook their effort at all."

Time will tell.