The Navy Midshipmen went into Thursday night undefeated (12-0) when playing games at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. They left with a blemish on that record, as the Midshipmen suffered a 34-26 loss to the Temple Owls. This is Navy’s third straight loss after beginning the season 5-0. The Mids drop to 3-3 in American Athletic Conference play.
Temple (4-5, 2-3) has struggled all season, with losses to the likes of UConn and Army, but they came out strong to begin this game, controlling the game from the opening kickoff until the clock showed zeroes, with the exception of a short period of time in the fourth quarter, where Navy was able to dominantly drive down the field for the first time all game. The Owls were effective offensively, throwing deep to exploit a Navy secondary that struggled in coverage, as well as defensively, blowing up Navy’s triple option and forcing plenty of tackles for losses. Navy QB Zach Abey, who has helped lead the nation’s top rushing team, finished the night with 25 carries for just 60 yards. It was the first time in 69 straight games that Navy did not score a rushing touchdown.
Navy lost Abey in “garbage time” in the 4th quarter to what appeared to be an upper body injury, who was replaced by backup quarterback Garret Lewis. There is currently no word on the extent of the injury, and any impact it could potentially have in future weeks. Lewis showed some signs of brilliance in the fourth quarter, however, throwing two touchdown passes.
Navy will return home next week to face the SMU Mustangs (6-2, 3-1). That game will take place on Saturday, November 11 at 3:30pm at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and on CBS Sports Network.