By Zach Walker
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs #25 Navy Midshipmen
Friday – December 23 – 3:30 pm
Amon G. Carter Stadium – Ft. Worth – Texas
Records Before the Game
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8-5)Navy Midshipmen (9-4)
How did these teams get here?
Both of these teams played in their conference’s title game and both teams were on the losing end. LA Tech lost to Western Kentucky, in an epic shootout that had the most combined points of any title game all time in FBS matchups. The Naval Academy finished their formal season by thoroughly broadsiding SMU, then they dropped the game against Temple in the AAC title match. After that in an epic upset the Midshipmen lost to the Black Knights of West Point in the annual Army-Navy Game.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs – The Bulldogs lost a few of the more dynamic players possible from their team to the draft, and still came back to win eight games. The Bulldogs didn’t have two of their best linebackers, Jordan Harris and Dalton Santos, for their title game matchup against the Hilltoppers. They missed for academic reasons, and against the triple-option of Navy, they need those guys back on the field. Okay, enough of that boring defense stuff, let’s talk razzle-dazzle. The Bulldogs have the eighth best offense in the country, hitting 516 yards per game. Even better than the Bulldogs’ yards per game, are their points per game, of which they’re fifth in the country with 44 points. They’ve hit 50 points in four games this year. Quarterback Ryan Higgins is an epic spinner of the football. Completing over sixty-five percent of his passes, racking up a hair over 4,200 yards, and throwing thirty-seven touchdowns to just eight interceptions. Aiding in the aerial attack, Higgins has two 1,000-yard receivers. Carlos Henderson is the epic deep threat with 1,406 yards off of 72 catches and seventeen touchdowns. Trent Taylor is more of their possession receiver, with 124 catches for 1570 yards and ten scores.
Navy Midshipmen – I still hold the Naval Academy in high regard, despite their wheels coming off over the course of the last two games. On one hand, that might be because of the absolute dismantling of the SMU Mustangs. On the other hand, it’s because of just how much of a nightmare that the triple-option can be. However, the Midshipmen have taken on some serious water recently. They lost season hero Will Worth in the AAC title game, and also lost Toneo Gulley, their main back. But, this is still very dangerous team, with that offense. This is a game that Navy is going to want to have, to show the resolve the team. The triple-option is a nightmare to defend.
Louisiana Tech 49 – Navy 31. The Bulldogs are huge aerial threat, and are a going to be a serious problem for the Naval Academy.