Kickoff: Thursday, Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. at the Linc ESPN Spread: Navy -8
By Mark Fitzgerald
Temple roughed up the Midshipmen and knocked a couple of key players out of action on their way to a romp for the AAC crown last December in Annapolis.
This year, Navy should fare better with a more productive and healthier running game that should wear down Temple’s defense over four quarters.
When you go up against a team like Navy, you need to find a way to stop the run. Unfortunately for Temple, this has been one of the key areas they have really fallen off compared to last season. Temple had the conference’s second-best run defense in 2016 after allowing 130.36 rushing yards per game and 17 touchdowns. This season, Temple is giving up 177.3 rushing yards per game and has already allowed 14 touchdowns on the ground.
The Midshipmen lost a tough one at Memphis in a key division matchup and followed that up by coming up just short of slowing down a high-powered UCF their last time out on Oct. 21.
Now, with some extra time to prepare for their road game at Temple, Navy will hope to re-ignite their season as the Midshipmen not only look to get to a bowl game (they need just one more win), but perhaps make a late push back to the conference championship game.
Temple’s last game ended in heartbreaking fashion with Army stunning the Owls in the final seconds after losing a four-point game at home against UConn.
Navy’s triple-option was slowed down by an aggressive and athletic Temple defense last season, but the Midshipmen should manage to stick to their offensive style and create some problems for Temple.
Zach Abey will be the star for Navy while Temple’s Logan Marchi (above) will try to take some shots through the air to find some matchups he can use to his advantage.
Temple may be able to hang around, but this time the option will wear the Owls down en route to clinching bowl eligibility for the Midshipmen.