Houston Cougars (5-0) at Navy Midshipmen (3-1)
|Date & Time||Saturday October 8, 2016, 3:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Navy Midshipmen +17 -- Over/Under:
CBS Sports Network, CBS Sports.com College Sports Live
The 6th ranked Houston Cougars will travel to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to take on the Navy Midshipmen this Saturday afternoon in College Football action.
The 6th ranked Houston Cougars improved to 5-0 (2-0 AAC) on the season after having little difficulty in defeating the UConn Huskies, 48-14, this past Thursday. It took Houston a bit to find their footing on offensive but used a 28-point 2nd quarter to take a 28-7 halftime time lead and were able to seal the victory after two 3rd quarter TD’s. Houston had 426 passing yards in the victory and outgained UConn by a 540-335 margin. Leading the way for the Cougars was Greg Ward Jr. who accounted for 5 TD’s and 454 total yards (389 passing, 65 rushing). On the season, Houston is averaging 44.2 ppg on 506.0 total yards per game (304.6 passing, 201.4 rushing). Offensively, the Cougars are led by duel-threat QB Greg Ward Jr. who currently has completed 70.7% of his passes for 8 TD and 2 INT while averaging 331.3 passing yds/game. Greg Ward Jr. also has 5 rushing TD’s on the season and is the Cougars 2nd leading rusher, averaging 44.5 rushing yds/game. Also in the backfield for the Cougars is RB Duke Catalon (16.0 att/g, 75.0 yds/g, TD), Mulbah Car (8.5 att/g, 38.75 yds/g, TD) and Kevrin Justice (8.5 att/g, 37.25 yds/g, 2 TD). Linell Bonner (6.6 rec/g, 87.8 yds/g, 2 TD), Steven Dunbar (4.2 rec/g, 65.2 yds/g, 2 TD), and Chance Allen (3.8 rec/g, 53.2 yds/g, TD) are the leading receivers for Houston. Defensively, Houston is holding their opponents to an average of just 11.2 ppg on 250.0 total yards per game (208.0 passing, 42.0 rushing). Houston currently has forced 7 turnovers on the season and has an overall turnover margin of +2.
The Navy Midshipmen dropped to 3-1 (2-0 AAC) on the season after being defeated by the Air Force Falcons, 28-14, this past Saturday. Air Force’s defense held the Midshipmen scoreless for the first three quarters of the game and was able to pull away for the victory about a 62-yrd TD catch by Timothy McVey midway through the 4th quarter that put Air Force up by a 28-7 margin. Navy was outgained by Air Force by a 430-317 margin and also lost the turnover battle by a 3-1 margin. Leading the way for Navy was WR Jamir Tillman who had 128 receiving yards on 9 receptions. On the season, Navy is averaging 28.8 ppg on an average of 394.5 total yards per game (143.0 passing, 251.5 rushing). Offensviely, Navy used a triple-option attack that has them current ranked 14th in the country in rushing offense. Leading the option attack has been RB Chris High (9.25 att/g, 73.75 yds/g, 4 TD), QB Will Worth (17.5 att/g, 43.25 yds/g, 5 TD), and Dishan Romine (4.0 att/g, 31.0 yds/g). QB Will Worth had completed 31 of 53 pass attempts this season for 527 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INT. WR Jamir Tillman (4.5 rec/g, 67.8 yds/g) is the only Midshipmen receiver who averages more than one catch per game. Defensively, Navy is holding their opponents to an average of 20.5 ppg on 377.3 total yards per game (211.0 passing, 166.3 rushing). Navy’s defense has only been able to force 4 turnovers on the season and currently had a turnover margin of -2.
The Cougars are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 conference games and 23-4-1 ATS in their last 28 road games. The Midshipmen are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 home games and 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Houston continues to reel off impressive victories as the Cougars defense was once again outstanding and the offensive was able to put up plenty of points with Greg Ward Jr in control. It was interesting to see Navy throw the ball 30 times in their recent game against Air Force and although QB Will Worth was able to throw for 260 yards, he did also have 2 INT. Houston comes into this matchup with the top rushing defense and 3rd ranked scoring defense in the country and as Navy relies on running the ball to put up points, I just don’t see the Midshipmen having a successful day on Saturday against the Cougars. I think the Houston defense continues to put up impressive numbers and that Greg Ward Jr and the Houston offense does enough to cover this large road spread. Take Houston to cover.