Armed Forces Bowl prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen between Navy and Louisiana Tech.
I’m a sucker for feel-good stories, and Navy has provided one for most of the season. Succeeding despite injuries to its top two quarterbacks is part of that narrative. Then again, the Midshipmen were on the wrong end of a great story in its loss to Army, a game that followed up being embarrassed in the AAC title game. I’m going with Navy to bounce back from a rough few weeks to end the season on a high note, although Louisiana Tech will take this right down to the wire.
Ryan Higgins has taken great care of the ball this season with 37 touchdowns to only eight interceptions. He’ll keep that going against Navy by tossing at least two touchdowns against the Midshipmen. Will Worth is hurt, and Navy won’t be able to beat Louisiana Tech without him. Jarred Craft will run well and help give the Bulldogs the win.
This should be one of the more interesting games of the postseason, as both Group of Five squads have plenty to offer. The Midshipmen are coming off of losses in the AAC title game to Temple as well as the emotional setback to Army, which posed problems for new starting quarterback Zach Abey, who was making his first college start after taking over for Will Worth. Abey ran for two touchdowns but passed for only 89 yards and was intercepted twice, as turnovers plagued the Midshipmen against the Black Knights.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs should have no problem moving the football behind senior quarterback Ryan Higgins, running back Jarred Craft and receivers Carlos Henderson and Trent Taylor. Louisiana Tech scored at least 44 points in all but one of its final eight contests, and it will continue to impress in this one.
Ultimately, though, Abey will be much more comfortable operating the offense in his second start, and the ability to control the football will eventually wear down the Bulldogs and end in victory for Navy in a game that comes down to the wire.
Poor Navy. First, it loses two quarterbacks to injury, and then the Midshipmen fall to rival Army for the first time since 2001. Still, this team is well-coached, and every game is important to them. However, and I am changing my original pick, the lack of a leader at quarterback will come back to haunt them as Louisiana Tech gets the win.