The midshipmen of the Naval Academy should face their stiffest test of the season against the Golden Hurricane of Tulsa. Tulsa is the defending Conference USA and Liberty Bowl champs. Navy enters the game as a 4.5 point favorite.
The Navy offense continued to put up impressive numbers last week against an uninspired and listless Stanford team. Stanford provided little opposition against the run and Navy was able to dominate the time of possession and the scoreboard.
If Tulsa allows Navy to methodically move up and down the field and score on more than half its possessions, Tulsa will be forced to play perfectly on offense. Navy's defense, while improving, will not stop Tulsa's possession passing game. However, by not allowing the big play, Navy will force Tulsa to eat up clock on its scoring possessions.
Prediction: The Navy offense continues to improve and will once again surpass the 30 point plateau. The defense plays just well enough to force Tulsa to eat up clock on its scoring possessions. Final score: Navy 35 – Tulsa 30
Navy's past and future opponents:
East Carolina hosts West Virginia. I still have a suspicion that ECU isn't as good as some people thought heading into their game against Navy. Although they picked up a decent win against Memphis last week. West Virginia beats ECU. West Virginia looked about as good as they can in whipping up on Maryland last week, so there may be a bit of a letdown on the road. It may be close.
UMass should beat Stony Brook easily. They face a good test in their next game with William & Mary.
Stanford plays host to Washington State. Stanford was a disgrace in their home opener. They showed very little emotion. Washington State will win this one.
UConn plays at Indiana. Navy fans should play close attention to see how UConn bounces back after their tough loss to Wake. They are also dealing with the suspension of a starting cornerback. Indiana stands at 2-1 after playing three MAC opponents. I have to believe UConn is better than most of the MAC. UConn wins a close one.
Air Force travels to Laramie to face Wyoming. Air Force has struggled when traveling to Wyoming, and Wyoming's 1-2 record can be misleading. They traveled to Virginia and lost on a missed extra point, and hung in there against a good Boise State team. I see a close win for Air Force.
Rutgers should have little trouble dispatching 1AA Howard. It is the third home game in a row for the Scarlet Knights.
Michigan State has given the Fightin' Irish troubles over the years winning 7 of the last 9 meetings. Now that Notre Dame has fallen from the unbeaten ranks and all of the national championship talk has died down, there is much less pressure on Notre Dame. Notre Dame beats Michigan State.