Game Preview: Navy

The Bobcats come off of the bye week ready to make a statement against a very talented Navy team. The Midshipmen have played two very competitive games early on against quality opponents. Here's this weeks game preview.

Texas State has a tough task against a very disciplined Navy team, who fully expects to leave San Marcos with a "W." The Bobcats are as prepared as they are going to be, as their second game of the season looks to be one of the biggest games of the season.

Navy is expected to be led by JR QB Keenan Reynolds, who left last weeks game against Temple with an apparent knee injury. So. QB Tago Smith will get the start if Reynolds is unable to go, however don't expect too much of a drop in Navy's production as they are built almost identically (around 5'11 200-pounds each) with Smith actually posting 4.4 speed. Regardless of who starts at QB for the Midshipmen, D-Coordinator John Thompson will have his hands full with their option attack.

We're keeping it simple and we know it's a broken record, but it's true that whoever establishes the run and at the same time limits or stops it, will come out on the winning side Saturday night.

(Key Match-ups)

Texas State d-line vs Navy's ground game:
While it is clear that Navy gave a preseason top five team in the nation a run for their money, Ohio State followed up by losing to Virginia Tech in week two, proving their just not the same team without Braxton Miller. That said, on defense the Buckeyes have more size and talent up front than Bobcats. D-tackles Mershad Dillon, Dallas McClarty, Dondre Elvoid, and company must hold the point of attack. Not let the Navy O-lineman reach the second level. If the Midshipmen are cutting down linebackers, the Texas State "D" could be in for a very long day. In two games, Navy is averaging 423 yards a game on the ground.

Attacking Navy's 3-4 defense
The Midshipmen have athletes at linebacker and in the back end of the secondary with Parrish Gaines as a ball-hawk at free safety. Other than starting center Matt Freeman, the Bobcats don't have an O-lineman lighter than 295lbs. Establishing Robert Lowe, Terrence Franks and deploying the stable of backs will not only help wear down the smaller three man front, but will help in keeping the Navy offense off the field.

An effective running game will only force the defense up, opening up the passing alleys for Tyler Jones to find his wide-outs. Jr. Jafus Gaines looks to improve on his record performance from week 1. Along with Ben Ijah (Sr.), Brice Gunter, C.J. Best and the rest of the wide-outs looking to make an impact. If Jones is anywhere near his 21 of 25 performance of week 1, the Bobcats will have plenty of points, it'll just be a matter of keeping Navy off the board long enough, rather than having too out score them.

Talk about our "Week 3 Game Preview" in the Eat'em Up 'Cats forum.

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