Houston Cougars and Navy Midshipmen Predictions, Odds, Lines, Spreads and Picks – October 22
University of Houston cougar (3-3) will go to beautiful Annapolis, Maryland, to take on U.S. Naval Academy Crew members (2-4). Houston, rife with important gains, took a big win last Friday in the Memphis after a slow start to the year. The Cougars scored four touchdowns in the fourth half, including a two-yard TD with 18 seconds remaining to get past the Tigers, 33-32. Meanwhile, the Midshipmen took over SMU Mustang Last Friday, lost in a shootout in Dallas 40-34. The Navy ran for a ridiculous 372 yards, but the SMU tore the Midshipmen through the air with 336 yards passed. Of course, that didn’t help as they lost the revenue battle 2-1.
Houston Cougars and Navy Midshipmen Odds
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Tale of the Tape
Through the eyes of fans, the Houston Cougars are still a nuisance to Dana Holgorsen in a leadership position. The former FWAA Coach of the Year in West Virginia took over the reins in 2019, having racked up 12 wins last season. Unfortunately, the Cougars have already exceeded their total losses from last season, because of their unfavorable schedule. Two of Houston’s losses were three points each, one against Tulane 6-1 and one against Texas Tech. Offense is led by QB Clayton Tune and WR Nathanial Dell returns. Dell leads the AAC in averages received for ground hits (6) and pitches for punt returns (11.8). Offenses rank in the middle in all major categories, but they are starting to heat up as the season progresses. Tune has thrown 823 yards and 7 points from 2 interceptions in his last 3 games. Dell played a huge role, responsible for 288 yards and four hits in that same span.
The defense struggled mainly against Houston, especially against the pass. The Cougars made nearly three touchdowns in one game, the easiest in the framework of the US Athletics Conference. However, they are quite good compared to the running track, allowing only 3.9 yards of land at a time to bounce.
Since the days of Paul Johnson, the Midshipmen of Navy have dominated the games with their running attack. The triple offense, run by head coach Ken Niumatalolo, has been the identity of the Midshipmens’ offense since his first in 2007. Unfortunately, after playing a bad match bowl in ten of Niumatalolo’s first 12 seasons, the Midshipmen are in danger of missing post-season play for the third consecutive season. The Navy’s 2022 edition has a lot of newcomers in the backyard, with the exception of QB Tai Lavatai. It’s not surprising that the Midshipmen die last in AAC during the pass and dump attempts, but the 43% completion rate is a problem for a team facing a crate as much as they do. The Navy averaged 61 ridiculous dives per game but only averaged 4.1 per take, matching 73rd in FBS.
The Navy’s defenses were tough against the opponents who ran back, hastily surrendering 3.1 yards. However, the secondary factor remains an issue, allowing for a 66% completion rate compared to head-to-head midfielders.
Houston Cougars and Navy Midshipmen Predictions
The Houston Cougars are starting to find their way back, notably with a distinct victory over Memphis. The Cougars’ defensive strength, seven in front, would be matched by the heavyweights of the Navy’s Midshipmen. Meanwhile, the Midshipmen, who have struggled with the pass, will face dynamic duo QB Clayton Tune and WR Nathanial Dell.
Prediction: Houston -2.5 (-125)
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