The Navy Midshipmen at the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. This is a matchup that I mentioned a few weeks back when talking about Navy’s potential to be ranked at some point this year. Now that is 100% on the line for the Midshipmen in this one. It seems that they are just on the outside edge of the Top 25 Poll so a win over an underperforming but still talented Tulsa program should push them over the edge.
This one will be a high scoring affair led by two effective rushing attacks, one of which is headed by a quarterback and the other, a running back. It is no secret that Zach Abey (above) quarterback of Navy is one of the best rushing threats at the position throughout the NCAA but it will be important for him to get his passing game going sooner rather than later. Dual-threat QB is a classification you must you lightly.
Tulsa is hungry to get back into contention for the American Conference and it would go a long way if they were able to beat the undefeated Midshipmen here in Week Five. Regardless of record, these two teams are two of the best in the AAC and this game will one of the Conference’s best all season. Even oddsmakers are not sure who will win but I have some Keys to the Game for both teams if they want to come away with the victory.
Keys to the Game for the Navy Midshipmen
- Blitz Early and Often. The Golden Hurricanes have had an extremely efficient rushing game so it will be important for Navy’s “bend don’t break” defense to force them into passing situations. Basically, make Chad President (above) beat you, not D’Angelo Brewer because Brewer beating you is much more likely.
- Pressure Chad President. President is kind of the figurehead of the Golden Hurricane offense. He’s nothing overly special but he does not make too many mistakes. If the Midshipmen can force President to make a turnover or two then they should be smooth sailing in this one. It will be a high scoring affair so what little defense does get played will make the difference.
- Wrap Up D’Angelo Brewer. The Tulsa running back has been averaging close to 150 yards and over a TD per game early in the season. The Midshipmen’s defense should be up to the challenge but it will be important to finish their tackles. Brewer (below) is elusive and can rack up a lot of points before you know it.
Keys to the Game for the Tulsa Golden Hurricane
- Stop the Run. I don’t care if you run a 4-4 defense (four down linemen and four linebackers) if you have to. Abey is not going to beat you with his arm so force him and the rest of the Midshipmen to either air it out or run through a brick wall to score.
- Surround the Pocket. Abey will eventually (it seems) beat you with his legs so try to limit his effectiveness to the best of your ability. Containing him to the pocket is where that all starts for Tulsa. Do not let Abey find a lane or worse, some open space to run.
- Don’t Get Fooled With the Option. Obviously this is a tough one but key in on the quarterback in the option, if you let the running back past you there is a chance the second level can stop him. But if you the let the quarterback open up a running lane then you’re in trouble.
As for me, I don’t think Zach Abey can be stopped… I’ll believe it when (if) I ever see it happen. So I’m rolling with the Midshipmen in this one by a score of 39-30.
Cover Photo via Boyd’s Bets
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