Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#123 Navy -1 vs.
#124 Tulsa 53.5
Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 7:30pm EDT
Written by Benjamin Hayes



#123 United States Naval Academy
#124 University of Tulsa


This article covers a past game!

View upcoming games.

Navy travels to Oklahoma to face Tulsa in an AAC matchup on Saturday night from Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium. The Mids have won all four meetings since both teams joined the AAC.

Last week, Navy came back to beat Air Force, 34-25 to improve to 3-1 on the season and get a jump on the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. They are 1-1 in the league, while Tulsa is 0-1 in the American after losing to SMU, 43-37 in triple overtime last week.

Back to conference play

Any win over a service academy is a big win, especially considering they lost both games to Army and Air Force last year. Despite losing to Memphis, 35-23 on Sept. 26, the Mids looked to be improved from last year's 3-10 squad, especially in the passing game. Navy still runs a triple-option attack, but they are averaging 125 yards per game in the air. That sounds pedestrian but last season, the Mids' passing game was an afterthought, averaging 73 yards per game.

When they were down 25-21 with 3:15 left at home against Air Force, they couldn't just run the option, knowing that they needed a touchdown to win the game. Senior quarterback Malcolm Perry delivered in that drive led by a 32-yard pass to C.J. Williams. That was his only completion on the drive as he rushed for 24 yards on the final drive including a 3-yard game-winning score. Navy also added a late defensive touchdown on a Falcons' gimmick play at the end to make the score a little more deceiving.

Perry was the hero, rushing for 111 yards with two scores and passing for 144 yards (5-of-7). On the season, he has 480 passing yards and 386 rushing yards with nine TDs.

Now, the key is for the Mids to come off the high of winning at home against Air Force and re-focus on Tulsa.

"It’s definitely something you have to consider," said Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo. "Just the euphoria of a big win like that in one of your service academy rivalry games. Right now, are guys are getting pats on the back. However, the euphoria of that is over with and we have to press on.

“In the words of Coach Belichick, it’s on to Tulsa. Hopefully, the leadership of our team will take care of that. We have to be mature enough to move forward,” Niumatalolo added.

Defensively, Navy has improved statistically, allowing just 278 yards per game and 91.3 on the ground. They did give up several big plays against Memphis and 2436 passing yards on just 11 completions against Air Force. They may not be giving up a lot of yards, but they are allowing too many long receptions.

Tulsa blows game against SMU

The Golden Hurricane should be 3-2 heading into this game against Navy. They were up 30-9 heading into the fourth quarter against a much-improved SMU squad, but blew the 21-point lead and couldn't get enough stops in overtime. Ultimately, the problem on the defensive side of the ball. Tulsa is allowing 390.4 yards per game, including 274.8 in the air. The good news is that the run defense isn't that bad at 115.6 yards per contest allowed.

They held Michigan State to just 108 yards on 40 attempts in their 28-7 loss in the opener, though Oklahoma State ran for 337 yards on 46 attempts in their 40-21 win on Sept. 14.

The offense is led by junior quarterback Zach Smith, a Baylor transfer, who has thrown for 1,364 yards with nine TDs and four picks. Interceptions have not been an issue until the SMU game when he threw three to go along with four TDs. Running back Shamari Brooks, who had 95 yards against SMU and 140 against San Jose State, leads the Golden Hurrican with 409 yards rushing and four combined scores. The top target is junior Keylon Stokes, who had 24 catches for 403 yards and four TDs.

Offensively, they are averaging 390.8 yards per game and 222.4 passing yards. They also average 95.6 penalty yards per game.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Players are human, even from military academies. After celebrating an incredible win over Air Force, in front of the brigade, it's difficult to not have a letdown going on the road to Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane should have defeated SMU on the road in their last outing and that showed they certainly have the talent to play with anybody in the AAC. Zack Smith will have a big game against a shaky Navy secondary and that will be enough for the win and cover.


Prediction: Tulsa -1

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


Even though I tend to take unders when Navy plays, I'm going to change course here. The fact that they are giving up a ton of big plays is not a good thing for unders. Tulsa has the ammunition to put up 35+ points here and Navy certainly has to score to win these types of games. These teams have also played three overs in their last four meetings.

Prediction: Over 52

Half-Time Side Pick

Insiders Status:


The hangover effect for Navy will show in the first half. Tulsa can be an explosive team and I think Navy will have to adjust more in the second half when they are behind.

Prediction: Tulsa -110 first half

Half-Time Total Bet

Insiders Status:


I think it will take some time for Navy's offense to operate on all cylinders. If you stop Perry and force him to pitch the ball, you have a shot. Tulsa will be all over Perry in the first half.

Prediction: Under 27 first half (-121)

Written By Benjamin Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!