The 2007 edition of the Navy Midshipmen football team was unveiled Friday night at Lincoln Financial Field in front of a crowd of 30,368 that was the Owls’ largest since they moved to their new home in 2003.
Navy was in town to test the young Owls, and the visitors were challenged before registering a 30-19 nonleague victory. The Midshipmen had handled visiting Temple easily last season for a 36-point win.
Temple, which went 1-11 last year in coach Al Golden’s first season, pulled to within 27-19 with a little more than four minutes to play when Owls quarterback Adam DiMichele found freshman tight end Matt Balasavage open for a 22-yard score. But after Navy’s Nate Frazier blocked Temple’s extra-point attempt, the Midshipmen took over and finished the job.
“Obviously, we’re 25 points better than we were a year ago,” Golden said. “These guys have to grow up fast. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am right now that we didn’t win. The guys really worked hard, and I wanted to see them have some success.” Under coach Paul Johnson, Navy was coming off a 9-4 finish that included a 25-24 loss to Boston College in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
|The Midshipmen returned seven starters on offense and two on defense.
Temple went into the game with 44 letter-winners and a highly regarded recruiting class. Among the newcomers is 5-foot-9, 175-pound Daryl Robinson of Northeast Catholic, who scored with his first official touch on an 18-yard pass in the second quarter that left Temple down by only four points. The visitors led by 24-10 at the break.
“I think that anybody who watched the game knows there was a different team out there than it was a year ago,” Golden said. “We made some plays and took away the ball, but we couldn’t convert. You can’t keep giving Navy the ball.”