NORTH PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For the second straight season the Temple Owls are headed to the American Athletic Conference Championship Game. On Saturday, the Owls will visit #20 Navy down in Annapolis, Maryland.
“We’re obviously really proud of our team and our players and really grateful for how hard they’ve worked and happy that they can play in the game this Saturday,” Temple head coach Matt Rhule tells KYW Newsradio.
Listen to full-interview with head coach Matt Rhule:
Temple (9-3 overall, 7-1 in AAC) earned the title game berth by winning the AAC’s East Division, clinching the crown this past Saturday with a 37-10 win over East Carolina at the Linc. It was Temple’s sixth straight win. The Owls rolled up 414 yards of offense and made every football coach in the country proud by not allowing a sack, not turning the football over and not committing a penalty in the game.
“I didn’t even know that stat until after the game,” Rhule says. “But it was something we were really excited about. You know we hadn’t played to that level yet and to do it on the last home game at the Linc was obviously something that was great.”
Rhule talks about making it back to title game for a second straight year.
“I think it shows recruits, it shows Temple people, it shows the people of Philadelphia and most importantly, it shows our players, that this is a consistent program,” Rhule says. “They are kids that are willing to work. They come, they all graduate, they’re all doing a great job in the classroom and in the community and the success on the field is hopefully something that we can sustain over a long period of time.”
The Owls lost the AAC Championship Game last season to Houston, 24-13.
On Saturday, the Owls will face a Navy team that is 9-2 (7-1 AAC). The Midshipmen have won four straight and this past Saturday their triple-option attack was rolling as they hammered SMU, 75-31.
“It’s a tremendous challenge,” Rhule says of facing Navy. “Obviously, to be on the road makes it even harder. They run their offense as well as anybody runs an offense. Extremely potent. They know how to do it and they do it really well. So it will be a challenge for us, it’s something that we haven’t had a lot of success against early this year, but I know our kids are excited and they’ll be ready to play.”
Temple and Navy last played in on September 6th, 2014 at the Linc. The Owls lost, 31-24.
Saturday’s game will get underway at noon.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleonkyw.