Without McGough, FIU’s Offense Underwhelms: The Takeaway
St. Petersburg, FL — The Gasparilla Bowl was supposed to be great quarterback matchup between Temple’s Frank Nutile and FIU’s Alex McGough. That wasn’t the case, as McGough went down in the first quarter with a fractured collarbone. McGough attempted to play through it but was unable to go.
Replaced by sophomore Maurice Alexander, the FIU offense couldn’t get going putting up just three points. The Panthers hung around for a little while but couldn’t overcome Alexander’s two interceptions.
Temple’s defense dominated, combining for seven sacks in the game, the most in bowl game history.
Nutile finished the game 18-28, for 254 yards and the one touchdown pass. The senior put the exclamation point on his MVP award with a 45-yard scoring pass to Isaiah Wright midway through the fourth quarter.
The Future is Bright for Temple
The Owls finished the season on fire, winning five of six games, including the Gasparilla Bowl. The senior class for Temple won a total of 33 games, an Owl record.
Temple head coach Geoff Collins is just getting started as the offense made huge strides during the season. Look for the Owls to open up the offense, featuring Wright.
The Owls springboard into the next season with a proven quarterback, ready to take on the American Athletic Conference.
Overall Bad Night for FIU
The Panther fans and students were expected to come out in force, just 3.5 hours from home. However, the stands were mostly empty as 16,363 total fans attended the Gasparilla Bowl.
Then McGough goes down in the first quarter, making matter worse as the Panther fans didn’t have much to cheer for.
The loudest group in the stadium was the Temple Band.
To cap things off, McGough and leading receiver Thomas Owens are seniors as FIU will look to retool the offense for next season.
FIU head coach Butch Davis is one of the best in the business in turning around programs. Davis said in the post-game press conference, the early signing day period could not have gone better. Look for FIU to bounce back and be a factor in Conference USA next season.