Where: Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland
Navy secured one of the biggest upsets of the season two weeks ago and is hoping that momentum didn't burn away during an unexpected week off necessitated by Hurricane Matthew last weekend. The 25th-ranked Midshipmen will try to match their school-record offensive output from two weeks ago when they host Memphis on Saturday.
Houston was ranked No. 5 in the country and was getting very real early-season consideration for a spot in the College Football Playoff before Navy dropped a school-record 46 points in a six-point triumph over the Cougars on Oct. 8. The Midshipmen aren't rushing for as many yards as they did last season, when Keenan Reynolds was breaking records from the quarterback spot while running the triple-option, but seem to be more comfortable throwing the ball in the red zone with Will Worth under center. The Tigers were perhaps the biggest beneficiaries when Navy took down Houston and are one of only two undefeated teams in the American Athletic Conference's West Division, along with the Midshipmen. "We are improving weekly and playing at a high level," Memphis coach Mike Norvell told reporters. "Being able to go on the road and get a conference win is always big. It helps prepare us for the challenge that we are going to face this week (against Navy)."
ABOUT MEMPHIS (5-1, 2-0 AAC): The Tigers held one of the best rushing offenses in the AAC to 169 yards in a 24-14 win at Tulane last week as freshman defensive back Austin Hall emerged with 12 tackles. Hall and the defense are taking some of the weight off quarterback Riley Ferguson, who recorded 11 touchdown passes and two interceptions in the first three games but managed only one scoring strike with four interceptions in the last three. Freshman running back Darrell Henderson is becoming Ferguson's favorite weapon and totaled 142 yards while rushing for a touchdown and catching a scoring pass last week.
ABOUT NAVY (4-1, 3-0): Worth completed only three passes (in five attempts) against Houston, but two of those completions ended up in the end zone to add a different dimension to the offense. The Midshipmen will always rely mostly on the run, and Worth did his part in that regard with 115 rushing yards and a score on the ground in the 46-40 stunner. Linebacker Josiah Powell recorded a pair of interceptions - one for a touchdown - in the win and owns a sack and 3.5 tackles for a loss on the season.
1. Navy's 13-game home winning streak is the third-longest in the nation (Clemson, 20 and Air Force, 15).
2. Memphis K Jake Elliott needs one field goal to pass Stephen Gostkowski (70) on the school's all-time list.
3. The Midshipmen churned up 374 rushing yards in a 45-20 road win over a then-unbeaten Tigers squad in Week 10 last season.
PREDICTION: Memphis 35, Navy 31
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