Week 14

American Athletic Championship: Temple 34, Navy 10: What Does It All Mean?

American Athletic Championship: Temple 34, Navy 10: What Does It All Mean?

Temple stuffed Navy for a 34-10 win and the American Athletic Conference championship. What does it all mean?

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Western Michigan is in the Cotton Bowl

Well, that solves that problem.

All concerns about postponing the Cotton Bowl announcement until after Navy played Army are gone now. Temple might be better than Western Michigan, but the three losses – including a loss to Army – all but ends the debate. The Broncos are almost certainly off Arlington.

The Temple D more than showed up

It’s more than just being able to figure out the Navy running game – it takes an attitude to beat the option. The Owls had that from the start, attacking the option before it ever had time to get into a groove. The team that came up with close to 500 rushing yards against SMU was held to just 168 with three turnovers. But it also helped that …

The Temple offense dominated from the start

Navy was able to roar back to beat South Florida, but this isn’t a team built for big comebacks. Temple was fearless offensively, getting out to a 21-0 lead and cruising from there. Phillip Walker hit the deep ball with two touchdown passes, the ground game averaged over five yards per carry, and it turned into a Temple coronation.

Navy still has to face Army, but …

It was a disastrous day for the Midshipmen in several ways. Not only did they lose, but star QB Will Worth went out with a foot injury, and others in the backfield got banged up, too. QB Zach Abey is supposed to be the future of Navy football, but he turned into the present completing 7-of-13 passes for 104 yards, and leading the way with 70 rushing yards and a score, but he threw two picks.

Temple didn’t give Navy any breaks

The Owls plays a clean game from start to finish. With the defense working, and the Navy offense hurting, the last thing Temple wanted was to give away any easy chances. With just four penalties, no turnovers, and converting third down after third down – beating Navy at its own game by owning the clock – they rolled.