- Memphis is a 10.5-point home favorite over Navy on Thursday night
- The Tigers are on a three-game losing streak; the Midshipmen lost a close game to #23 SMU last week
- A look at the matchup and odds can be found below with a prediction
Coming off three consecutive close losses, Memphis will try to turn things around when it hosts Navy at 7:30 p.m. ET Thursday in an American Athletic Conference game at the Liberty Bowl.
Memphis’ losses have been by a combined 12 points following a 31-29 victory over Mississippi State. The skid has dropped the Tigers’ record to 3-3. Navy (1-4) dropped a 31-24 decision at home to then-#24 SMU last weekend, a week after notching its first win of the season by beating UCF.
Memphis is favored in the game that will be televised by ESPN.
Navy vs Memphis Odds
|Navy||+320||+10.5 (-110)||Over 55.5 (-105)|
|Memphis||-425||-10.5 (-110)||Under 55.5 (-115)|
Odds as of October 13th at DraftKings
Memphis opened as an 8.5-point favorite and the line has gone up by a couple of points. There is a slight chance of showers Thursday evening with the temperature expected to be 80 degrees at kickoff with winds from the south at 5-10 mph.
Freshman Shining for Memphis
True freshman quarterback Seth Henigan has made an immediate impact for Memphis. While his completion percentage of 60.5 is on the low side, he has passed for 1,938 yards and 14 touchdowns in six games while being intercepted three times.
— American Football (@American_FB) October 2, 2021
Henigan shined last week in a 35-29 loss at Tulsa. However, his inexperience also showed at a crucial juncture in the game. He connected on 34 of 57 passes for 463 yards and two touchdowns but was intercepted twice.
The second pick came with 1:17 left at the Tulsa 20-yard line with Memphis down by six points. That occurred one play after Henigan hit Calvin Austin III with a 12-yard pass on fourth-and-11 to keep the drive alive.
Austin had a career-high 13 receptions for 200 yards.
Memphis has allowed at least 29 points to all five FBS opponents this season and Tulsa had 417 total yards, including 235 rushing. Anthony Watkins ran for a 44-yard touchdown with 4:28 remaining to put the Golden Hurricane up 35-21.
— Tulsa Football (@TulsaFootball) October 10, 2021
Near Upset for Navy
Navy let a chance for an upset slip away last weekend when it took a 21-7 lead over SMU midway through the second quarter in Annapolis but was then outscored 24-3 the rest of the way.
Immediately after moving ahead by two touchdowns, a special teams breakdown helped swing the momentum back to SMU. Bryan Massey returned a kickoff 95 yards to make it a seven-point game and then the Mustangs kicked things into high gear.
— ✯✯✯✯✯ (@FTBVids_YT) October 9, 2021
Navy has played better since being outscored 72-10 in their first two games. First came the upset of UCF two weeks again then came a solid effort against SMU, which has emerged as the second-best team in the AAC behind Cincinnati.
However, Navy is still having a hard time getting its triple-option offense untracked. The Midshipmen rushed for 177 yards on 53 carries against SMU, an average of just 3.3 yards an attempt.
Quarterback Tai Lavatai did throw his first touchdown pass of the season, a 37-yarder to Kai Pualioa-Rojas on a flea flicker.
TRICKY NAVY?!?!?! Flea flicker, Tai Lavatai hits Kai Puailoa-Rojas for the 37 yard TD! pic.twitter.com/34QNhA7G9v
— ✯✯✯✯✯ (@FTBVids_YT) October 9, 2021
Navy allowed SMU star quarterback Tanner Mordecai to pass for 324. The Midshipmen, though, did gain the distinction of being the first team to sack the Oklahoma transfer this season.
Keeping It Close
With the talented Henigan running the show, Memphis has a potentially explosive offense. However, he is also prone to making freshman mistakes and that could hurt against improving Navy.
Memphis won last year’s matchup 10-7 on the road. While this game won’t quite that low-scoring and the Midshipmen are unlikely to pull the upset, but they should be able to keep it close against the Tigers.
- The Pick: Navy +10.5 (-110)