Brought to you by: Big Shucks
By Zach Walker
Records before the game
SMU Mustangs: 6-3 (3-2 in AAC)
Navy Midshipmen: 5-3 (3-3 in AAC)
Who’s got the advantage?
When SMU has the ball: That was a supremely excellent game last week versus Central Florida. The Mustangs lost, but coming from that game, the improvement spots are easy to point out. The Mustangs were terrible on first down. They weren’t gaining really anything on the opening downs, forcing them to gain as much as possible on second downs to make for easier third downs. The losing on first down was really what pigeon holed the Mustangs, but then again, the play calling and execution on third downs was the sinker. Ben Hicks has looked good, and he’s working with a group of wide receivers that are among the top trios in the nation. I know that for this game, Courtland Sutton and Trey Quinn are going to come out strong, because they had a serious drop each, and they didn’t get the opportunity to redeem themselves. James Proche had a killer game too. The ground game wasn’t particularly effective, though it was when Braeden West was in the backfield and weaving his way through the defense. The Midshipmen are coming off their own defeat at the hands of the Temple Owls. The Navy defense made a lot of tackles, but had none of the extra stuff that helps turn the tide in games. No sacks, only a pair tackles for loss, and a single interception. The linebackers Micah Thomas and Jerry Thompson will keep SMU going through tough sleding on the ground game.
When Navy has the ball: Man, I really do miss the days of Keenan Reynolds and the flawlessly executed storm that is/was the triple option game that Navy has perfected. Have you seen these games lately?? Two different Naval Academy players had nine passing attempts! That’s like describing the internet to the freshly thawed caveman. Zach Abey is the triggerman this go ‘round versus SMU, but he’ll have the usual, seemingly, endless bullpen of fresh backs to hand, pitch, and flip the ball to. The SMU defense pitched quite a gem against Central Florida. Sure they gave up points, but when they needed things gotten done, their big players made the plays they had to, to keep the game close. Mikial Onu with an interception, Jordan Wyatt with a pick-six only a few moments after being flagged for playing too strongly, and Justin Lawler with a CLUTCH tackle for loss on a third and goal.
What will it take for the Mustangs to win?
As per Navy, my answer for this stays the same. Make the tackles.
SMU 35 – Navy 27