Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#185 Tulane 51.5 vs.
#186 Navy -3.5
Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 3:30pm EDT
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis
Written by Benjamin Hayes

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#185 Tulane University
#186 United States Naval Academy
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This article covers a past game!

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A big American Athletic Conference matchup takes place from Annapolis, Md., on Saturday at 3:30pmET. Navy is 3-1 in the AAC, while Tulane is 2-1. Both are behind 3-0 SMU in the AAC West Division. Last season, Tulane edged the Midshipmen from New Orleans, 29-28.

The Green Wave are coming off a 47-17 loss at Memphis, while Navy just hammered USF, 35-3 at home last week.

Pass defense a no-show against Memphis

Tulane was 5-1 heading into the Memphis game last week. Their only loss took place at Auburn (24-6) and they had some solid wins over Army on the road (42-33) and Houston at home (38-31). But the Tigers were too much for Tulane, as they jumped out to a 34-10 halftime lead, before holding on to a 47-17 romp. Memphis passed for 358 yards and force three interceptions from Justin McMillan, who threw for 187 yards and a score in the loss.

“I thought we were ready to play,” coach Willie Fritz said after the loss to Memphis. “It’s my job to get them ready to play and obviously we weren’t. I told the kids in there I didn’t see it coming.”

Tulane also lost running back Corey Dauphine (wrist) in the second quarter and they were already missing Darius Bradwell (leg). McMillan made up for their losses with 89 yards rushing, though both are listed questionable for the Navy game. Bradwell has 325 yards rushing and one TD, while Dauphine ranks second on the team with 377 yards and four scores.

McMillan is coming off a rough game, though he's having a pretty good season as a dual-threat quarterback with 1,229 yards with nine TDs and five picks (57.5%). He also leads the team with 390 yards rushing and seven TDs. His running ability crates a very good overall rushing attack as the Green Wave average 267.7 yards per game and 205.3 in the air.

The only part of the defense that matters in this matchup is Tulane's run defense. They are allowing 142 yards per game, but held a good Army option offense to just 193 yards on 44 attempts (4.4ypc). They'll be facing an even better rushing attack in this game.

Defense, Perry shine against Bulls

USF is not Tulane, but they also aren't UConn when it comes to bad AAC football. Navy held South Florida to just three points last week and just 264 total yards. While Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry continues to put up astounding numbers, that was the headline last Saturday. That's because the Mids' defense appears to be improving each week under new defensive coordinator Brian Newberry.

"I've been in this stadium for 22 years, man, and that was as dominant as a defensive performance against a really good team that I've seen in a really long time," Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo said after the game. "The kids are playing really, really hard on defense. I am pleased with what they did."

Perry put up another 188 yards rushing with two TDs and now has 792 yards rushing on the season. He had a rough day as a passer, throwing just three passes, but two were picked off. Those were his first two interceptions of the season. The option quarterback has 489 passing yards with three touchdowns and two picks. Last season, he threw for just 222 yards with only nine completions in 25 attempts. This is not exactly a passing offense, but it's much better than last season.

Navy leads the nation with 345.3 rushing yards per game and they average just 93 passing yards per game. Defensively, they are allowing just 97.3 rushing yards per game and 185.8 passing yards.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Tulane's injuries at running back concern me and the fact that this line should be at least a touchdown. Looking at the Army win, Tulane was able to do whatever they wanted on offense. Army looks down this season and that's a good thing for Navy, especially after they already beat Air Force. The Mids' defense has been really good, even in the Memphis 12-point loss when they allowed just 301 total yards. That's the difference between the 2018 version and this 2019 squad. Take the Mids again at home.

Prediction: Navy -3.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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This total is all over the place, but if you can get 56, that's a good start. Again, Navy's defense has been very good, allowing just 45 points in their last three games. Tulane's defense was pretty good before the Memphis debacle. Navy went under last week and I think once again, when you possess the ball 35+ minutes in this game and the defense is steady, that limits the opportunities for points.

Prediction: Under 56

Half-Time Side Pick

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I do respect Tulane here, but trying to adjust to Navy's offense in the first half, no matter if they played Army earlier, is a tough task. They also may be licking their wounds for the Memphis loss and feeling sorry for themselves.

Prediction: Navy -2.5 (-110)

Half-Time Total Bet

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I think this comes down to an improved Navy defense going up against an offense with some injuries. Navy's offense also helps the defense by possessing the clock.

Prediction: Under 28.5 (-115) (first half)
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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!