Temple vs. Wyoming: Last-Minute Spread Info, Line and More for New Mexico Bowl

Kyle Vassalo@VassaloBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2011

COLLEGE PARK, MD - SEPTEMBER 24: Running back back Bernard Pierce #30 of the Temple Owls reacts to a play from the bench during the closing moments of the Owls 38-7 win over the Maryland Terrapins at Byrd Stadium on September 24, 2011 in College Park, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Temple and Wyoming square off in what could be the most evenly matched bowl of the college football bowl season.

Temple has the third-best defense in the entire nation and Wyoming's rush attack is going to see a huge test in the New Mexico Bowl.

Let's take a closer look to see how these two teams stack up.

Where: University Stadium (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

When: 2:00 pm ET, Saturday, December 17th


Betting Line: Temple -7


What They're Saying


Temple Player To Watch: Bernard Pierce

Bernard Pierce has rushed for over 100 yards in seven games this season. Temple's winning formula has been playing lights-out defense and running the ball with Pierce. He has the potential to take over this game and Wyoming doesn't have the means to stop him once he gets going.


Wyoming Player To Watch: Brett Smith

Wyoming has two capable backs that can step up and establish the run game early, but their passing game is all Brett Smith. The freshman quarterback has to keep his composure and though he doesn't have to throw for over 300 yards like he did against San Diego State for his team to pull off a victory, he's got to be smart with the football and remain poised under the bright lights.


Keys to a Temple Win

Let Bernard Pierce take over. Wyoming doesn't have a defense that can shut down the run and getting them on their heels early will have them broken by the fourth quarter.

Don't make huge defensive adjustments. Temple's defense has got them to this point. There isn't a need for huge changes that throw them off of their game.


Keys to a Wyoming Win

Get Brett Smith comfortable. A true freshman quarterback in a bowl environment needs to feel secure early on. Building his confidence with high-percentage plays and relying on the run game to move the chains is the best way to ensure his success.

Don't get involved in a defensive struggle. Temple has the edge defensively. The second this turns into a battle for field position, all is lost for Wyoming. They've got to figure out a way to balance being safe without being overly conservative.

Prediction: Temple 20, Wyoming 14