The 1-2 Mids host Temple on Saturday in the Owls first game of the season. Temple had been unable to play – or even practice – football until after many teams in the AAC due to strict Covid-19 rules in the city of Philadelphia. Here are the three keys to a Navy win:
Better defensive execution
It doesn’t take a coaching genius to see that the effort level of the Navy players was in the right place in the blowout loss against Air Force last weekend. The problem was simply that the execution of what the players were being asked to do didn’t meet the level of effort shown.
That is how the Falcons were able to go for over 400 total yards while scoring 40 points, as the Navy defenders botched assignments and miss tackles with alarming regularity. If Navy is going to win this game – against a second opponent in a pair of weeks that hasn’t played meaningful football yet – then the defensive execution has to be better.
Prepare to have been scouted
This is the first game of the season for Temple while the Mids have already played three times. There are pluses and minuses for both teams here because of this weird quirk in the scheduling. The Mids will be more game read, more in football shape and – hopefully – more able to execute. Temple – on the other hand – has three weeks of Navy game film to watch while the Mids have no idea exactly what the Owls will be bringing to the table. This is a coin toss.
Get the running game going
Navy has played exactly two good quarters so far in 2020 – the second half against Tulane. The problem has been that the running game – the absolute bread and butter of the offense – just hasn’t been working. The Mids didn’t manage to get over 120 yards against either Air Force or BYU, a number Malcolm Perry would hit in his sleep last season. This inability to run the ball has led to defensive collapses and lopsided time of possession stats against the Mids. The game starts with the ability of somebody – anybody – to successfully run the ball.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 6:00 PM ET. Watch on the CBS Sports Network.