Belatedly, but not too belatedly, five predictions for this afternoon’s Navy-Indiana game in Annapolis …
1. Two Navy fullbacks will have 10-plus carries. The Mids’ Noah Copeland and Prentice Christian both reached 10 carries last week against Central Michigan, the first time Navy had a pair of fullbacks getting that much work since September 2009. Expect an encore.
2. Keenan Reynolds will throw at least one touchdown pass. After a three-touchdown day, this might not seem like too much. But considering how little a triple-option team might throw the ball in a given week, this is still a bit of a risk. Nonetheless, Reynolds did well enough throwing the ball to warrant it factoring into this week’s plans considerably.
3. Navy will have a five-minute scoring drive. The Mids will need it, too, for their defense to catch its collective breath. Indiana’s up-tempo offense can be offset with a ball-control approach that Navy so often favors. Expect at least long, time-consuming possession from Navy.
4. Pablo Beltran will have a 50-yard punt. It’s happened in four of six games and didn’t occur in his impressive outing at Central Michigan. Look for at least one from the sophomore who ranks 10th nationally in punting average.
5. Navy will win. A victory sends Navy over .500 for the first time since it opened last season with back-to-back victories.
—- Patrick Stevens