Memphis vs. Navy Prediction, Game Preview

    Memphis vs. Navy prediction and game preview. The Tigers try to stay undefeated and in the College Football Playoff hunt as they host the Midshipmen.

    November 3, 2015

    The Memphis Tigers (8-0) and the Navy Midshipmen (6-1) meet for the first time in a key West Division showdown. Check out the Memphis vs. Navy prediction and game preview.

    Memphis vs. Navy Game Preview


    Date: Saturday, November 7
    Game Time: 7:00 ET
    Network: ESPN2

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    Why You Need To Care

    Three West Division programs have yet to lose a conference game this season. Memphis and Navy are two of them, and they’ll meet Saturday night in a game of epic significance to the American title chase.

    At No. 15, the unbeaten Tigers continue to be the highest ranked Group of Five program. Maintaining that position, though, will require surviving a three-week conference gauntlet that begins with this week’s visit from the Midshipmen and continues with subsequent trips to Houston and Temple. If Memphis is 11-0 on Nov. 21, it’ll be a top 10 squad with a Heisman-contending quarterback.

    Navy has bounced back from its only loss, at Notre Dame, to defeat Tulane and South Florida. The Mids are eager to become the fourth American program to garner national attention this fall, joining Houston, Temple and Memphis by upsetting Memphis. Navy, which has 15 players from the state of Tennessee, is bowl eligible for the 13th time in the last 14 years, but the academy is after a bigger than usual postseason prize now that it’s member of a conference.

    Why Navy Will Win

    Memphis has no experience facing the triple-option, and it’s going to show at the Liberty Bowl. Stopping the Navy ground assault is a skill that takes longer than one week to acquire. And the Midshipmen plan to batter the Tiger D with record-setting QB Keenan Reynolds, one of the Tennessee natives, powerful FB Chris Swain and change-of-pace Dishan Romine. The nation’s fourth-leading rushing attack will not only wear down and vex the Memphis defenders, but it will also play keep-away with the high-powered Tiger attack.

    Why Memphis Will Win

    The only time Navy has faced a quality offense, Notre Dame, it gave up 41 points and 459 yards. More of the same is expected this weekend. The Mids are scrappy, but also the product of a weak schedule. They’ve faced a steady diet of mediocre passers, which means they’re ill-equipped to stop Tiger QB Paxton Lynch who’s playing at an All-American level. Navy can slow the likes of South Florida and Tulane, but Memphis is going to hit it with a wave of proven playmakers at running back and receiver.

    Player Who Matters

    Memphis’ defensive strength this year has been its run defense, allowing just 3.2 yards per carry. But Navy presents unique challenges that require gap integrity, discipline and sound open-field tackling. The Tigers will need big nights from linebackers Wynton McManis and Genard Avery, as well as the defensive backs. If McManis and Avery get caught out of position, Reynolds and Swain are liable to run wild on this defense.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    Memphis has not seen a running game like the one from Navy. But the Midshipmen haven’t had to stop a quarterback like Lynch. Advantage Tigers.

    This will be a unique test for Memphis, since Navy will try to control the tempo and slow the game down. However, the Tiger offense will be too much for a Mid D comprised of garden variety personnel. Lynch will have fewer possessions this week, but he’ll raise his efficiency, exploiting the Navy defensive backs by connecting with Anthony Miller, Mose Frazier and Phil Mayhue. After making halftime adjustments, Memphis will build second-half lead that forces Navy out of its comfort zone.

    Memphis vs. Navy Prediction

    Final Score: Memphis 40, Navy 28, Line: Memphis -8.5, o/u: 65.5
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