Navy never got going against Temple as they lost the AAC Championship Game 34-10.
Here is a look back at what happened against the Owls:
1) Win the time of possession battle – Fail
Navy lost the time of possession battle against Temple, but it was a close-run thing. The difference in time of possession was only around a minute as the Owls held the ball for 30 minutes and 38 seconds, while Navy controlled the ball for 29 minutes and 22 seconds.
The problem for Navy was that Temple was able to control the ball, and thus control Temple, over the first quarter or so of the game. Navy needed to come out hot in this one, but instead, the Owls received the opening kickoff and marched straight down the field on a 12 play, 75-yard touchdown drive that took 5:17 off of the clock. Suddenly the pressure was immediately placed on Navy to match Temple as the Mids defense looked lost in the face of their attack.
Navy turned the ball over on downs and Temple again scored a touchdown. Then the Mids fumbled and the Owls scored again. At 21-0 down Navy was done.
2) Win the QB matchup – Fail
This is a frustrating fail and one that is devastating to Mids fans that have followed the rise of Will Worth and seen all the work the senior has put into this season. The Navy quarterback was forced to leave the game with a foot injury (on the same play that Toneo Gulley suffered the same fate) and has since been ruled out for the Army/Navy game and the Mids bowl trip. Worth finished the game 1 of 2 passing for 34 yards and with 17 yards rushing on six carries.
It is frustrating because if a couple of plays had gone differently then Worth would have already been putting up numbers before he got hurt. The most costly play of the game for Navy was the Darryl Bonner fumble that ended the Mids second drive of the game at the Temple 25 yard line. Coming one play after Worth’s one completion of the game if killed the Mids momentum and a possible 14-7 game quickly became a 21-0 mountain that Navy was always going to struggle to climb.
3) Win on third down – Fail
The Owls came into this allowing teams to convert just 33% of their third down chances against a stingy defense. Navy was actually better than that figure, converting 6 of 14 third downs at a rate of just under 43%. Temple was converting at a 47% clip on third down as both teams were able to gain enough yards on first and second down to make these attempts manageable.
The problem again for Navy was that in that first quarter onslaught the Mids missed on a couple of conversions while Temple hit theirs. Navy was also a brutal 1 of 4 on the day (25%) on fourth down and the failed fourth down conversion on the Mids first drive of the game gave Temple a short field against a defense that had yet to work out how to stop the balanced Owls attack.