The Owls (6-6, 4-4 American Athletic) earned bowl eligibility in the season finale.
But it was a struggle where each team saw big plays - apparent scores, long gainers, interceptions, fumble recoveries for TDs - offset by penalties.
Even though Austin Jones hit only one of three field goal tries, and three players combined for 260 yards punting, Temple slowly won good field position - pinning Tulane at its 1 in the final quarter, resulting in the 25-yard game-winning drive.
The Green Wave (4-9, 2-6) needed 14 plays to score on a first-quarter drive aided by two personal fouls against Temple only to have an apparent TD nullified by a chop block, settling for Andrew DiRocco's 28-yard field goal.
Each team had defensive scores - Tulane a fumble recovery, Temple an interception - called back.