The Navy Midshipmen will travel to the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on Thursday evening to take on the Memphis Tigers in an American Conference matchup. The Midshipmen are 1-4 (1-2) this season and are coming off a 31-24 home loss against the 24th-ranked SMU Mustangs. Sophomore quarterback Tai Lavatai had a decent game as he went 4-of-7 for 64 yards and a touchdown. The Tigers are sitting at 3-3 (0-2) so far this year and are coming off a 35-29 road loss against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Freshman quarterback Seth Henigan had a good game as he went 34-of-57 on 463 yards with two touchdowns and interceptions.
These two programs face off annually as they last faced off in late November and the Memphis Tigers went on the road and defeated the Navy Midshipmen 10-7. It will be interesting to determine where we should be placing our wagers.
Ruoss Needs to RunThe Navy Midshipmen are a heavy running offense and senior fullback Isaac Ruoss has been running the football well. So far this season, he has 61 carries for 233 yards (3.8 yards per attempt) with a pair of rushing touchdowns while adding a catch for -1 yard. Looking at his last game against Southern Methodist, Ruoss finished with 10 carries for 22 yards (2.2 yards per attempt). If he can figure out how to get more yardage in his limited touches, it will do wonders for Navy.
The Navy Midshipmen have been struggling defensively so far this year as they are allowing 32.2 points per game. In their last game against the SMU Mustangs, they gave up 31 points on 404 total yards of offense (324 passing, 80 rushing). The Midshipmen had a solid foundation defensively as they forced the Mustangs to go just 2-of-11 on third down but allowed both fourth down attempts to convert. Navy also forced a pair of turnovers in this game (one fumble recovery, one interception). If the Navy Midshipmen can continue to get better and trust one another, it will really help their defensive strategies.
CA3 Getting TD6The Memphis Tigers have been a very talented passing team as they are dependent on the skills of senior wide receiver Calvin Austin III. So far this season, he has 48 receptions for 837 yards (17.4 yards per catch) with eight touchdowns. In his last game against Tulsa, he finished with 13 catches for 200 yards (15.4 yards per reception) with a touchdown. If Memphis can figure out how to get the ball in his hands, it will really help the Tigers offense click here.
The Memphis Tigers defensive unit has been struggling a bit this season as they are giving up 32.7 points per game. Looking at their last game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, they allowed 35 points on 417 total yards of offense (182 passing, 235 rushing). They struggled to get stops on third down as Tulsa is 6-of-14 on those key downs. The biggest issue was the fact that the Golden Hurricane went 5.1 yards per rushing attempt in this game. If Memphis can correct their defensive woes, it will get them their first American Conference victory.
- Memphis: 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games
- Memphis: 1-7 ATS in their last 8 conference games
- Navy: 16-5 ATS in their last 21 conference games
- Navy: 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 games following a straight up loss