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Temple Owls Fly High In AAC All-Conference Honors

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Temple Owls' surprisingly impressive season is not going unnoticed as the postseason honors for the American Athletic Conference were announced on Wednesday.

Seven members of the Owls were named First-Team All-AAC following a 10-2 season for the Owls. Two players were named to the Second-Team while one Owl earned Honorable Mention.

This Saturday, Temple will face Houston in the AAC Championship Game.

The list of honored Owls was headlined by Senior linebacker Tyler Matakevich. This past season was Matakevich's 4th straight season with at least 100 tackles. That has only been done by six other players in NCAA FBS history.

Matakevich is a finalist for the Bednarik Award which is given to the best defender in college football. He was the only unanimous selection to the first-team as he earns that distinction for the third time.

In addition to being named to the First-Team, Matakevich was also named the AAC Defensive Player of the Year.

2015 American Defensive Player of the Year - Temple LB Tyler Matakevich by AmericanAthleticConf on YouTube

Other Owls named to the First-Team were DL Nate D. Smith, DL Matt Ioannidis, S Alex Wells, C Kyle Friend, G Eric Lofton and RB Jahad Thomas who rushed for 1,188 yards and 17 touchdowns.

T Dion Watkins and DB Sean Chandler were named to the Second-Team while DL Hasson Reddick was named Honorable Mention.

Houston's Tom Herman and Navy's Ken Niumatalolo shared the Coach of the Year honor after their teams finished the year with 7-1 conference records -- the same conference record achieved by Matt Rhule and the Owls this season.

The Owls' seven First-Team members is tops in the conference.

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