Tech Return Man Concerns Navy

Navy travels to Ruston, Louisiana to face Louisiana Tech this Saturday. Navy grinded out a win at home in a surprisingly tough game against Georgia Southern last weekend. Louisiana Tech was outclassed on the road by Texas A&M, 48-16. Last year the Bulldogs gave the Mids a scare when it jumped out to a 14-0 lead. Navy then scored the next 32 points for a 32-14 win

NAVY
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AREA
Louisiana Tech
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COMMENTS
 
Navy rushing offense
vs.
Louisiana Tech rushing defense
 
Navy will look to right the ship after posting its worst rushing output since 2002. The Mids ran for just 109 yards. Quarterback Ricky Dobbs seemed to be bothered at times by the ankle he sprained against Maryland. Dobbs took a lot of hits as he rushed for only 64 yards on 25 carries and scored a touchdown. On the positive front, he avoided the fumbles that have plagued him in recent games. Navy will once again play without right tackle Matt Malloy who suffered a concussion against Maryland and missed last week. The line needs to get back on track after it was dominated by Georgia Southern's defensive front. The Mids rushed for 290 yards and four touchdowns last year against the Bulldogs Louisiana Tech was dominated by Texas A&M allowing 565 yards total offense. Defensive end Matt Broha is the Bulldogs best player up front. Defensive tackles Mason Hitt and Ramone Randle aren't especially athletic but offer nice size in middle. Last year's first team All WAC linebacker Adrien Cole is once again leading the team in tackles. First year starter sophomore linebacker Solomon Randle has impressed in early going with 12 tackles.  
 
Navy passing offense
vs.
Louisiana Tech passing defense
 
Ricky Dobbs completed 5 of 8 attempts for 84 yards against Georgia Southern. Dobbs 12-yard pass to Aaron Santiago moved the ball inside the 10 to set up Navy's only touchdown of the day. Navy has struggled protecting Dobbs when he attempts to pass. The biggest play last weekend was the third-and-18 completion for 44 yards to Greg Jones who made a terrific catch. That catch allowed the Mids to run out the clock. Last year Dobbs completed 5 of 8 passes for 103 yards against the Bulldogs. Doug Furman dropped a 45 yard strike from Dobbs that would have been a touchdown. The Bulldogs rank 92nd in pass defense. Defensive end Matt Broha has 3 1/2 sacks this year and is a talented pass rusher. Cornerback Olajuwon Paige has eleven tackles this year. Cornerback Josh Victorian is a good cover corner who already has an interception and defended three passes. Strong safety Chad Boyd has contributed 9 tackles and returned an interception 46 yards. The secondary allowed 349 passing yards and four passing touchdowns to Texas A&M last week.  
 
Louisiana Tech rushing offense
vs.
Navy rushing defense
 
Navy dominated Georgia Southern up front at the point of attack last week. Jabaree Tuani, who had nine tackles, and Shane Bothel who had seven tackles, one sack and forced a fumble-- were unblockable. After struggling against Maryland the linebackers were outstanding. Tyler Simmons had seven tackles while Max Blue added six stops. Lennon Greer is the Bulldogs starting running back. This year the Tennessee transfer has rushed for 120 yards averaging 4.2 yards a carry. Senior Myke Compton is the Bulldogs short yardage and goal specialist. He has rushed for two touchdowns this year. New quarterback Colby Cameron is mobile and can run for extra yards when the offense spreads the defense. Left tackle Rob McGill is a two time All-WAC conference player. The 6-6, 310 McGill is considered an NFL prospect.  
 
Louisiana Tech passing offense
vs.
Navy passing defense
 
Navy leads the nation in pass defense after two weeks. Navy's defense held Georgia Southern to just eight first downs and 109 yards total offense. Rover senior captain Wyatt Middleton, a first team All-East selection last year, has been brilliant. He leads the team with eighteen tackles. Senior free safety Emmett Merchant has played well but is expected to miss this week's game after suffering a concussion. New Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes hired Tony Franklin as offensive coordinator to install his version of spread passing offense Texas Tech used under Mike Leach. Sophomore quarterback Colby Cameron struggled in his first career start Saturday against Texas A&M. Cameron completed 15 of 31 passes for just 115 yards, no touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. He rushed for 21 yards but was sacked three times. Despite his inability to move the team Dykes named him as starting quarterback against the Midshipmen. Cameron replaced senior quarterback Ross Jenkins who started last year against Navy. The Bulldogs used four receivers in their spread set and all are new to system and inexperienced. Taulib Ikharo has the most catches this year while Eric Harper has caught the only touchdown pass.  
Special Teams
 
Alex Teich's opening kickoff return was a shoestring tackle from going distance. He's made a huge improvement returning kicks since he took over late last year. All East kicker Joe Buckley was back on track after nailing both field goal attempts. Kyle Delahooke has struggled this year and his attempts to pin opponents inside the twenty have been off the mark. Gary Myers returned 4 punts for 31 yards against Georgia Southern. He did a nice job holding onto the ball after some rough tackles. Ryan Allen is Louisiana Tech's punter. He averages 39.yards a punt. Kicker Matt  Nelson has hit three of four attempts this year. Dangerous wide receiver and return man Phillip Livas who has six career returns for touchdowns is back. Last year Livas returned a punt return 85 yards for a touchdown against Navy.  
 
Coaching
 
Both offenses struggled last week but Navy situation is settled at quarterback. Dykes is looking for a trigger man who can move the team. Defensive coordinator Buddy Green's defense was been hitting on all cylinders last week.  
 
Intangibles
 
Louisiana Tech has won 10 of its last 11 games at Joe Aillet stadium. Navy counters that by traveling well. Navy has the 13th best winning percentage since 2003. Navy's offense should get back on track. Louisiana has problems at quarterback right now.  

PREDICTION: Navy, 27-10

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