In the third round of The Battle for the Trident, there can only be one winner. Will Navy start a winning streak that dulls the pain of an otherwise forgettable season, and take home the Trident three years in a row? Or will The Green Wave get their first victory in The Battle for the Trident series, and secure their first win over Navy in more than a decade? To make it even more interesting, a victory for Tulane will make them bowl eligible for the first time since 2013.
The series record is currently 11-10-1 in favor of Tulane, although Navy has won the last 4 contests since 2005.
Tulane is 5-6 on the season, and that may not sound impressive, but when you look at where some of those wins came from, it provides some perspective. The Green Wave convincingly beat both Memphis and South Florida; and they played the Bulls in Tampa. 5-6 may not sound scary, but with wins like that on your resume you know Tulane has the ability to play at a high level.
The Green Wave is led primarily by two rushers in Darius Bradwell and Corey Dauphine. The duo averages more than 6 yards a carry, and they have 16 touchdowns split between them this year. They also have two good receivers in Darnell Mooney and Terren Encalade, who are averaging 19 yards per catch.
Justin McMillan is the man under center for Tulane, and he has been a welcome change of pace for the team. McMillan has led the Green Wave to a 3-1 record, and put them on the cusp of bowl eligibility. McMillian put up 372 passing yards to go a long with 3 passing touchdowns, in Tulane’s last home game against the Pirates of ECU.
How To Watch:
Time: 12:00 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday, Nov 24
Location: Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, LA
Rankings: Navy enters the week at 101 in the S&P+ rankings; Tulane is at 89
Betting Lines: Tulane is favored by 7 points at home. Our own Austin Lanteigne has Navy securing the upset.
Keys to Success
Navy appears to have found the answer in Zach Abey under center. Although the Mids didn’t get the win against UCF, it was arguably the best they have looked this season running the triple option. Abey was obviously a little rusty, but he led the offense to 374 rushing yards with the team averaging nearly 6 yards a tote.
Abey’s rust was long gone in the Tulsa game last weekend. The Mids put up over 380 yards on the ground and were over 6 yards a carry. The defense did enough to get the win, and the score made it look closer than it actually was. There were a couple of fluky plays on Tulsa’s last scoring drive, and weird bounces that went Tulsa’s way, but otherwise, it was a convincing win for Navy on senior day.
Abey is going to need to have a repeat performance this week if the Mids want to make it five in a row against Tulane and carry a win streak into the Army-Navy matchup. The defense will also need to find a way to put pressure on McMillan and force some mistakes. The Mids lead the AAC in forced turnovers this season; a pick and a forced fumble should do the trick this weekend.
“They will not crush us”
Stay Strong #NavyFootball pic.twitter.com/TYaAPOMIrz— Navy Football (@NavyFB) November 15, 2018
Brotherhood videos are great, but Senior Day editions are a different level. If you missed it, here you go:
We are proud of many things this Thanksgiving!! But what we are most thankful for is our Navy Football Family and BROTHERHOOD!! https://t.co/tqpsMb66Ka— Navy Football (@NavyFB) November 22, 2018
The Abey train keeps rolling in the Big Easy. Navy will rack up another 300 yards on the ground. Tulane’s defense is usually good at stuffing the triple option when they load the box. This will create opportunities for Navy through the air and Abey will have at least one passing touchdown. The defense will keep forcing turnovers. I expect at least two more.
Navy will spoil the Green Wave’s post season hopes and walk out of New Orleans with Beignets, Hurricanes, and the victory.
Navy wins 35-28!