Navy vs. Temple prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the AAC Championship between the Midshipmen and Owls.
Navy vs. Temple – AAC Championship Game Preview
When: Saturday, December 3 – 12:00 p.m. ET
Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD
TV Broadcast: ABC
The season started out with an injury to starting quarterback Tago Smith for Navy, but Will Worth took over under center and the Midshipmen have not looked back. Worth has rushed for 25 touchdowns while also throwing for eight scores as the triple-option attack continues to be the bread and butter for the Navy offense.
Temple has used a stout defense that ranks No. 10 in the country in points allowed per game and a balanced attack on offense with quarterback Phillip Walker throwing for 18 touchdowns while running backs Jahad Thomas and Ryquell Armstead have combined for 25 scores on the ground.
What To Know About Navy
Navy is not going to surprise you on offense, as it will line up and run the ball with the triple-option over and over. Worth has been special this season, leading the team by a wide margin in touchdown runs, while the fullback combination of Chris High and Shawn White have combined for 12 touchdowns. Worth has also proven to be an efficient passer, throwing for 1,363 yards.
The Midshipmen are prone to giving up a lot of yards, allowing 440 per game. They will focus on stopping the running duo of Thomas and Armstead and making the Owls one-dimensional with Walker, something teams have struggled to accomplish all season.
What to Know About Temple
The Owls can kill you with the run and pass. While neither running back has reached the 1,000-yard mark, they have both been able to keep the rushing game potent and keep the pressure off of Walker to do it all. The one problem for Walker has been turnovers, as he has been intercepted 12 times this season. Thomas’ receiving ability (402 yards, six touchdowns) is underrated.
The defense has been the strong point for the Owls, who rank No. 3 in the nation in total defense, allowing just 273.4 yards per game. Defensive lineman Haason Reddick has been a monster, recording 51 total tackles with a whopping 9.5 sacks. The Owls will focus solely on somehow shutting down Navy’s potent rushing attack, which averages 342.00 yards per game.
Offense: Navy. You know exactly what the Midshipmen are going to do, and yet stopping it is another thing.
Defense: Temple. The Owls give up just 127.67 yards per game on the ground.
Special Teams: Temple. Kicker Aaron Boumerhi is 9-of-10 on field goal attempts since taking over the starting job halfway through the season.
Coaching: Navy. Ken Niumatalolo’s name comes up constantly for open jobs, but he has a good thing at Navy.
Intangibles: Temple. The Owls can only improve their bowl position with a conference title.
Matchup To Watch
Navy rushing attack vs. Temple run defense
Something has to give, as strength on strength go against each other. Whoever wins this battle more than likely wins the game.
Navy vs. Temple Betting Odds
Spread: Navy -3
Over/Under: No line at time of publication.
Navy vs. Temple Prediction
The battle will be in the trenches as Navy looks to impose its will on the solid Temple defense. For most teams, the Midshipmen are able to control the ball and wear out their opponents. That won’t happen against Temple. The Owls can play the ball possession game as well, ranking No. 5 in the nation by controlling the ball for 34 minutes each game. That will help the Temple defense stay rested, and the Owls offense will have success against the wobbly Navy defense. Temple wins by a touchdown.
Navy vs. Temple Score Prediction: Temple 35, Navy 28