After being dismantled at home 55-3 against BYU, the Navy Midshipmen (0-1) need to rebound in Week 2 of the College Football season. The Midshipmen head to Tulane (1-0) to take on the Green Wave team that rallied in the fourth quarter on the road against South Alabama to start their season with a win.
Kickoff is at noon Eastern on Saturday. Tulane is a seven-and-a-half point favorite, with the over/under set at 49 points.
RIGHTING THE SHIP
After finishing 11-2 in 2019, expectations were high for Navy. While BYU was listed as one-and-a-half point favorites headed into Annapolis, the Midshipmen were expected to keep up with the Cougars.
Unfortunately, Navy’s inability to get anything going on the ground or in the air raised the red flags. The historically run-first Midshipmen struggled to generate offense without versatile everyman Malcolm Perry, who was drafted by Miami in the seventh round of April’s draft after rushing for more than 2,000 yards a season ago.
Replacing Perry at the helm were senior quarterback Dalen Morris and sophomore quarterback Perry Olsen. Morris completed two of his four passing attempts for 16 yards and ran for only two yards on seven rushing attempts.
Olsen also completed two of four passes for 14 yards while running for 25 yards on ten carries, who also lost a fumble in the fourth quarter with the game long out of reach.
Navy’s defense was unable to assist the offense either, conceding 580 yards against BYU (279 passing, 301 rushing). Allowing the Cougars to score on eight of their first nine drives made the Midshipmen sent hope of a home upset out the door.
RIDING THE WAVE
Tulane faced similar adversity in their first game of the season, but unlike the Midshipmen, the Green Wave rolled in the fourth quarter, rallying for a 27-24 win. The momentum swing started with a rushing touchdown from quarterback Keon Howard.
Running back Amare Jones completed the comeback with a touchdown of his own, while the Tulane defense limited South Alabama to 33 yards in the fourth quarter.
The Green Wave offense is markedly more balanced than Navy’s; Tulane threw for 191 yards in their opener while rushing for 203. Tyjae Spears’ 105 yards on 11 carries topped all Tulane runners, while Cameron Carroll’s red zone carries resulted in two touchdowns.
Nine different Tulane receivers recorded a catch, with Jha-Quan Jackson leading the way in receptions (three receptions for 44 yards).
After a slow start, the Tulane defense stiffened up in the second half. Cameron Sample and Patrick Johnson each had a pair of sacks, and despite only forcing one turnover, the Green Wave forced five punts in the second half to slow South Alabama’s rhythm.
THE PICK IS IN
With the short schedule of the college football season, it’s hard not to overreact to either extreme early in the year. However, what Navy displayed in their season opener is too troubling to ignore. While Tulane’s comeback was impressive, the slow start offensively leaves questions about their offensive capabilities. Bet on Tulane to cover the seven-and-a-half point spread.
SPOOKY EXPRESS FREE PICK – TULANE -7.5