It’s been nearly a month since Navy’s football team has taken the field.
We last saw the Midhsipmen play on Halloween in Dallas, where they lost 51-37 to SMU. Navy has had three games scrapped from their schedule since due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mids were able to salvage and reschedule their games against Memphis and Tulsa though. The Tigers visit Annapolis on Saturday, the Golden Hurricane comes to town next weekend, and then Navy will head to West Point for its annual clash with Army.
First up is Memphis though, and on the line for Navy is a chance to improve to .500 overall on the season and 4-2 in American Athletic Conference play.
The Tigers are armed with a potent offense, ranking 10th in the nation in total offensive yards per-game (519.1) and eighth in passing touchdowns per-game (3.3). Still, the Tigers have often played down to their competition this season. They narrowly escaped a Nov. 7 clash with AAC cellar-dwellers USF, winning by a single point. Memphis’ defense has allowed 29 or more points in five of the seven games they’ve played in this season.
Meetings between Navy and Memphis have typically been close and high scoring, and Saturday’s game should be no different. Navy has a 3-2 record against Memphis all-time, and four of those games were decided by two touchdowns or less. The Tigers handed the Mids just one of two losses they would suffer all season last year, winning 35-23 at home in the Liberty Bowl.
Considering Navy hasn’t played in a game in nearly a month, the Mids should be relatively healthy heading into this game. What’s unclear is who will start under-center for Ken Niumatalolo’s side. Tyger Goslin and Dalen Morris have been in a quarterback competition for a few weeks.
Navy’s inconsistent play at quarterback is one of the reasons why its triple-option attack hasn’t been as effective this season. After leading the nation in rushing last season, Navy is 44th in the category this season, averaging 187.1 yards per-game on the ground.
To beat Memphis, Navy’s offense needs to be sharp and effective. The Tigers will likely try to make the game a shootout.
How to Watch
Kickoff: 7 p.m. EST
Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium — Annapolis, Maryland
Watch: CBS Sports Network | John Sadak and Randy Cross will have the call while Tina Cervasio reports from the sidelines.
Spread: Most sports books have Memphis favored by 13.5 points. The over/under is 62.5.