According to the spread, Navy is an eight-point favorite but this could be the first true test the Midshipmen are going to face this year. It’s because they are going to play a team that is run-heavy on offense but here are my keys to ensure Navy stays undefeated in 2017.
KEY #1 … On offense, Navy must continue to run effectively and efficiently.
Averaging 393 yards of rushing offense, the Midshipmen need to have another near-record breaking rushing performance (569 rushing yards last week against Cincinnati). This should work to Navy’s advantage as Tulsa is allowing 294.5 rushing yards per game
KEY #2 … On offense, Navy must eat up game clock and throw the ball more.
Another thing Navy has been doing very well is having drives that eat up yards and the clock (holding the ball nearly 34:00 minutes of game time). But Navy QB Zach Abey needs to throw the ball more against Tulsa. Coming into Saturday’s game, Abey is only 9 for 25 passing for 295 and three TDs and though he threw for a TD against Cincinnati last week, he only had three passing attempts.
KEY #3 … On defense, Navy must continue to stop the run.
Tulsa loves to run too. The Golden Hurricane are averaging 311.5 rushing yards per game and scoring 38.5 points per game. Navy has been solid in it’s first three games against the run, only allowing 96.3 rushing yards and a defense that is only giving up 24 points per game.
KEY #4 … On defense, Navy must step up it’s passing defense
If this is a chink in the Midshipmen’s armor, it’s their passing defense. Last week, Cincinnati Bearcat QB Hayden Moore picked apart the Midshipmen’s shaky pass defense as he threw for 381 yards and three TDs. It’s the one area where Navy can be exposed. Golden Hurricane QB Chad President has only thrown for one touchdown.
My prediction: It maybe another track meet but I see Navy holding on three defensive possessions and escaping Tulsa with a 41-38 win.