Game time: 7:30 p.m. ET, October 29, 2021
Venue: Chapman Stadium, Tulsa, OK
Where to watch: ESPN2
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Tulsa -11; O/U 47; Tulsa -450, Navy +340
BetMGM: Tulsa -9.5; O/U 47.5; Tulsa -380, Navy +290
Caesars: Tulsa -11; O/U 47; Tulsa -450, Navy +340
Navy: 1-6 (1-4 AAC)
Tulsa: 3-4 (2-1 AAC)
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Navy - Tulsa preview and analysis
Navy: lost 27-20 vs. No. 2 Cincinnati on Oct. 23
Tulsa: won 32-31 at South Florida on Oct. 16
Man, we’ve already had so much chaos this season with College Football Playoff implications. All this world needed was the one-win Navy Midshipmen to give us one more ridiculous moment.
Such has been the case with the good football folks at the Naval Academy: Keep things close against the good teams, fall flat against those who, well, aren’t.
Hence why the Tulsa Golden Hurricane are hovering as double-digit favorites on Friday at home against Navy despite the Midshipmen coming within one touchdown of pulling off the upset of the year.
Navy, as 28.5-point dogs last week against the No. 2 Cincinnati Bearcats, rallied from 17 down in the fourth quarter to cut it to seven and had a chance to tie, but quarterback Tai Lavatai threw an interception with 25 seconds left to hold off the upset. Navy drove 90 yards in 16 plays to cut it to 27-20, then recovered an onside kick and couldn’t do anything after that.
Lavatai, not known for throwing the ball, was very solid completing 11 of 15 for 116 yards and that lone interception at the end. The Navy offense outgained Cincinnati 308-271 and the defense held Heisman Trophy candidate Desmond Ridder to just 176 yards and two touchdowns.
Alas, the Navy is at the bottom of the barrell in the American Athletic Conference. One loss from Tulsa wouldn’t put the Hurricane that far off, but things could’ve gone haywire had they lost to the USF Bulls. A 12-point fourth quarter kept Tulsa alive in a one-point win over South Florida.
College football is this weird mythical construct that doesn’t really exist. And if it does, it does a great job at lying. The Golden Hurricane had 535 total yards. South Florida had 268. The game was decided by a late touchdown with 45 seconds left. They also held the ball for nine minutes more than the Bulls.
Davis Brin threw for 266 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions. Shamark Brooks was the catalyst with 145 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
This Tulsa offense averages nearly 460 YPG while the defense is giving up 409 per game. The key is the run defense. Tulsa allows 142.4 yards on the ground per game, while Navy’s option attack has averaged 212.
Navy has put up formidable fights against the likes of Cincinnati, SMU and Houston losing by one score against each of them. They even beat UCF by four a month ago. Then the Midshipmen put together a loss against Memphis two weeks ago. You never know what you’re going to get.
Same goes with Tulsa. You can get two straight wins over USF and Memphis but lose by 35 against Houston. None of anything makes sense, and this game won’t make sense either.
I want to believe Navy will keep this close and get a much-deserved win. But the key for Navy’s misfortunes, albeit full of effort, have been they were at home. Navy has looked shaky on the road, and going to Tulsa could be difficult. The Hurricane storm to their third straight win and get back to .500. Tulsa by 17
Navy is 4-1 ATS against conference opponents this season.
Navy is 26-10 ATS since 1992 after gaining 3.75 yards per play or less in the previous game.
Tulsa is 6-17 ATS since 1992 when a home favorite between 7.5 and 14 points.
Tulsa is 6-0 ATS in game following a turnover margin of -2 or worse.
Passing: Tai Lavatai -- 273 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Isaac Ruoss -- 388 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Mychal Cooper -- 160 yards, 1 TD
Passing: Davis Brin -- 1,915 yards, 10 TD, 10 INT
Rushing: Shamari Brooks -- 561 yards, 4 TD
Receiving: Josh Johnson -- 582 yards, 3 TD
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