PHILADELPHIA -- Navy coach Paul Johnson got his 100th career victory last night, but it wasn't the piece of cake he was hoping for.
Johnson's Mids came into last night's contest against Temple a 21-point favorite, but the Owls played the way Johnson anticipated they would -- "like their hair is on fire" -- and his Midshipmen were just good enough to survive.
Navy@Rutgers Friday, 7 p.m., ESPN, 1090 AM, 1430 AM
Play it again -- Navy 30, Temple 19
What went right
The Navy offense started strong, building a 14-0 lead from which Temple's young Owls could not totally recover.
What went wrong
Navy's young defense showed it still needs work on its tackling and blitzing techniques and the Mids' offense needs to improve its ability to hold its blocks.
Whenever Temple got close in the first half, Navy's offense was able to sustain a drive to rebuild its safety margin. And in the third quarter, when the Owls had the momentum, sophomore rover Jesse Iwuji made a touchdown-saving tackle and a few plays later senior right cornerback Ketric Buffin made Navy's first interception of the night.
What it means
Navy's defense has some major work to do before the Mids meet No. 16 Rutgers on Friday.
The Mids (1-0) travel to New Jersey to face the highly regarded Scarlet Knights (1-0).