Wyoming coach Dave Christensen knew Temple's game plan in the New Mexico Bowl would be to play smash-mouth football.
It was just something the Wyoming couldn't do much about as the Owls came away with a 37-15 victory Saturday at Albuquerque, N.M.
"It was disappointing," Christensen said. "We knew they were going to run the football, which they did. We missed some tackles. . They just played physically played better than us. My hat's off to them. They're a good running football team. They're a good football team. They were the better team today."
Temple (9-4) ran up 424 yards of total offense, with 255 of that coming on the ground. Bernard Pierce had 100 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, while quarterback Chris Coyer had 240 total yards and one touchdown pass.
That physicality extended to the other side of the ball as well, with Temple limiting the Cowboys (8-5) to 267 total yards as freshman quarterback Brett Smith scuffled to find open receivers or open running lanes.
"He had some struggles today, without a doubt," Christensen said about Smith. "Certainly not from a lack of wanting to get it done. Obviously, when he has struggles generally other people are struggling with protection or getting open in a route."
The Owls had three interceptions — tying a New Mexico Bowl record — en route to the second bowl victory in school history. The first interception came at the start of the second quarter when Temple's Kee-arye Griffin picked off Smith, which set up Matt Brown's 1-yard touchdown run that gave the Owls a 21-0 lead.
The last one came late in the game to Temple's Kevin Kroboth resulting in a field goal.
"Our starting point is playing great defense," first-year Temple coach Steve Addazio said. "That's what our program's built around. We lead a lot of statistical categories in the country, and we have a lot of pride in playing great defense."
The New Mexico Bowl was Temple's second bowl game in three years, but that 2009 game — a 30-21 loss to UCLA in the EagleBank Bowl in Washington — was the Owls' first bowl in 30 years. The Mid-American Conference East runner-up did not get a bowl invite last year despite going 8-4.
The loss dropped the Cowboys to 6-7 in bowl games. It was a disappointing effort by Wyoming after the Cowboys won the 2009 New Mexico Bowl in double overtime, beating Fresno State 35-28.
Temple7 21 3 6—37 Wyoming 0 7 0 8—15
Tem—Be.Pierce 1 run (McManus kick), 8:41.
Tem—Be.Pierce 1 run (McManus kick), 14:28.
Tem—Ma.Brown 1 run (McManus kick), 10:21.
Wyo—Doctson 21 pass from B.Smith (D.Sullivan kick), :37.
Tem—Streater 61 pass from Coyer (McManus kick), :19.
Tem—FG McManus 34, 1:22.
Tem—FG McManus 37, 12:50.
Tem—FG McManus 34, 3:22.
Wyo—Sutton 14 pass from B.Smith (B.Smith run), :03.
Rushing—Temple, Be.Pierce 25-100, Coyer 12-71, Ma.Brown 13-49, J.Jones 1-35. Wyoming, B.Smith 16-65, Sutton 4-33, Miller 5-31, Alexander 7-17, Stratton 1-(minus 6).
Passing—Temple, Coyer 8-12-0-169. Wyoming, B.Smith 20-30-3-127.
Receiving—Temple, J.Jones 3-26, Rodriguez 2-52, Eugene 2-30, Streater 1-61. Wyoming, Rufran 9-24, Doctson 3-32, Herron 3-31, Stratton 2-13, Sutton 1-14, Alexander 1-13, Ogbonna 1-0.
Potato Bowl — Tyler Tettleton scored on a 1-yard keeper with 13 seconds left to give Ohio its first bowl victory, 24-23 over Utah State at Boise, Idaho.
After the Aggies failed to run out the clock in the final minutes, Tettleton and the Bobcats' offense took over at their own 39 with one timeout and 2:02 left.
Tettleton was 3 of 4 on the final drive, and his biggest completion was a 14-yarder on fourth down to LaVon Brazill that gave the Bobcats a first down inside the 1 with 37 seconds left.
Tettleton was stuffed on his first try to score. On the next play, he rolled right and outran two defenders to cap the comeback and give the Bobcats their first 10-win season since 1968.
Ohio0 7 10 7—24 Utah St. 9 0 14 0—23
USU—Lloyd 3 pass from Kennedy (J.Thompson kick), 3:39.
Ohio—Roback 26 pass from Tettleton (Weller kick), 4:40.
USU—Smith 63 run (J.Thompson kick), 12:19.
Ohio—FG Weller 32, 9:52.
USU—Smith 11 run (J.Thompson kick), 5:51.
Ohio—Brazill 44 pass from Tettleton (Weller kick), 3:45.
Ohio—Tettleton 1 run (Weller kick), :13.
Rushing—Ohio, Blankenship 11-47, Harden 15-47, Tettleton 16-31.
Utah St., Smith 12-157, Turbin 20-101, K.Williams 9-62, Kennedy 6-11,
Keeton 1-10, Morrison 1-5, Team 1-(minus 1).
Passing—Ohio, Tettleton 19-26-0-220. Utah St., Kennedy 11-18-0-63,
Receiving—Ohio, Brazill 8-108, Harden 4-37, Dunlop 3-35,
Roback 1-26, Gross 1-6, Thompson 1-6, Foster 1-2. Utah St.,
Morrison 4-25, Moats 2-9, Jacobs 2-8, Van Leeuwen 1-26, Smith 1-10,
Turbin 1-7, Lloyd 1-3, Kennedy 0-8.