Surging Navy hosts defense-minded Temple in AAC title game

With their seventh consecutive victory, the Owls improve to 10-3 (7-1 American) on the season, locking up the program's first conference championship since earning the 1967 Middle Atlantic title. Go back to him on fourth down - "Same play, same exact play, " said quarterback Phillip Walker, the game's outstanding player, despite not practicing all week with a banged-up ankle.

Two of Navy's most important players - perhaps their two most important players - injured on the same play.

Navy's offense has been resilient this season despite the loss of starting quarterback Tago Smith early in the season.

"We have to find a way to bounce back, " Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said, "because as painful as it is right now, we obviously have Army next week and need to bounce back". "We don't throw the ball a ton".

"I give a lot of credit to the quarterback". "They really performed well, the whole team". Victor heads to the Sugar Bowl, likely to eviscerate Gus Malzahn's Auburn squad which is likely playing in the Sugar Bowl. Keep in mind that the Owls lost to the Houston Cougars in the inaugural AAC Championship Game in 2015.

The Owls will play in the Military Bowl at 3:30 p.m. on December 27 in Annapolis, Maryland.

"Seeing these guys so happy, " Temple coach Matt Rhule said about the real trophy amidst the joyful chaos inside Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Midshipmen will be looking for their 15th straight win in the series. Army, an independent, is also in the mix, no matter how it does against Navy.

Richmond travels to second-seeded Eastern Washington next Saturday for a quarterfinals matchup.

Both players are to be evaluated further this week.

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Oddsmakers are only giving Navy a slight edge, predicting the Midshipmen win the game by 3 points. He's passed for 1,363 yards and rushed for 1,181 more. Navy's triple-option attack has been rolling along at a historic rate, piling up 480 rushing yards against East Carolina two weeks ago and then 496 - the 10th-most in program history - in last Saturday's 75-31 drubbing of SMU.

The injury to Worth occurred on Navy's next possession.

Instead, WMU became the first undefeated team to win the MAC title game since Marshall in 1999.

Temple held Navy offensively the entire game. Despite the injury, Worth managed to break the school record with 2,595 yards of total offense this season, passing Keenan Reynolds.

CHINK IN ARMOR?: Temple ranks third nationally in total defense, allowing only 237.4 yards per game. Leading the way for the Owls were Ryquell Armstead and Jahad Thomas.

Navy entered the game ranked second nationally in rushing offense with 342 yards per game.

Sophomore Zach Abey, who began the season as a third-stringer and had never attempted a pass, came in for Worth. Navy already had been without linebacker and senior co-captain Daniel Gonzales, who suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury on October 1 in a 28-14 loss to Air Force.

"It was very emotional", Gulley said. If he can help Temple get out to an early lead, it will make this hard on Navy, which is not structurally set up to play from behind. This one will most likely come down to who has the ball last, but the Owls are a little bit more well-rounded, so they get the edge.

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