Western Michigan's Boat Will Row Into The Cotton Bowl

Joy Montgomery
December 5, 2016

At 10-3, Temple has its first back-to-back 10-win season in program history.

"After the Army game [a 28-13 opening game loss in which the Cadets rushed for 329 yards] I said to my staff, 'When one of these teams cuts you open like that you find out what's in your soul, '" said Rhule, who hugged everyone in sight on the field at the culmination of a four-year quest that may soon have some big-time schools knocking on his door. When our players found out where we were going, they were extremely excited.

That official technically isn't rooting against Navy, just what happens if Navy wins. "Their football program and their culture, they are very similar to us", Midshipmen coach Ken Niumatalolo told reporters.

Phillip Walker threw two touchdown passes, Temple's defense stuffed Navy's running game and the Owls (10-3) claimed their first American Athletic Conference title with a surprising round of the 20th-ranked Midshipmen (9-3, No. 19 CFP).

In the first interview he's granted since he was dismissed as head coach of Oregon, Mark Helfrich says he reached out to former coach Chip Kelly a couple of weeks ago when he thought he could be fired.

Walker and the offense sought to reclaim the 21-point advantage, setting up freshman kicker and Second-Team All-Conference selection Aaron Boumerhi twice, the first missing left from 50-yards out before watching his second - a career-long 48-yarder courtesy of senior DB Nate Hairston's interception - sail through the uprights.

The Midshipmen had scored on 34 of 38 drives - including 33 touchdowns - before being denied on their first three possessions by Temple. He also said the mission of the committee was to identify the best teams, and that winning a conference title - as Penn State did - is just one of many things to consider. "We did not play well and you have to give them credit".

Maybe, although neither Mama nor anyone else wearing blue and gold could have possibly imagined just how disastrous the Navy's first appearance in a conference title football game would turn out to be. Williams has been one of the biggest influences on the defense.

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He then missed three more games when he suffered a hamstring injury in his first week of practice after the suspension. That's the beauty of the big play. "What sticks with me is the fact we even let them back in the game", Bortles said.

Keith Kirkwood gets behind the Navy defense for a 56-yard touchdown during the second quarter.

"We want our players to enjoy it, but we're also there with a goal", Clawson said. I feel like I know him, I see him on TV so much.

Spread: Navy is favored by three points. And we hadn't been hit in the mouth in a long time. "I trusted the process and kept doing what I've been doing - going in every day, competing and playing at a high level". Who are we paying attention to? There is also a spot the Big Ten can not fill in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on December 27 that would be a good fit for Western Michigan if it falls out of the New Year's Six.

The Navy Midshipmen lost two of their best players for the season on Saturday afternoon.

Western Michigan coach P.J.

Pre-game festivities at this year's Military Bowl will once again include a parade through downtown Annapolis featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales.

BYU (8-4) accepted a bid to this year's Poinsettia Bowl back in November 2013 - and will also be there in 2018, provided the Cougars aren't in the College Football Playoff that season.

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