Temple University and the University of Toledo will face off in the 2015 Marmot Boca Raton Bowl, as announced by the conferences and the bowl today.
The Marmot Boca Raton Bowl will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 7 p.m. ET, at FAU Stadium. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. Toledo from the Mid-American Conference (MAC) will serve as the home team, while Temple from the American Athletic Conference (AAC) will be away.
“This is a truly compelling matchup, one that will surely make for an outstanding game,” said Marmot Boca Raton Bowl Executive Director Doug Mosley. “I’m eager for the teams’ advance contingents to make their site visits this week so that we may reveal to them our plans to make their bowl experience truly one-of-a-kind. I’m really excited about what is shaping up to be an incredible bowl week.”
This year’s matchup will be a battle of the defenses as both team’s lead their conference in scoring defense with Temple only allowing an average 19.2 yards per game and Toledo coming in at 21.1. The Owls claim defensive powerhouse Tyler Matakevich, who has 126 tackles this year, making him just the seventh college football player to ever register 100+ tackles in four different seasons. Chase Murdock leads the defensive effort for the Rockets as the senior linebacker has 78 tackles this season. Both offenses have also seen a lot of success with Toledo averaging 35.3 points and 463.3 yards per game and Temple putting up an average of 30.8 points and 369.2 yards.
Temple (10-3, 7-2 AAC) enters the game coming off a 24-13 loss to Houston in the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship. Temple won the AAC East Division and went into the championship ranked No. 22 by the College Football Playoff and ended at No. 24. The Owls are led by junior quarterback P.J. Walker, who has surpassed 2,000 yards for the third consecutive season and junior running back Jahad Thomas, who earned his first 1,000-yard season on the ground. Protecting Walker is a strong offensive line that has created the nation’s best time of possession improvement since 2014. The team also boasts Lott Impact Trophy Finalist Matakevich. The senior linebacker is the only FBS player to lead his team in tackles every game of the 2015 season. The Owls are under the direction of Head Coach Matt Rhule.
Toledo (9-2, 6-2 MAC) finished the season with a share of the MAC West Division crown after a 35-30 loss to Western Michigan in the final game of the regular season. The Rockets led the MAC in scoring defense, only allowing an average of 21.1 points per game, and second in rushing defense (115.5). The team was extremely tough on the road, claiming victory in every road game (5-0) for the first time since they went 12-0 in 1971.The offense is led by senior quarterback Phillip Ely and junior running back Kareem Hunt who leads the MAC in rushing with an average of 111.8 yards per game. This game will be Jason Candle’s debut as head coach after he previously served as UT’s associate head coach/offensive coordinator since 2009.
The Marmot Boca Raton Bowl is one of 13 bowls owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.