Temple University football (3-9,1-7 The American Athletic Conference) lost 38-14 to tNavy (3-8,3-5 The American) on Saturday in its final game of the season.
Although the Owls’ last game featured a total team effort, they made sloppy mistakes on both sides of the ball allowing the Midshipmen to take advantage of every position they had, preventing Temple from ever taking the lead.
“If the offense had helped more, I think the defense was good enough to win today as well,” said head coach Rod Carey. “I’ve certainly felt that a couple of the last weeks here but offense didn’t do enough.”
Temple was in a 14-point hole early in the game after Navy senior slotback Chance Warren caught a 15-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.
But Temple’s offense got the momentum it needed in the eighth minute of the second quarter when Midshipmen sophomore quarterback Tai Lavatai fumbled the ball on the one-yard line, which Owls’ freshman safety Alex Odom recovered.
Following Odom’s pick-up recovery, redshirt-junior running back Ra’Von Bonner then rushed for a one-yard touchdown, cutting Navy’s lead to 14.
However, the Owls’ simple miscues hurt them in the long run.
During a punt return by the Midshipmen in the second quarter, redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Amad Anderson Jr. fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Navy senior fullback James Harris ll. Then, Navy sophomore quarterback Xavier Arline fumbled back-to-back snaps, forcing Navy to kick a field goal.
Temple redshirt-freshman backup quarterback Mariano Valenti came in for true freshman quarterback Justin Lynch in the middle of the first quarter. Carey made the decision to switch quarterbacks because he felt Lynch wasn’t seeing and making the plays that were needed, he said.
“We had to get to [Valenti] to give ourselves a chance,” he added.
On a crucial fourth and four in the third quarter, Navy senior slotback Carlinos Acie rushed for 23 yards to Temple’s three-yard line, giving them the first down before senior fullback Isaac Ruoss rushed for three yards up the middle for the touchdown.
Temple quickly responded in the following drive with a four-yard rushing touchdown by graduate student running back Tayvon Ruley, making it a ten-point game. Ruley fumbled the ball twice in the game.
The Owls’ offense showed a slight improvement in the second half, totaling 133 yards compared to their 49 yards in the first half.
Navy held possession for a majority of the fourth quarter, completing two additional rushing touchdowns that increased their lead to 24 points by the end of the game.
Before the game, the Owls honored 15 players for senior day, including Ruley, graduate student safety Amir Tyler and graduate student wide receiver Randle Jones.