Technically, it is less than 24 hours until kickoff before the Navy-Southern Methodist game tomorrow. So the game-day predictions, while technically not day of game, are close enough.
So what to watch for as the Midshipmen (3-6) visit the Mustangs (6-3)? Read on. …
1. Kriss Proctor will not throw an interception. It isn’t an every-week occurrence, anyway, but it’s especially unlikely against a pass defense with all of three interceptions this season. Proctor’s last interception came on a tipped pass against Rutgers on Oct. 15.
2. Mustangs quarterback J.J. McDermott will throw for 300 yards. Southern Methodist owns the nation’s No. 15 passing offense, while Navy has allowed six of its last seven opponents to throw for at least 200 yards. The Mustangs will do what they do, and do it reasonably well.
3. Jabaree Tuani will rise at least one spot on Navy’s career tackles for loss list. That will require the senior to secure at least 1.5 TFL against SMU, which would be his second-best game of the season. Tuani has 35.5 TFL for his career, including 5.5 this season.
4. Navy will be held to less than 300 yards rushing. That’s a bit below the Mids’ average of 318 yards, but it wouldn’t be shock considering two factors. One, the Mustangs have faced Navy the last three seasons and have gradually become better at defending the triple option. Two, SMU is 18th nationally in rushing defense. That number will go up after Saturday, but the Mustangs will still be credible.
5. Southern Methodist will win. Navy needed overtime to upend the Mustangs two years ago, and then rallied from a 14-0 deficit to secure a 28-21 victory last year in Annapolis. While Navy will likely keep it close, look for SMU to become the third Conference USA team to knock off the Mids this season.
—- Patrick Stevens