Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen
The Navy Midshipmen look to even their record at the expense of the host Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The Midshipmen at home in a 63-35 loss to Southern Mississippi in week six action while the Scarlet Knights won their third straight after taking down Big East rival Pittsburgh 34-10. The Scarlet Knights are -3 point favorites over the Midshipmen with an over/under point total set at 48.
Something doesn’t seem quite right in Annapolis with Navy suffering through three consecutive defeats with the worse coming against a surging Southern Mississippi. It wasn’t that Navy was completely shutdown on offense because that’s not entirely true with the Midshipmen racking up 569 yards and 24 first downs. The problem was the Middies didn’t get things together until the second half when they faced a 35-7 deficit. Quarterback Kriss Proctor was very effective in limited opportunities with a pair of scoring tosses and zero interceptions. Of course Proctor and crew make their living on the ground and had an explosive rushing game albeit too little, too late. Proctor led a potent ground game that totaled over 400 yards and nearly seven yards per carry with 123 yards. Delvin Diggs added another 93 yards while John Howell and Mike Stukel combined for 120 yards on 13 carries. The Middies had breakdowns on the defensive side of the ball allowing the Golden Eagles to amass 584 yards while the special teams had a blocked field goal returned for a score.
The offensively challenged Scarlet Knights continue to get plenty of punch on the scoreboard on minimal production as their 34 points against Pittsburgh came on only 271 yards. Rutgers had very little production on the ground with less than 100 rushing yards with Savon Huggins being the go to guy with his 42 yards on ten carries leading the team. Rutgers The passing game was more productive although there were numerous misfires that cost the team plenty of yards. Quarterback Gary Nova wasn’t able to connect with his receiving corps as often as he liked going 11 of 24 for 174 yards but he was mistake free with a pair of touchdown passes and no interceptions. Nova hit six different players with passes and did have a solid intermediate passing game going. However, Rutgers defense and special teams came to the rescue by holding the Panthers attack to 271 yards while intercepting four passes and returning one for a touchdown. A 73 yard kick return and 18 yard punt return says that the Scarlet Knights won the battle of field position which is has been key to Rutgers success.
The Navy offense seems to be their normal real estate eating selves although the last two weeks we saw the option stall until late in both games while their defense has been giving up points. Rutgers has motoring along with a stingy defense that is giving up yards sparingly and winning the battle of field position. I generally prefer Navy as an underdog and hate to go against them but I don’t have a great feel for this team. Take Rutgers minus the 3.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights -3 Navy Midshipmen