NEW ORLEANS - Temple quarterback P.J. Walker hit wide receiver Romond Deloatch on an 8-yard fade route in the fourth quarter for the game's only touchdown as the Owls became eligible for a bowl with a 10-3 victory over Tulane on Saturday night at Yulman Stadium.
The Owls stopped Tulane on fourth and goal from the Temple 16-yard line with 36 seconds remaining to preserve the win when linebacker Avery Williams sacked quarterback Tanner Lee on a blitz.
The victory makes Temple (6-6, 4-4) the sixth American Athletic Conference team to become bowl-eligible, joining Memphis (9-3), Cincinnati (9-3), Central Florida (9-3), East Carolina (8-4), and Houston (7-5).
Temple isn't guaranteed a bowl game, though, because the American has only five bids to give out.
Temple could be fighting with Middle Tennessee (Conference USA), Ohio (Mid American), Fresno State (Mountain West), Texas State (Sun Belt), and Oklahoma State (Big 12) for spots another conference is unable to fill.
Owls coach Matt Rhule said he has faith in the conference to place Temple into a bowl if it sees fit.
"I lean on the conference for that," Rhule said. "[American conference chairman] Mike Aresco and those guys do a good job. I'm sure Mike has a scenario for us.
"At the end of the day, I think if you beat an SEC team [Vanderbilt], you've beaten a top 25 team [East Carolina], you play the schedule we play and you end up being bowl-eligible and go 4-4 in the conference, I think you deserve to be going to a bowl to play somebody else."
Walker finished 20-of-38 passing for 255 yards and also added 76 yards rushing. Temple finished with 347 total yards, its highest mark since Oct. 17 at Houston, when the Owls put up 357 yards.
"We had to just keep our head up and keep fighting," Walker said. "We had opportunities after opportunities after opportunities, so at some point it was going to hit. We just had to keep fighting for the defense and keep fighting for each other."
Junior free safety Alex Wells was ejected late in the first quarter for a personal foul on Tulane wide receiver Teddy Veal. Tulane (3-9, 2-6) almost capitalized on the penalty by scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run by Lazedrick Thompson three plays later, but the Green Wave were flagged for a chop block and the Owls held Tulane to a 28-yard field goal.
Temple running back Jahad Thomas had a 75-yard reception on the ensuing drive, but he was tackled at the Tulane 7. It was Thomas' third 70-yard reception of the season.
Walker lost 10 yards two plays later and the Owls had to settle for a field-goal attempt. Austin Jones' 35-yarder hit the right upright and was no good.
The Owls also missed out on points on the following drive when Walker's fourth-down pass from the Tulane 32 to a wide-open Jalen Fitzpatrick was caught but carried Fitzpatrick out of bounds.
Jones was able to redeem himself before halftime, as he nailed a 37-yard field goal with 2:25 left in the second quarter. Jones had a chance to give Temple a lead before halftime after a quick Tulane drive produced a punt, but he missed a 39-yarder.