Nutile's 4 TDs lead Temple past Navy 34-26
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Frank Nutile threw for 289 yards and four touchdowns, and Temple's struggling offense awoke to beat Navy 34-26 on Thursday night.
Nutile, making his second straight start in place of the injured Logan Marchi, completed 22 of 30 passes with one interception as Temple (4-5, 2-3 American Athletic Conference) snapped a two-game skid.
Adonis Jennings had five catches for 127 yards, including touchdown catches of 34 and 40 yards. Keith Kirkwood and Jake Robinson also caught TDs for the Owls, who entered averaging just 20.9 points a game, 112th best in the FBS.
Navy quarterback Zach Abey, who sustained a concussion in a loss to Central Florida on Oct. 21, rushed for 87 yards and caught a touchdown pass on trick play before leaving with another injury. The Midshipmen (5-3, 3-3) rushed for 136 yards, well below their nation-best average of 376.
A trip to Lincoln Financial Field had always ended on a positive note for the Midshipmen, who entered 12-0 at the home of the Philadelphia Eagles - including a 10-0 mark against rival Army.
But much like a year ago when Temple cruised to a 34-10 win in the AAC title game, Navy's defense faltered.
Jennings beat Elijah Merchant on his two scores and Robinson's first career catch came against Merchant. Khaylan Williams was beaten in the end zone on Kirkwood's 8-yard catch that made it 17-3 in the second quarter.
Temple, playing a triple-option team for the second-straight game after losing in overtime at Army on Oct. 21, plugged running lanes with an eight-man front that left Navy frustrated.
Navy hosts SMU on Nov. 11.
Temple plays at Cincinnati on Nov. 10.
More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Top25