Houston vs. Navy prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the matchup between the Cougars and Midshipmen.
Houston vs. Navy Game Preview
When: Saturday, October 8 – 3:00 p.m. ET
Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD
TV Broadcast: CBS Sports Network
Houston keeps on rolling along towards a possible College Football Playoff spot after a 42-14 victory over UConn this past Saturday. Quarterback Greg Ward Jr. continues to shine through both the air and on the ground, throwing for eight touchdowns and rushing for five more on the season.
Navy’s rushing attack is down this year comparatively speaking, averaging just 251.5 yards per game, 75 yards less than the triple-option attack went for per game last season. Quarterback Will Worth has completed 58.5% of his passes for 527 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, but, as always, establishing the running game is always the top priority for Navy.
What To Know About Houston
Ward is a star and there are plenty of options at both running back and wide receiver, and the defense just needs to keep an opponent from going completely crazy on the scoreboard. Yet the Cougars also need to win each game impressively enough to keep the attention of the CFP committee to have a shot at crashing the party. Running back Duke Catalon leads the teams in rushing yards, while Ward and backup quarterback Kyle Postma have scored five and four rushing touchdowns apiece, respectively.
The defense has proved to be solid against the run, leading the nation by allowing only 42 yards per game on the ground. Now, the Cougars get to play a team that lives and dies by the run.
What To Know About Navy
A challenge is in order for the Navy offense, as it faces the nation’s top rushing defense. The Midshipmen run a triple-option that, when clicking, is extremely hard to stop. Worth, along with running back Chris High, lead the attack with nine combined touchdowns. Dishan Romine and Toneo Gulley have each surpassed 100 yards on the ground, while Tago Smith is just behind at 97 and two touchdowns. Thirteen players have carried the ball two or more times.
Stopping Greg Ward Jr. might not be possible, but containing him will be crucial if Navy wants to keep this game close.
Offense: Houston. The Cougars haven’t been stopped yet this season.
Defense: Houston. The Cougars offense gets the credit, but the defense is ranked 6th in the nation in total D, allowing only 250 yards per game.
Special Teams: Houston. The kickoff return team is No. 2 in the nation in yards per game.
Coaching: Houston. The Cougars barely win this one, because Ken Niumatalolo is one heck of a coach himself.
Intangibles: Houston. Stay undefeated and do it impressively and they will have a shot at the playoff.
Matchup To Watch
Navy running game vs. Houston rushing defense
This is a strength vs. strength matchup here. While Houston leads the nation in rushing defense, they haven’t seen anything as complex as Navy’s attack yet.
Houston vs. Navy Betting Odds
Spread: Houston -17
Houston vs. Navy Prediction
The Brigade of Midshipmen will be hyped for this one, as they smell the possibility of an upset against the highly-rated Cougars. That hype will wear off though in the second half, as Houston pulls away and keeps on putting up points on the scoreboard to impress the playoff committee. Sorry, Navy, but Houston rolls.
Houston vs. Navy Score Prediction: Houston 45, Navy 21