- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2015

No. 20 Temple (10-2, 7-1 American) at No. 17 Houston (11-1, 7-1), 12 p.m. (ABC)

Line: Houston by 5 1/2

Series Record: Houston leads 4-0


The winner will be the Group of Five representative and go to either the Peach or Fiesta Bowl. Houston is looking for its first conference title since winning Conference USA in 2006, while Temple is looking for its first conference title.


Houston’s offense against Temple’s defense. The Cougars were able to put up big numbers on offense again this year, the second-most points in the conference at 42 per game and just under 500 yards of offense. Temple’s defense has been stingy this year, led by its run defense, which is the best in the American, allowing 117.2 yards per game. The Owls allow a league-best 18.8 points per game.


Temple: LB Tyler Matakevich. Matakevich is second in the American with five interceptions, while also compiling 118 tackles, including 14 for a loss and 4 1-2 sacks. The finalist for the Bednarik Award and the Nagurski Trophy is the active NCAA leader with 473 tackles and needs 19 more to become Temple’s career leader.

Houston: QB Greg Ward Jr. Ward is eighth nationally with 17 rushing touchdowns and ranks fourth nationally with a 69.3 completion percentage. The junior has also thrown 16 touchdown passes and or over 300 yards in a game for the first time this season (against Navy).


Houston has scored over 30 points in every game except a 20-17 loss to Connecticut… Neither team has ever played in the Peach or Fiesta Bowl. … Houston is looking for its second 12-win season in school history, with the other being in 2011 when the team went 13-1. … A win would give the Owls their first 11-win season. … Temple will play in a bowl game for the first time since 2011. . The Cougars and Owls will meet in the inaugural American Athletic Conference championship game after meeting in the first AAC regular-season game in 2013.



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