ANNAPOLIS —- This post was supposed to go up last night from the stadium, but my broadband card decided it wasn’t going to work for about a half-hour to create a great deal of frustration.
(Do you hear me now, phone and Internet service provider?)
Anyway, yesterday’s 27-24 loss to Temple clearly wasn’t great for Navy, considering it led by a touchdown early in the fourth quarter and frittered away a chance to become bowl eligible.
It also shouldn’t be considered a surprise or a cause for consternation considering the blessed existence the Midshipmen have been leading of late:
* Two October wins in overtime.
* A victory last week in a driving rainstorm against a Wake Forest outfit that extended Miami to the final moments yesterday.
* Playing a second straight week without starting quarterback Ricky Dobbs. Or at least most of the game, anyway.
* The Mids were facing a rapidly improving Temple team they’ve upended the last four season.
* Said Temple team had the chance to face the option two weeks earlier against Army.
And even though a fair number of breaks went Navy’s way —- the unusual punt return for a touchdown, the fumble recovery when a punt glanced off a Temple player, the interception near midfield to set up another score —- the truth is no team is going to win every close game it is in.
Yesterday just happened to be one that went against the Mids.
The good news for them is they won’t have to deal with Temple tailback Bernard Pierce again this season. And since Dobbs played a little bit, it’s reasonable to conclude he could probably play more next week against Notre Dame.
Ultimately, yesterday merely delayed bowl eligibility by a week or two. The Mids will still wind up in the Texas Bowl, still extend their postseason streak and still have a chance to sweep the service academies yet again.
All that was lost was a five-game winning streak and perhaps some assurance to fans that nearly everything would tip Navy’s way in the end game. Neither is fun to relinquish, but neither should have any serious unpleasant consequences in the long run.
—- Patrick Stevens