Temple's Bryant questionable for AAC title game

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Temple’s Ventell Bryant.

As Temple prepares for Saturday's American Athletic Conference football championship at Navy, the status of dangerous wide receiver Ventell Bryant remains uncertain.

The redshirt sophomore has been bothered this season by a shoulder injury that forced him to miss three games early in the season.

He was banged up entering Saturday's 37-10 win over visiting East Carolina and left the game for good after apparently suffering an injury to his shoulder in the fourth quarter.

When asked during Monday's AAC conference call if Bryant would be available on Saturday, Temple coach Matt Rhule was brief.

"I am not sure about Ventell," Rhule said.

Bryant is the Owls' leading receiver with 38 receptions for 697 yards and three touchdowns in nine games. On Saturday, he didn't play as much as he usually does and had two receptions for 35 yards.

Temple (9-3 overall, 7-1 AAC) is on a six-game winning streak. Navy (9-2, 7-1), ranked No. 20, has won four in a row since a 52-45 loss to South Florida.

In its last two games, Navy has scored 141 points, including Saturday's 75-31 win at Southern Methodist.

The Midshipmen have won 15 consecutive games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, which is the longest active home-field winning streak in FBS football.

"We know it is a challenging place to play," Rhule said.

This will be a game matching teams with distinctly different strengths. Navy is 11th nationally in scoring offense, averaging 41.7 points per game. Running the triple option, the Midshipmen are second nationally in rushing offense, averaging 342 yards per game.

Temple is 10th nationally in scoring defense, allowing 17.8 points per game. The Owls are third in total defense, allowing 273.4 yards game.

"I wish we could carry some of the points from last game into this one because Temple is a really good defense," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said.

Both coaches and teams have great respect for each other and their teams.

"It is going to be a tough, hard-nosed football game," Niumatalolo said. "I don't think any of us expect anything different during a conference championship game."

Notes

Temple redshirt senior defensive end Praise Martin-Oguike was named the AAC defensive player of the week. Martin-Oguike had five tackles, including two sacks, one of which forced a fumble that he recovered. He is fourth in the AAC with seven sacks. His career high is 7 1/2 sacks in 2014. . . . Temple running back Jahad Thomas made the AAC honor roll. He rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. Thomas has appeared in 10 games after missing the first two due to injury and has scored two touchdowns in nine of them. . . . Also on the Honor Roll is Navy quarterback Will Worth. He rushed for 107 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 104 yards and a score in the win over SMU.

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