Last week, Coach Ken Niumatalolo surprised many by starting, senior Garret Lewis, under center instead of Malcolm Perry. Perry had been the primary quarterback throughout the season and was healthy, so it was unexpected to see him at A-back(running back) and Lewis at quarterback. Perry played A-back for the majority of the 2017 season, so he is very familiar with the position.
Lewis had a decent game, but still did not provide enough of a spark for the Midshipmen to earn a win over the Temple Owls. Navy lost 24-17 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to bring their overall record to 2-4. It’s been a rough season thus far for the Midshipmen, and this week will undoubtedly be another uphill battle.
But instead of looking at this game with worry of another loss, Navy should look at it as an awesome opportunity.
Let’s first describe the Goliath that is the Houston Cougars.
The Cougars are averaging 48.7 points per game, putting them third in the nation in offensive scoring. Additionally, Houston enters the game with a 5-1 record, with their only loss coming from a shootout at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders have proven themselves as a quality opponent, which suggests Houston is even better than their record shows. The fact that Houston is not in the AP Top 25 is an absolute shame and incredibly deceptive in their true ability as a team.
As if the Cougars’ offense wasn’t intimidating enough, they also have the best player in college football on their defense. Defensive tackle, Ed Oliver, is a trainwreck waiting to dominate any offensive line. The future number one draft pick in the 2019 NFL Draft will be looking to stop Navy’s run game up the middle.
In 2016, number six ranked Houston strolled into Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium with a 5-0 record. The year before, Houston had a 13-1 record with a win against Florida State in the Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl. So the Cougars had their eyes set on an undefeated season and a spot in the College Football Playoff. Before the Week 6 matchup against Navy, Houston had already beaten No. 3 Oklahoma which would end up being the highest ranked opponent they faced all year. But on that cool October night, the Midshipmen absolutely ruined Tom Herman and the Cougars’ season. After the 40-46 loss, Houston went on to lose three more games that season, Tom Herman left for Texas, and the Cougars have not been the same since.
This 2018 Navy team has the opportunity to play the same role as that 2016 team and stop Houston’s momentum towards the post season. Additionally, Navy needs this win in order to have a chance to become bowl game eligible.
How To Watch:
Time: 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday, Oct. 20 .
Watch: CBS Sports, AFN
Location: Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD
Rankings: Navy enters week eight at 95 in the S&P+ rankings; Houston is at 28
Betting Lines: Houston is favored by 11.5 points on the road.
Houston brings their hype by showing off their uniforms. However, it is the Navy Midshipmen who have made the most noise this year regarding uniforms. On Wednesday, October 17th, Navy announced this year’s Army-Navy uniforms, making waves throughout all of college football.
As much as I’d like to call for the upset over Houston, it just doesn’t seem like the Navy defense has it in them. D’Eriq King is a true dual-threat quarterback who has a plethora of weapons surrounding him. The speed and athleticism of Houston will be too much for the heart and will of Navy to overcome.
Naturally, the Midshipmen will not go down without a fight. Look for a high scoring game where it will be upon each team’s defense to come up big. Final score will look to be 45-21 in favor of Houston.