SMU at Navy
Saturday, 12:30 pm PT - CBSC
CRIS Opener: Navy -4.5 O/U 67
CRIS Current: Navy -3.5 O/U 68
After starting the season 5-0, Navy's schedule started to tighten and they find itself on a rare three-game losing streak. The SOS difficulty continues on Saturday with a very capable SMU coming to town. The Mustangs rank among the nation's leaders in pass plays beyond 20 yards (49). That spells problems for a Navy secondary that has routinely been exposed against potent passing attacks. The Midshipmen surrendered 34, 31, 30 and 45 points in their last four games; showing an inability to get stops or get off the field on third down.
On the flip side, Navy’s triple option attack has not been as reliable as it’s been in past seasons. Offensively, the Middies are down about a half yard per play compared to 2016. And of over their last three games, they’ve averaged a very pedestrian 5.0 ypp. SMU’s defense is far from elite, but if you eliminate games vs. upper-tier TCU and UCF, the Mustangs are allowing a respectable 5.8 ypp.
The big storyline in this matchup is the recent history. Navy has embarrassed SMU in back-to-back meetings, 55-14 and 75-31. But the gap between these two teams has closed considerably with SMU one of the most improved teams in the country. Navy will get its yards but I think the Mustangs are poised for a far more competitive showing with a good shot at the outright victory.