Speed Sweep: Temple defeats Navy 34-26

(Photo courtesy of Zamani Feelings)

In a rematch of last year’s American Athletic Conference Championship game, the Temple Owls defeated the Navy Midshipmen Thursday night in front of a nationally-televised audience 34-26.

Collins Comments

“I’m proud of the team’s resiliency,” Collins said. “To hold an offense like that under to 136 yards rushing, I have to say hats off to the defensive staff and defensive players. They really did a great job defending the option.”

Collins said after the game that the Owls defense was down to two available cornerbacks and two available defensive tackles, a situation in which Navy took advantage of by cutting the Temple lead to one possession late in the fourth quarter.

(Photo courtesy of Zamani Feelings)

Nutile playing well as the starting quarterback

The Temple Owls offense looks different at it begins with the quarterback. In Frank Nutile’s second game as the starter, he looked very poised. He finished the game completing 73 percent of his passes (22 for 30) and amassing 289 yards and four touchdowns. Nutile has been taking what defense gives him and not forcing passes into precarious situations.

His decision making and accuracy have helped his receivers as of late. Adonis Jennings had a career-high 127 yards and two touchdowns. He along with Keith Kirkwood took advantage of the Navy cornerbacks playing off of the line of scrimmage. When the corners did come up, Nutile provided enough touch on the fade patterns and let the receivers have a chance to make a play. Keith Kirkwood also had a good game. Kirkwood finished with seven catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.

The run game is still a bit of an issue. Except for Isaiah Wright’s 29-yard run from another unique formation, Temple averaged less than three yards a run (2.78). The short passing game allowed the Owls receivers the opportunity to run with the ball after the catch, effectively making them long handoffs.

Play of the game

There have not been many opportunities for Temple to get its hands team on the field. However, in the fourth quarter and Navy attempting an onside kick with two minutes remaining, Keith Kirkwood recovered the ball. He may have even had a lane to return it but made the safe play and took a knee. Temple went on to run out the clock.

(Photo Courtesy of Zamani Feelings)

Worth Noting
Collins said in the post-game press conference that Ventell Bryant was not available for tonight’s game due to an internal matter.

Temple played a 3-4 for most of the game to try to attack the triple option. They also ran a few run blitzes and slanted the line once they began to figure out what Navy was starting to do.

What’s next

Sitting at 4-4, Temple now goes on the road Friday, Nov. 10 at Cincinnati. The Owls will have to win two of their next three games (Cincy, UCF and Tulsa) to become bowl eligible. Game time will be 7 p.m.