Temple will look to bury a three-game losing streak when it plays Navy in an American Athletic Conference matchup Saturday in Annapolis, Md.
It’s a rebuilding year for the Owls (2-5, 0-3 AAC), who are guided by first-year coach Stan Drayton and freshman quarterback E.J. Warner. Temple’s only wins to date came against FCS Lafayette and FBS independent UMass.
After UCF drilled Temple 70-13 on Oct. 13, the Owls played better last Friday in a home loss to Tulsa. Temple scored the game’s first 10 points before falling 27-16.
The Owls’ defense showed improvement, but they struggled to generate offense — just 280 total yards. Senior wide receiver Adonicas Sanders missed the second half due to injury and running back Jakari Norwood was out for personal reasons.
“Anytime there’s new guys, you have to get used to it,” Warner said. “But we’ve been putting in work in practice. We put in work all camp, all summer. So, it’s not an excuse with no chemistry or anything like that.”
Navy (2-5, 2-3) has lost two straight, including last week’s 38-20 defeat to Houston in which Cougars quarterback Clayton Tune threw for five touchdowns.
One bright spot for the Midshipmen has been fullback Daba Fofana. Playing a position important to Navy’s triple-option offense, Fofana has emerged as a go-to back over the past three games. He racked up 159 yards and three scores in a win over Tulsa, then added 61 yards against SMU and 89 yards with a touchdown against Houston. He took at least 20 carries in all three games.
“He’s still learning … he’s still a sophomore, still figuring things out,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said of Fofana. “But I think his consistency in the overall offense — running, blocking, just all of it — just feel like he’s been the most consistent. He’s a kid that just comes in, brings his lunch pail every day, works every day and you see him improving daily and weekly.”
Navy has won the past two meetings between the programs. The all-time series is knotted 8-8. In 2016, Temple won the AAC Championship in the Mids’ stadium.
–Field Level Media