clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Takeaways: Navy gains momentum towards Army-Navy with 38-14 victory over Temple

The Midshipmen move to 3-8 on the season.

East Carolina v Navy Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Momentum was wanted, and momentum was found in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon.

The Navy Midshipmen dominated the Temple Owls by a score of 38-14, moving to 3-8 on the season.

Navy would lead from start to finish in its most dominant performance of the season, outgaining the Owls by a total of 109 yards. Temple didn’t reach the 100-yard plateau either through the air or on the ground, as an injury-depleted Owls team was 115 yards under its average total yardage of 297 heading into this weekend.

The Mids would go out to an early 14-0 lead, but a bad pitch by Tai Lavatai halfway through the second quarter set the Owls up at the one-yard line to cut the lead in half with a rushing touchdown. Bijan Nichols would kick a field goal before the break though, to give the Gamecocks a 17-7 lead before the break.

In the third quarter, the Midshipmen scored on their only drive, holding onto a 24-14 lead before scoring all 14 points in the fourth to take the 38-14 victory, spoiling the Owls’ senior day.

Lavatai got banged up in the second quarter but came back in a few plays later. Lavatai finished the afternoon with his second-most completions in a game, at five, and his fifth passing touchdown of the season. In the few plays that he was out, Xavier Arline came in and played quarterback for the Midshipmen, passing for a touchdown to Chance Warren for his only completion of the night.

On the ground, Carlinos Acie and Isaac Ruoss had career days on the ground, combining for 152 yards on 28 carries.

Now, Navy can set its eyes on the biggest prize: a win over Army at the Meadowlands on Dec. 12.

Here are some takeaways from Saturday against Temple...

Navy’s defense played another stellar game

The Midshipmen gave up less than 300 passing yards for the eighth time in the last nine games on Saturday. More specifically, they gave up less than 100 passing yards for only the second time this season, holding the Owls to 98 yards through the air on 22 pass attempts.

On the ground, they gave up only 84 yards on 28 attempts. That’s good for 3 yards per carry.

Neither of those totals were season-lows, showing just how underrated this defense has been.

Keep locks on that rushing defense, and the Midshipmen could have a fair chance to beat the Black Knights in the Meadowlands.

The Mids must do a better job holding onto the ball!

Navy fumbled the ball five times on Saturday. Although they only lost one of them, it was costly resulting in a Temple touchdown.

If they want to beat Army in two weeks, they will have to be smart with the ball. Luckily for the Midshipmen, Temple fumbled the ball four times with the Midshipmen defense recovering it three times.

Navy’s running game is back

The Midshipmen ran the ball with ease on Saturday, rushing for a total of 219 yards on 60 carries. That was a solid 3.7 yards per carry. You do those three times, and you’ve got a first down.

A large chunk of the carries came from Isaac Ruoss (18 carries for 66 yards) and Carlinos Acie (10 carries for 86 yards). Add in Tai Lavatai for 23 yards on 11 carries and they have a strong three-headed attack.

Entering this week, the Midshipmen ranked in the top 10 in the country in rushing offense.

Up Next

The big one.

Navy will head up to the Meadowlands to face off against rival Army and look for a three-way tie of the Commander in Chief trophy. Kickoff will be at 3:00 P.M. EST and the game will be televised on CBS.