Temple faces UCLA in the EagleBank Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. ESPN will televise the game nationally at 4:30 p.m.
Bob Wischusen (play-by-play), Brian Griese (analyst), and Rob Stone (sideline) will call the game on ESPN.
Under the direction of fourth-year head coach Al Golden, Temple stands 9-3 overall while tying for first in the MAC East Division at 7-1. The Owls made school history with nine consecutive wins in a single season.
The nine wins are the team’s most since 1979 when the Owls finished 10-2 with a trip to the Garden State Bowl.
Recording its first winning season since 1990, Temple is participating in its first bowl game since 1979 when it defeated California 28-17 in the short-lived Garden State Bowl (1978-1981) at Giants Stadium.
On the ground, freshman All-American RB Bernard Pierce leads the Owls with a freshman record 1,308 yards and 15 touchdowns on 224 carries. Freshman Matt Brown follows with 446 yards and four touchdowns on 69 carries. R-junior QB Vaughn Charlton has thrown 94-of-190 for 1,231 yards and nine touchdowns. R-sophomore QB Chester Stewart, who started the last four games, is 26-of-65 for 514 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Michael Campbell is the top receiver with 404 yards and three touchdowns on 25 catches.
Temple set the school record for rushing touchdowns in a season with 27, surpassing 26 rushing TDs by the 1973 and 1979 teams.
Nationally, Temple ranks No. 17 in sacks (2.75), No. 19 in rushing defense (108.83), No. 22 in kickoff returns (23.90), No. 23 in rushing offense (192.33), and No. 25 in punt returns (12.33).
Individually, sophomore WR James Nixon is No. 10 in kickoff returns (29.24), while sophomore DE Adrian Robinson is No. 10 in sacks (0.92). Freshman RB Bernard Pierce ranks No. 11 nationally in rushing (118.91) and No. 28 in scoring (8.18). Junior WR Delano Green is No. 18 in punt returns (12.72).
UCLA ranks No. 8 in tackles for loss (7.83), No. 14 in kickoff returns (24.60), and No. 20 in net punting (37.76).
Head coach Rick Neuheisel is in his second season at UCLA. Making their 24th bowl appearance, the Bruins stand 6-6 on the season and 3-6 in the Pac-10 after a 28-7 loss at No. 24 Southern Cal.
R-freshman TB Johnathan Franklin is the Bruins’ leading rusher with 560 yards and five touchdowns on 123 carries. With two starts, r-senior QB Kevin Craft follows with 60-of-107 for 72 yards and two touchdowns. R-freshman QB Kevin Prince has started 10 games and is 157-of-277 for 1,829 yards and six touchdowns. Sophomore WR Taylor Embree is the top receiver with 580 yards and two touchdowns on 43 receptions.
UCLA boasts two CFP All-Americans in sophomore defensive back Rahim Moore and junior placekicker Kai Forbath. Moore leads the nation with 9 interceptions; Forbath was the 2009 Lou Groza Award Winner and was also named to the FWAA All-America team.
UCLA is making its 24th bowl appearance and first in two years. In the 2007 Las Vegas Bowl, the Bruins dropped a heart-breaker to No. 19 Brigham Young, 17-16.
Since 1982, the Bruins stand 11-8 in bowl games, the best in the Pac-10. Their 11 bowl victories rank 11th nationally. Florida State leads the nation with 19 bowl wins.
Temple has no players on its roster from California.
UCLA’s roster has no players from Pennsylvania or the East Coast.
TEMPLE-UCLA: THE SERIES
The EagleBank Bowl is the first meeting in football between Temple and UCLA.
Temple and UCLA share no common opponents from the 2009 season.