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Navy Football Seeks Program's First Conference Crown

Nov. 28, 2016

2016 AAC Championship Game
GAME 12: #20 NAVY (9-2, 7-1 AAC) vs. Temple (9-3, 7-1 AAC) | 2016 Media Center
 When Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 | 12:00 pm (ET)
 Location Annapolis, Md. | Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium | Directions
 Tickets Buy Online | 1-800-US4NAVY
 Television ABC (Joe Tessitore, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe)
 Live Video Stream WatchESPN
 Listen Navy Football Radio Network (Pete Medhurst, Omar Nelson, Joe Miller, Tim Murray) - WBAL (1090 AM; Baltimore) | WNAV (1430 AM, 99.9 FM; Annapolis) | WFED (1500 AM, 820 AM; Washington, D.C. / Northern Virginia) | WBQH (1050 AM; Washington, DC / Northern Virginia) | ESPN/XEPE 1700 AM (San Diego) | WXTG (102.1 FM; Virginia Beach, Va.) | WJXL 1010 AM (Jacksonville, Fla.) | KRKO 1380 AM (Seattle, Wash.) | Satellite Radio (Sirius Ch. 134 / XM Ch. 201)
 Live Stats Navy Athletics
 Game Notes Navy Get Acrobat Reader | Temple Get Acrobat Reader | AAC Get Acrobat Reader
 Season Statistics Navy | Temple | AAC
 Social Media @NavyAthletics   |  Facebook | Instragram

Setting the Stage

Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000) in Annapolis, Md. in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game. Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM and the game will be televised nationally by ABC with Joe Tessitore, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe on the call.
•  Temple is making its second consecutive appearance in the AAC Championship Game, while Navy will be playing for a conference championship for the first time in the program's 136-year history. The Mids were an Independent for the first 134 seasons before joining the AAC last year.
•  Navy leads the all-time series against Temple, 6-5, including a 31-24 victory in the last meeting between these two squads in 2014 at Lincoln Financial Field.
•  Navy is 26-5 (.839) over its last 31 games. The Mids own wins over No. 15 Memphis (2015) and No. 6 Houston (2016) during that time period.
•  Navy is 14-2 (.875) in the AAC since joining the conference a year ago.
•  Navy's senior class (`17), which boasts a 37-13 (.740) mark, is the school's all-time winningest class over a four-year period.  
•  Navy has won 15 consecutive games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, which is tied with Houston for the nation's longest active home winning streak.
•  Over the last five years, Navy is 27-1 (.964) when winning the turnover battle.
•  Under head coach Ken Niumatalolo, the Mids are 35-11 (.761) in the months of November and December, including an 18-3 (.857) mark over the last four years. Navy has not lost a home game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in the months of November and December since 2002.
•  The Navy offense has scored on 34 of its last 38 drives, with 33 of those going for touchdowns.  The Mids have scored 60 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 1917.
•  The Navy Football Tailgate Show on WNAV 1430 AM / 99.9 FM will air at 10:00 AM.
•  The Navy Football Pregame Show with Pete Medhurst, Omar Nelson, Joe Miller and Tim Murray will get underway at 11:00 AM, followed by game action beginning at 12 noon on the Navy Radio Network.  
•  Following the contest, Medhurst, Nelson, Miller and Murray will recap the day's events in a 30-minute postgame show.

Game Day Festivities
•  The Navy Football Team Walk will take place at 9:30 AM starting in front of the Blue Angel on the Press Box side of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium..
•  The March-On of the Brigade of Midshipmen will take place at 11:46 AM.
•  Following the game, Navy's alma mater, Navy Blue & Gold, will be played as the team stands at attention in front of the Brigade of Midshipmen.  It is one of the best traditions in all of sports.
•  There will be a postgame awards ceremony on the field for the winning team.

A November To Remember
•  In the month of November (vs. Notre Dame, Tulsa, East Carolina and SMU), the Navy offense scored on 34 of its 38 drives (.895) with 33 of those drives resulting in a touchdown (.868). The Mids also had two drives they in which they punted and two that were lost on downs (Navy took a knee on six other occasions, four victory formations and two at the half).
• The Mids are averaging 61 points per game over their last three games and have scored over 60 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 1917.
• Navy has produced more than 500 yards of total offense in each of the last three contests, a first in school history.
• The Mids had not posted 600 yards of total offense since 2008 when they turned in 602 yards against Towson. Navy did it twice in November, piling up 616 yards against USF and 600 yards against SMU.
• Last week against SMU, Navy became the first school in FBS history to have two quarterbacks rush for over 100 yards in the same game (Worth 15-107, Abey 7-111).

Navy Goes For Back-To-Back 10-Win Seasons
•  Prior to Ken Niumatalolo taking over as the head coach, Navy had just two 10-win seasons in 127 years of football (1905 and 2004).
•  A win on Saturday would give the Mids their third 10-win season in the Niumatalolo era (nine years) and it would give Navy back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time in school history.
•  If Navy wins its final three games of the year, it would set a school record for wins in back-to-back years.

Scouting Temple
• Temple enters Saturday's AAC Championship Game riding a six-game winning streak which is tied for the eighth-longest streak in the country.
• The Owls started 3-3 thanks to injuries that kept out of some of their top players, but have won their last six by a combined 117 points, including outscoring the opposition 89-10 over the last three games.
• The Owls have two great backs in Jahad Thomas (181-856, 12 TDs) and Ryquell Armstead (139-842, 13 TDs).    
• Quarterback Phillip Walker has completed 58 percent of his passes, throwing for 2,700 yards and 18 touchdowns to go along with 12 interceptions.
• Walker's favorite target is Ventell Bryant, who has 38 catches for 697 yards and three touchdowns.  Thomas is a dangerous receiver out of the backfield with six of his 30 receptions going for touchdowns.
• The Temple defense has been terrific all year, ranking 24th in the country in rushing defense (127.7 yds/gm), second in passing yards allowed (145.8 yds/gm), third in total defense (273.4 yds/gm) and 10th in scoring defense (17.8).
• The defense is led by Hasson Reddick, who has 57 tackles, 9.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for a loss.
• Kicker Austin Jones is 10-12 on field goals this year with a long of 45 and Alex Starzyk is averaging 39.5 yards per punt on 44 punts.
• Temple's special teams have blocked five kicks, including three punts. The three blocked punts are the second most in the country and the five total blocked kicks are the fifth most.
Navy Runs Past SMU, 75-31, For Fourth Straight Win
• (AP) - Will Worth has become a dual threat in Navy's triple-option offense.
• While the Midshipmen still stay mainly on the ground, Worth accounted for four touchdowns while becoming the first Navy quarterback with more than 100 yards rushing and 100 yards passing in three consecutive games in a 75-31 victory at SMU last Saturday.
• Worth ran 15 times for 107 yards and three touchdowns, increasing his FBS-leading total to 25 rushing scores while playing only three quarters. The senior completed 5 of 7 passes for 104 yards and the go-ahead TD just before halftime.
• SMU missed a chance to become bowl eligible in its regular-season finale amid rumors coach Chad Morris is a candidate to become Baylor's new coach. The Mustangs are 7-17 in two seasons under Morris, who took over after a 1-11 season.
• Navy has won four games in a row, and has consecutive 60-point games for the first time since 1917.
• After Navy's first lost fumble in five games led to a touchdown that put SMU up 24-21 late in the first half, the Midshipmen responded with 47 unanswered points.
• Worth's 8-yard TD pass to Jamir Tillman with 6 seconds left in the first half put the Midshipmen ahead to stay. They scored twice in less than a minute right after halftime, on 255-pound fullback Shawn White's 50-yard run and Justin Norton's 25-yard interception return.

Navy Headed To The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex Area For Bowl Game
•  Navy is headed to a bowl game for the 13th time in the last 14 years after a 28-27 victory over Notre Dame on Nov. 5 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville.
• Navy already had a contractual agreement to play in the 2016 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl as an Independent before joining the American Athletic Conference.  The Armed Forces Bowl will be played at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth on Friday, Dec. 23 at 4:30 PM (ET), 3:30 PM (CT) against a team from the Big 12.
• Navy is still very much in play for the Group of Five bid to a New Year's Six Bowl, which goes to the top-ranked conference champion among the Group of Five Conferences (American Athletic Conference, Mountain West, Conference USA, Mid-American and Sun Belt) as selected by the College Football Selection Committee. The Group of Five Champion will play in the Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium (Cowboys Stadium) on Monday, Jan. 2 at 1:00 PM (ET), 12 noon (CT) against a team from the Power 5.  Western and Michigan and Navy are the two highest ranked Group of Five conference champions heading into conference championship weekend.
• If Navy is selected for the Cotton Bowl, that would preempt the contractual agreement with the Armed Forces Bowl.
• Tickets are available now for the Armed Forces Bowl at
• Tickets prices are $30 (End Zone General Admission), $50 (Upper Level Sideline), $60 (Lower Level Goal Line) and $75 (Lower Level Sideline).  Donated tickets for midshipmen and enlisted personnel and their families are $60.
• If Navy is selected for the Cotton Bowl, fans who purchase Armed Forces Bowl tickets can transfer their purchase towards a Cotton Bowl ticket or request a refund.

Home Field Advantage
•  Navy has won 15 consecutive home games dating back to the 2014 season.  The Mids' last home loss was to Western Kentucky, 36-27, on Sept. 27, 2014.   
• Navy's 15-game home winning streak is tied with Houston for the longest in the country.     
•  While the current streak is the longest in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium history (1959-present), it's not the longest in school history.  Navy won 21 straight home games from 1953-64. During that era, Navy would play just one or two home games per year, mostly against weaker competition, and played its premier home games in either Baltimore or Norfolk. During that streak, Navy won the final eight games played at Thompson Field and the first 13 games played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
•  Navy won a program-record seven games at home (7-0) in 2015.
•  The Mids are 5-0 at home this year, outscoring the opposition, 320-148.
•  The Mids are 39-9 (.813) at home under Ken Niumatalolo, including a 24-3 (.889) mark over the last five seasons.

Navy Tough At Home when Temps Turn Cold
•  The Mids have won 20 straight games at home in the month of November and December (Military Bowl).  The last time Navy lost at home after Oct. 31 was in 2002 when Connecticut defeated Navy, 38-0.

Mids Tough When The Calendar Turns To November
•  Under Niumatalolo, the Mids are 35-11 (.761) in the months of November and December, including 18-3 (.857) over the last four years.



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