Wake Forest vs. Temple Military Bowl prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Demon Deacons and Owls in Annapolis, MD.
Wake Forest vs. Temple Military Bowl Preview
When: Tuesday, Dec. 27 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland
TV Broadcast: ESPN
The Demon Deacons (6-6, 3-5) ended the season on a three-game losing streak and losers of five of their last six. But this was still a nice season for head coach Dave Clawson because it is ending with a postseason invite. And a bowl game for Wake Forest will always mean it’s been a good season.
Meanwhile, the Owls (10-3, 7-1 AAC) went on the road and notched a convincing 34-10 victory over Navy to claim their first AAC title behind Phillip Walker’s two touchdown passes and a stifling defense. It was quite the season for the Philly-based program.
Wake Forest will enjoy its first postseason appearance since 2011, while Temple earned an invite to the Boca Raton Bowl in 2015.
What To Know About Wake Forest
One week after the Demon Deacons were overwhelmed at home by Clemson in a 35-13 loss that helped the Tigers clinch the ACC Atlantic division, Clawson’s crew dropped a 17-14 contest to Boston College, which received 4.5 sacks from defensive end Harold Landry. The Demon Deacons have endured a tough second half of the year, getting outscored 79-25 against Louisville and Clemson and going through the skid to end the year. Still, Wake is going bowling, and that’s a big step for this program. There is a lot of work ahead, but a postseason berth and extra practices will be huge for this squad.
What to Know About Temple
Matt Rhule’s squad scored touchdowns on its first three possessions, jumping out to a 21-0 lead and controlling the AAC title game against a Navy team that lost standout quarterback Will Worth to a second-quarter ankle injury. But even before the Midshipmen lost Worth, Temple’s defense looked primed to slow down Navy’s high-powered rushing attack. Rhule has now won 10 games in back-to-back seasons, and the Owls extended their winning streak to seven by earning their first league title since finishing first in the Middle American Conference in 1967. The Owls have a sound defense and a balanced attack on offense behind Walker and running backs Jahad Thomas and Ryquell Armstead.
Offense: Temple. The Owls have a very balanced unit.
Defense: Even. Both units are very strong, so points may be hard to come by in this one.
Special Teams: Even. Temple kicker Aaron Boumerhi has missed just two field goal attempts since taking over the starting job halfway through the season, but Wake’s Mike Weaver has a fairly accurate and strong leg.
Coaching: Temple. Taking nothing away from Clawson, but Rhule is a name to watch for a future Power Five gig.
Intangibles: Temple. The Owls are AAC champions, and they will be looking forward to competing against a Power Five foe.
Matchup To Watch
Thomas and Armstead vs. Wake Forest rush defense
Wake Forest has been very stout against the run in ’16, giving up 155.9 yards per game to rank No. 50 in the FBS. But it will be tested against this Owls rushing attack, which has scored 31 touchdowns on the ground. Thomas and Armstead have combined for 27 scores, and each one has rushed for exactly 918 yards on the year. Will the Wake defense be up to the task?
Spread: No Spread (as of post)
Over/Under: No Line (as of post)
Wake Forest vs. Temple Prediction
The Demon Deacons will be ecstatic to be in a bowl game, but it’s a team that has really struggled down the stretch. Meanwhile, Rhule’s squad put behind an early loss to Army and a 1-2 start to win the AAC title. I don’t think Wake has enough offense to keep up with Temple’s balanced unit, so look for an Owls win.
Wake Forest vs. Temple Final Score Prediction: Temple 27, Wake Forest 16