By Joseph Santoliquito

PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS) — So much for the naysayers who said college football can’t attract large crowds in Philadelphia. According to Temple, the broadcast for the Temple-Notre Dame game on Saturday night garnered a 3.9 overnight rating, the highest-rated game of college football’s week 9 across all networks.

Locally, in Philadelphia, the much-antedated matchup earned a 18.1 overnight rating, making it the market’s highest-rated regular season college football game ever viewed by a Philadelphia audience. Additionally, Fighting Irish-Owls’ 3.9 overnight represents a 26% increase over Saturday Night Football in week 9 of 2014 featuring Ohio State at Penn State.

College Gameday came to Philadelphia for the first time, setting the stage for No. 23 Temple’s biggest day in the history of its football program, then the Owls went out and played very well, even leading late, 20-17, before Notre Dame scored to win 24-20.

The game marked the first time Temple’s football team was ever on primetime network TV and was played before a Temple record-setting crowd of 69,280, the largest ever for an Owls’ home game.

The loss actually didn’t hurt the 7-1 Owls, who are still undefeated in the American Athletic Conference. If Temple run the board and can win its last four games, with games against SMU, this Friday, a trip to South Florida, and hosting No. 15 Memphis, which is a bigger game for Temple than Notre Dame was, and finish against UConn, the Owls could be a front runner for the Group of 5 at going to a New Year’s Day bowl game.