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Navy Looks to Right The Ship in AAC Championship Rematch

| November 01, 2017, 11:00 AM

The Navy Midshipmen are set to square off against the Temple Owls on Thursday night in a rematch of last year’s AAC Championship game in Annapolis where the Owls beat Navy 34-10.

The usually potent Navy triple option never found traction against the stout Owl defensive front, compiling only 168 rushing yards in the title game loss. The victory saw multiple current Owls notch solid performances, with notable stats coming from WR Keith Kirkwood and WR Ventell Bryant, who each grabbed five receptions and one touchdown for a combined 145 yards.

Navy is currently tied with Houston for Third place in the AAC West Division. Navy is also coming off of a bye week after a tough loss to then No.20 UCF in Annapolis. Despite UCF averaging over 50 points per game and winning by a margin of about 30 points, Navy lost 21-31. The points were the lowest of the season for UCF and it was the closest game any team has played against the undefeated Knights.

That game also saw junior quarterback Zach Abey take a hard hit that forced him to leave the game under concussion protocol. Under normal circumstances, there was a good chance Abey would not have been able to play, but the extra time benefitted the Mids leading rusher and he is expected to play.

Temple has played well this season, but are currently 3-5 and tied for fourth place with ECU in the AAC East Division.  Before their bye-week, Temple fought hard against Army in an overtime defeat. Despite five first time starters, including QB Frank Nutile who threw for 290 yards, Temple was able to rally back from a two-touchdown deficit and take a late lead, before giving up a last-second score to Army that sent the game into OT. Temple missed their field goal opportunity in the first overtime, setting up Army to win 31-28.

The Temple defense is 18th in the country in tackles for a loss per game (7.6) and ranks 25th in sacks per game (2.75). Delvon Randall ranks 16th in the nation in interceptions with three and has recorded 6.5 tackles for a loss. Shaun Bradley has recorded seven sacks on the year and led the Owls in tackles against Army with 11.

A win on Thursday night over Temple would make the Mids bowl eligible for the sixth consecutive year and for the 14th time in the last 15 years.

Make sure to follow along with EyeonAnnapolis and @KChaneySports for all of the action in Philidelphia.

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About the Author - Kevin Chaney, Jr

Kevin Chaney covers sports all at all levels throughout Anne Arundel County. Follow him on twitter @Kchaneysports and his website

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