Navy Looks for Redemption at Armed Forces Bowl
The No. 25 Navy Midshipmen (9-4 SU, 7-5-1 ATS) will take on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8-5 SU and ATS) in the Armed Forces Bowl Friday night.
Navy will be looking to save face after losing the annual Army-Navy Game for the first time since 2001, but the Midshipmen are a sizable underdog getting 6.5-points with the total set at 67.5 points.
Game time is 4:30 PM ET on ESPN.
Both teams carry two-game losing streaks into the Armed Forces Bowl, including setbacks in their respective conference title games. Navy lost 21-17 against Army in the AAC title game while Louisiana Tech took a 58-44 beating by Western Kentucky in the Conference USA title game.
The Midshipmen have won their last three bowl games straight up and against the spread, but their fates may have been sealed in Week 14 when quarterback Will Worth broke his foot versus the Temple Owls. Worth’s replacement in the Army-Navy Game, sophomore Zach Abey, threw a pair of costly interceptions in his first college start. Abey was also held to 73 yards rushing on 19 carries out of the triple-option offense.
Navy’s defense has been far from good this season. The Midshipmen rank 77th in total yards allowed, 80th vs the pass, 74th vs the run while giving up 29.7 points per game.
Louisiana Tech may have already been the better team even before the Worth injury, but they haven’t seen the college football rankings since moving from the WAC to Conference USA in 2013. However, the Bulldogs have won back-to-back bowl games straight up and against the spread for head coach Skip Holtz.
The Bulldogs quarterback Ryan Higgins was named Conference USA MVP after throwing for 4,208 yards and 37 TDs against eight interceptions for the nation’s fifth-ranked scoring offense. Higgins has a reliable target in senior Trent Taylor, who is second in the country in receptions (124), third in yards (1,570).
The Bulldogs come in ranked 70th in total yards allowed, 122nd vs the pass, 31st vs the run while giving up 32.7 points per game.