Temple University football (8-4, 5-3 The American Athletic Conference) plays the University of North Carolina (6-6, 4-4 The Atlantic Coast Conference) in the Northrup Grumman Military Bowl in Annapolis, M.D. on Friday at noon.
Here are three matchups for fans to watch.
Owls’ Secondary and Tar Heels’ quarterback
Temple’s passing defense allowed 212.50 yards per game and 17 touchdowns during the regular season. Temple’s total defense ranked fourth in the American, only allowing 23.5 points per game.
Junior cornerback Harrison Hand leads the team with three interceptions this season. Hand has recorded five pass breakups. Redshirt-sophomore cornerback Christian Braswell leads the team with eight pass breakups.
Tar Heels freshman quarterback Sam Howell led the ACC in passing yards per game with 278.9 yards per game. Howell also led the conference in passing touchdowns with 35.
Howell’s 35 passing touchdowns are not only the most ever in Tar Heels’ history but also the most recorded by a true freshman in FBS history.
Owls’ running backs and the Tar Heels’ rushing defense
Temple freshman running back Re’Mahn Davis ran for 900 yards and seven touchdowns this season, ranking seventh in the American.
The Owls’ second-leading rusher is redshirt-senior running back Jager Gardner. Gardner rushed for 585 yards and five touchdowns before suffering a season-ending injury.
North Carolina’s defense only allows 149 rushing yards per game despite giving up 18 rushing touchdowns this season.
Junior linebacker Chazz Surratt finished tied for first in the ACC with 110 tackles. Surratt also recorded six sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss this season.
Owls’ receivers and the Tar Heels’ receivers
Temple redshirt-sophomore receiver Jadan Blue led the Owls with 975 yards this season and recorded four touchdowns. He also caught 87 passes, breaking Temple’s single-season record.
Redshirt-junior receiver Branden Mack finished second on the Owls with 886 yards and led the team with seven touchdowns.
While Temple only has one receiver over 900 yards receiving, the Tar Heels have two.
Their leading receiver is sophomore Dyami Brown who recorded 947 total yards and 11 touchdowns. Junior receiver Dazz Newsome is tied for first on the team with 947 yards and has recorded eight touchdowns.