UCONN Huskies (1-0) at Navy Midshipmen (1-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 10, 2016, 3:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Navy Midshipmen -4.5 -- Over/Under: 45.5
CBS Sports Network; College Sports Live
The Connecticut Huskies will travel to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to take on the Navy Midshipmen this Saturday afternoon in College Football action.
The Connecticut Huskies needed a 37-yard FG by Bobby Puyol in the closing seconds to hold of the FCS Maine Black Bears, 24-21, this past Saturday. Connecticut outgained Maine by a 362-309 margin and was outstanding against the Maine rushing attack as they held the Black Bears to just 40 rushing yards. Leading the way for Connecticut was duel-threat QB Bryant Shirreffs who was 16 for 23 with 162 passing yards and had 95 yards on the ground. RB’s Ron Johnson (15 carries, 65 yards, 2 TD) and Arkeel Newsome (15 carries, 40 yards, TD) provided all the scoring for the Huskies. WR Noel Thomas was Shirreffs main target on the outside as Thomas finished with 9 catches for 70 yards. Connecticut came into the season with one of the higher rated secondaries in the AAC, led by Jamar Summers who had 8 INT in 2015, however, surprisingly struggled against the Black Bears as they allowed Maine to gain 269 yards through the air and allowed WR Jaleel Reed to have 169 receiving yards and a TD on 8 receptions. Connecticut had one of the better defensives in the country last season as they ranked 15th in the nation in scoring defense at 19.5 ppg and although their offensive should be improved this season, the Huskies will have to rely on their defensive once again to make it back to a Bowl game.
The Navy Midshipmen opened up their 2016 season with a dominating 52-16 victory over the FCS Fordham Rams this past Saturday. Navy had a little trouble with the Rams as they outgained Fordham by a 550-464 margin which included 427 rushing yards. The Midshipmen did suffer a big blow as they lost their QB, Tago Smith, for the season due to a knee injury in the 2nd quarter after he rushed for 97 yards in 2 TD. Navy, who had to replace their record-setting QB in Keenan Reynolds, will now be led by Will Worth who completed all three of his passes for 78 yards and a TD while gaining 22 yards and a TD on the ground. FB Chris High had a monster game for Navy with 176 rushing yards and 2 TD’s on 10 carries and WR Toneo Gulley had a nice 57-yard TD catch. Navy had a bit of trouble slowing down the Fordham passing attack, however, the Midshipmen was solid overall on defensive and committed just 2 penalties in the entire game. Navy is led by the strong LB duo of Daniel Gonzales and Micah Thomas who combined for 16 tackles in the victory. Navy was one of the best teams in 2015 when it came to turnover margin as the Midshipmen finished with a +19 TO margin which ranked 3rd in the country. Navy certainly has some holes in their defense this season however, if they are able to once again limit mistakes and turnovers and control the clock with their rushing attack, Navy will once again be one of the best teams in the AAC and should be back in a Bowl game at the end of the season.
The Huskies are 16-33-2 ATS in their last 51 games overall and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 conference games. The Midshipmen are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games on field turf and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
Connecticut and Navy are both run-heavy teams and this was on display last year in Navy’s 28-18 victory over the Huskies which was the lowest scoring game for Navy all season. Connecticut should be able to generate a bit more offense against Navy’s defensive this season and as I think Navy’s rushing offensive will have its hands full with the Huskies defense, I’m taking the points and the under in this one. Take Connecticut and the Under!