Navy Midshipmen (5-2 SU, 3-2-2 ATS) vs. Temple Owls (3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date/Time: Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 9PM ET
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
by Scott, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NAVY -8.5/TEM +8.5
Over/Under Total: 58
The Navy Midshipmen take on the Temple Owls in an AAC battle from Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday. Each squad had last week off and look to come back strongly from the bye. Temple is in a bit of a swoon, coming off a 31-28 OT loss to Armytheir fourth loss in five games. Navy started the season 5-0, losing their last two, including a 31-21 loss to UCF in their last game. Last season, a much-better Temple team beat Navy in a big 34-10 road win. Who comes out ahead in this conference contest?
Some recession was expected this season from Temple, who lost a lot of what made them a ten-win team last season. Their only win in their last five games came against a down ECU team, as this season has gotten away from the Owls a bit this season. They seemed to show some pep in their last game, taking Army to overtime in a close one, seeing some errant field goal attempts spoil things. They showed they have been putting forth a good effort and could have starting QB Logan Marchi (questionable) too. At home, can they be gritty against the favored Midshipmen?
At quarterback for the Owls, Marchi is making his way back. He has been putting up a lot of yards and can move the Temple offense, but he has turned the ball over a lot. Frank Nutile was effective filling in and has become a viable option if Marchi doesnt make it happen. They could also use an upgrade in form from their run-game, as Ryquell Armstead and David Hood have been only so-so. Through the air, Adonis Jennings, Isaiah Wright, Keith Kirkwood, and Ventell Bryant have been fairly productive, with Hood catching a lot of short passes. Temple looks to get better use out of a slew of big-bodied receivers moving forward.
The Temple defense had a chance to help the team effort in their last game, but gave up a last-second touchdown, before losing the game in overtime. Its been an erratic group this season and not a terribly clutch one, as well. Their lack of overall late-game excellence also falls on an offense that hasnt thrived in the fourth quarter. In the middle, they have impactful linebackers Jacob Martin and Quincy Roche. Delvon Randall has been big in the secondary. Their lack of overall robustness against the run could hurt them this week against the Navy run-game.
Navy had a lot of positive developments in a 5-0 start to the season, before waning considerably in their last two games. They were banged-up, but the level of their opposition rising had a lot to do with the recent fall-off, as Memphis and Central Florida are the real heavyweights in the AAC. Navy is looking for the time off to have helped Zach Abey (questionable), who took a hard hit to the head a few weeks ago. They turned the ball over too much in their last two games, which really hurt. But maybe the time off helped Navy regroup, as they can still make a lot happen in the event that they are able to get back on the winning track.
Navy runs the ball a ton and having leading rusher and QB Abey back would help, as he has 1142 yards and 13 touchdowns. They lead the country with 376 yards per game on the ground. Abey has made some nice plays with receivers Tyler Carmona and Michael Perry, but the aerial offense is usually fairly minimal. They have a gaggle of backs who can run the ball, with Malcolm Perry and Chris High (questionable) two of their more-featured runners. As the quality of opposition has risen, the offense has seen their point-totals recede and they look for a spike in scoring this week. This offense has translated well against all teams other than the best in the conference, which Temple is not this season.
The Navy defense is so-so, not terribly impactful, with nothing they do terribly well. Teams have found success against Navy on the ground and aerially. Some teams make up for that by making plays, being clutch in the right moments, or in getting a lot of turnovers, but this defense is not one of them. They have only three interceptions on the season, with a pass-rush that goes missing for long stretches of the game. In games where you need Navy to cover spreads, its hard having a defense that is just there not doing a whole lot. The effort is commendable, but the dogs just arent there and theyve been getting worse over the season.
Navy has been waning, but Temple hasnt really been that good at home, losing their last two conference games at Lincoln Financial Field. Still, they have a lot of pride and a certain level of playmaking ability on both sides of the ball. Navys defense has receded and maybe Temple has some appeal this week. They can create some momentum on offense and can actually do more things offensively than Navy, who relies massively on their run-game. I see Temple hanging in there against a waning Navy squad. Ill take the points.
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