Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Five Players to Watch: SMU vs. Navy

Hatts has your five Navy players to watch against SMU on Saturday.

QB Keenan Reynolds

SMU's inability to defend mobile quarterbacks has been well documented this season and Keenan Reynolds (above) will be another tall order for this defense as he is already fast approaching 1,000 yards on the ground. The 5-11, 205-pound quarterback has 907 yards on the ground through 8 games and also has 13 touchdowns on the ground. Reynolds will not be as big of a threat in the passing game, but SMU will still have to respect his arm as Memphis found out last week when Navy handed them their first loss of the season. To slow down Reynolds, something virtually nobody has been able to do this year, SMU will have to stay in its rushing lanes and not overcommit too early.

FB Chris Swain

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If Keenan Reynolds doesn’t keep the ball himself, Navy’s other dangerous option is Chris Swain who’s racked up 704 yards rushing on the season himself. Swain also is a threat to find the end zone as he eight touchdowns on the season. The Midshipmen running back is also coming off a huge game in their win over Memphis after he ran for 108 yards and three touchdowns. Reynolds will obviously be a big focus for SMU but stopping Swain will go a long way in helping SMU get their second win of the season.

WR DeBrandon Sanders

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DeBrandon Sanders has not had the biggest start to the season but came up huge for the Midshipmen in their win over Memphis. Sanders is by far the best receiver Navy has and poses a lot of problems for opposing defenses when Navy has him coming out of the backfield. Sanders put Navy up for good last weekend when he caught a 65-yard touchdown pass from Reynolds to put Navy up 24-17. To go along with this, Sanders also had just over 80 yards rushing that played a big factor in the win as well.

DE Will Anthony

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On the other side of the ball, Will Anthony does it all for the Navy defense. Anthony leads the team in multiple areas with 4.5 tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Navy’s defense is helped out by their offense winning the time of possession matchup virtually every week, but when Anthony is on the field, Davis will have to keep an eye on him as Navy’s biggest playmaker. 

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LB Micah Thomas

Another name SMU fans are going to hear a lot this weekend is Micah Thomas who is a tackling machine for Navy. Thomas leads the team in tackles with 52 to go along with 3.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks. Navy is not a defense that is going to force a ton of turnovers, but will pride themselves on solid tackling while getting a lot of pressure on the quarterback from a number of different guys. One of those guys who will be around the ball all day Saturday is Thomas.


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