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Chris Graythen, Getty Images
Quarterback Blaine Gautier of the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns celebrates after tossing a touchdown pass.
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.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — 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.

"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 a rhythm.

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.

"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.

NEW ORLEANS BOWL: At New Orleans, Brett Baer kicked a 50-yard field goal as time ran out, lifting Louisiana-Lafayette to 32-30 victory over San Diego State in the New Orleans Bowl on Saturday night.

Playing in their first bowl game as a Division I FBS team, the Ragin Cajuns led most of the way but fell behind, 30-29, when Aztecs quarterback Ryan Lindley connected with Colin Lockett on a 12-yard touchdown strike with 35 seconds to go.

Louisiana-Lafayette was able to drive to the Aztecs 38 to set up what was initially a 55-yard attempt, but a pre-snap penalty moved the winning kick 5 yards closer.

Cajuns quarterback Blaine Gautier passed for 470 yards and three touchdowns. He finished with 2,958 yards passing and 23 TDs on the season, breaking Jake Delhomme's single-season school records.