ANNAPOLIS, Md. — If you think Navy’s 40-7 loss at Air Force last Saturday was bad, try being the starting quarterback of the Midshipmen watching from 1,700 miles away.
"It was very tough. Very tough," said Navy QB Dalen Morris. "That’s a big game. The first leg of the C.I.C. (Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy) and you want to be a part of that."
Morris was forced to stay back in Annapolis over the weekend because of a health related issue that prevents him from playing in the high altitude Colorado Springs. He’ll be back for Saturday’s home game against Temple.
"That’s the only game that it will affect me. So, I’m back and ready to go," he said.
"It’s definitely going to be good to have Dalen back," added Navy Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo. "We’re super excited to have him back this week."
The last time Morris was on the field he led the Midshipmen to their biggest comeback in school history. The Mids scored 27 unanswered second half points in a 27-24 win at Tulane on September 19.
They can’t rely on the comeback this week against American Athletic Conference rival Temple. The biggest concern for Niumatalolo preparing for the Owls is getting pushed around... again.
"We’ve gotten outphysicaled this year and [Temple], over the years, is probably the most physical team in our league," he said.
While this is Navy’s fourth game of the season it’s Temple’s first. And it’s the third time the Mids are the opposition in a team’s season opener.
The Owls are led by returning starting quarterback Anthony Russo. The The 6-foot-4 redshirt senior ranks in the top four in every major passing category in Temple history.
"Russo’s obviously got a big time arm. We have some quarterbacks who can throw, but… he’s got a big arm," said Niumatalolo.
"They’re tough. From top to bottom their a tough-nosed team," added Morris.
Once again there will be no fans and no Brigade permitted at the game on Saturday. Kickoff between the Midshipmen (1-2) and Owls is at 6:00 p.m. inside Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.