Phillip Ely hit Cody Thompson with an 80-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter Tuesday night, and Toledo won Jason Candle's first game as head coach, beating No. 24 Temple 32-17 in the soggy Boca Raton Bowl.
Candle was promoted from offensive coordinator three weeks ago when Matt Campbell took over at Iowa State.
The Rockets (10-2) positioned themselves to crack the final Top 25 for the first time since 2001, the last season they won 10 games. Temple (10-4) lost for the fourth time in seven games after starting 7-0.
Frequent driving rain hampered both offenses, but Ely went 20 for 28 for 285 yards and two scores with no turnovers.
Linebacker Ja'Wuan Woodley's jarring tackle sent the ball squirting backward 15 yards through the end zone for an early safety, and the hits kept coming from the Rockets' defense. Temple came into the game averaging 31 points but didn't reach the end zone until less than three minutes remained.
Jahad Thomas, who came into the game with 1,257 yards rushing for Temple, hurt his knee late in the first half and didn't return.
Potato Bowl: Akron 23, Utah State 21
At Boise, Idaho, Robert Stein made three field goals and Jatavis Brown led a smothering defense as Akron earned its first victory in a bowl in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Stein, who became the school's career scoring leader with 268 points, connected from 29, 33 and 46 yards, and was selected the game's MVP. His longest kick gave the Zips a 23-14 lead with 8:15 remaining.
Akron (8-5) finished with eight wins for the first time since moving up to FBS in 1987.
Brown, the MAC defensive player of the year, had eight tackles along with 1 1/2 sacks, 2 1/2 tackles for loss and a critical forced fumble.
Utah State (6-7) mounted a comeback behind senior quarterback Chuckie Keeton, who threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Sharp with 1:12 remaining to pull to 23-21. But Akron recovered the onside kick and then stopped one final flea flicker play by Utah State as time expired.
McCaffrey Player Of Year
Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey is The Associated Press college football player of the year, becoming the first non-Heisman Trophy winner to earn the honor in six years.
McCaffrey was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy to Derrick Henry, but received 29 of 60 votes from the AP Top 25 media panel to edge the Alabama running back.
Henry received 16 votes and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson was third with 11. Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield each received two votes.