Rice - Navy Preview

A pair of 1-4 teams face off in Annapolis heading in different directions. Rice is coming off of a 37-20 upset win vs. Louisiana Tech while Navy returns home from a 48-7 lesson at the hands of archrival Air Force.

Navy

Matchup

Rice

Go Navy Offense: While Navy still holds the #3 spot in rushing offense and #40 overall, they still have trouble holding onto the ball.  The Mids have also struggled mightily to score points of late, with only two TDs in their last 6 quarters of play vs. Air Force and Duke. A small advantage to Rice. Rice Owls
Go Navy Defense: Navy's defense is giving up almost 480 yards per game and until they can prove they are able to stop a team not named "SMU" (or until Army's season plays out), the opposition will always hold this advantage.'Nuff said - edge, Owls. Rice Owls

EVEN

Special Teams: Surprisingly, Navy's special teams weren't that bad against Air Force.  If the Mids' returners can actually hang onto the ball this week, I'll call this one Even.

EVEN

Navy Midshipmen Coaching: I'm still a believer in Paul Johnson.  I'm impressed that he benched the two game-breakers on offense due to fumble-itis, and have a feeling that he'll have a couple of tricks up his sleeve to get the Mids to feel that they can actually win a game.  At home, too.  The pick here is Navy. Go Navy
Go Navy Intangibles: I'll go with Rice just because a) they're coming off a win; and b) because they're familiar with Annapolis, having played here last year.  The fly-by won't scare them. Rice Owls
Go Navy Prediction: This is a tough call, but I'm not convinced Navy believes they can win a game if things start to go against them.  Against SMU, everything went their way.  They started out well against both Duke and Air Force, but when things went south, they went in a hurry.  Success breeds success, and until Navy can overcome adversity and win a game, I'm going to be a pessimist.  I'll say 34-21, Rice. Rice Owls

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