Navy quarterback Zach Abey, who suffered a head injury in last week’s 31-21 loss to unbeaten Central Florida, is expected to return to the lineup when the Midshipmen visit Temple on Thursday Nov. 2.
Like Temple, Navy has a bye this week.
Abey took a hit to the helmet at the end of a run in the third quarter.
“He is fine,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said Monday during the American Athletic Conference media call. “He is back on concussion protocol and will be ready for Temple.”
Abey has already played against Temple. He came off the bench last year in a 34-10 loss to the Owls in the AAC title game and had 14 carries for 70 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run. Abey is second in the nation with 1,142 rushing yards and has scored 13 touchdowns. Stanford’s Bryce Love is the leader with 1,387 yards.
Before leaving the Central Florida game, Abey rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. It was his school-record eighth straight 100-yard rushing game.
The loss snapped Navy’s 17-game regular season home win streak.
AAC power ratings
Temple is tied for ninth with Tulsa in the most recent AAC power ratings, voted on by beat writers for the 12 teams. Here are this week’s rankings:
1. South Florida (7-0, 4-0 AAC)
2. Central Florida (6-0, 4-0)
3. Memphis (6-1, 3-1)
4. Navy (5-2, 3-2)
5. Houston (4-3, 2-2)
6. SMU (5-2, 2-1)
7. Tulane (3-4, 1-2)
8. UConn (3-4, 2-3)
9 (tie). Temple (3-5, 1-3)
9 (tie). Tulsa (2-6, 1-3)
11. Cincinnati (2-6, 0-4)
12. East Carolina (2-6, 1-3)
With Saturday’s closer-than-expected 34-28 win over Tulane, South Florida extended the nation’s longest current win streak to 12 games. The Bulls also set a modern-era record by scoring at least 30 points in 24 straight games, breaking the mark it had shared with Oregon, which had 23 straight victories in 2011 and ’12.
USF first-year coach Charlie Strong says both the win streak and 30-point streak aren’t topics he hears being discussed in his locker room.
“I have heard a lot of conversations, and never once have I heard anybody talk of the winning streak or 30 points,” Strong said. “They aren’t saying anything about it and going about their business and focusing on their next opponent.
Tulane trailed by 34-7 midway through the third quarter, but after cutting the score to 34-28, the Green Wave failed to recover an onside kick with 2 minutes and 45 seconds left. The Bulls then ran out the clock.
USF’s Quinton Flowers threw two touchdown passes and ran for 138 yards and another score. He has rushed for 613 yards (5.3 avg.) and seven TDs and completed 51.4 percent of his passes for 1,245 yards, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions.
Three AAC teams remained in the Associated Press Top 25. South Florida is No. 17, followed by No. 18 Central Florida and No. 24 Memphis.
Memphis earned its second straight win over an AAC West contender with last week’s 42-38 victory at Houston. The Tigers trailed, 17-0, at halftime before storming back. The previous week, the Tigers beat Navy, 30-27.
“There was never any panic, and the kids went out and got the job done,” Memphis coach Mike Norvel said.
Memphis quarterback Riley Ferguson threw for a school-record 471 yards, and Patrick Taylor Jr. rushed for a program-record four touchdowns.
The Tigers, the preseason AAC West favorite, have won three in a row since a 40-13 loss at Central Florida.