College Football
Preview
Southern Methodist at Navy
When: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 11, 2017
Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland

Apparently, eight is enough to shut down Navy's high-powered rushing attack and in a copycat sports world, expect SMU to emulate recent efforts when the Mustangs visit the Midshipmen on Saturday in an American Athletic Conference contest. Navy fell 34-26 at Temple on Nov. 2 for its third straight loss after a 5-0 start, facing eight-man fronts in all three setbacks, and puts its seven-game winning streak versus SMU on the line.

The Midshipmen are second nationally with 346.1 rushing yards per game, but averaged 232.7 during a losing streak that left starting quarterback Zach Abey banged up. Abey, who has run for a team-high 1,202 yards - or 43.4 percent of Navy's rushing output - sustained a concussion in a 31-21 loss to No. 12 Central Florida on Oct. 21 before injuring his non-throwing shoulder versus Temple. “It comes down to taking what the defense gives you,'' Midshipmen offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ivin Jasper told the Capital Gazette. "We have to manufacture ways to get the ball on the perimeter. That has worked for us at times this season. So you take what they give you, but also find other ways to get the ball to your playmakers. That falls back on me.” The Mustangs are coming off a 31-24 loss versus UCF and face a must-win situation if they are to remain in AAC West Division title contention.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network. LINE: Navy -4.5

ABOUT SMU (6-3, 3-2 AAC): Sophomore quarterback Ben Hicks (20 touchdown passes, six interceptions) guides an offense that is 12th nationally at 39.6 points per game. Sophomore running backs Ke'Mon Freeman (nine TDs) and Xavier Jones (six TDs, team-high 700 rushing yards) lead the ground attack, while junior wide receivers Trey Quinn (90 receptions, seven TDs) and Courtland Sutton (48, nine) are Hicks' favorite targets. Sophomore safety Mikial Onu boasts a team-high 74 tackles (55 solo) and has two of the Mustangs' 10 interceptions.

ABOUT NAVY (5-3, 3-3): The Midshipmen rank first nationally in average yards per completion at 25.4, but are only 35-for-82 passing this season. Abey, who did not practice earlier in the week, has also accounted for 13 of Navy's 25 rushing touchdowns this season with sophomore Malcolm Perry (10.3 yards per attempt on 44 carries, three TDs) another threat. Navy has 15 turnovers this season - nine during its losing streak - after giving it away only 16 times in 14 games last season.

EXTRA POINTS

1. SMU has turned the ball over only seven times, tied for fifth-fewest nationally, and is one of five teams with one or fewer fumbles (one).

2. The Midshipmen have scored only 23 first-half points during their slide.

3. Navy leads the series 11-7. The Midshipmen outscored SMU 130-45 in the past two meetings, including a 75-31 victory last season when it totaled 600 yards - 496 on the ground.

PREDICTION: SMU 38, Navy 31
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Southern Methodist 6-3 L1 39.6 31.0 5-1 1-2 0-1 0-1 3-2
Navy 5-3 L3 32.5 29.1 3-1 2-2 1-1 0-0 3-3
Last Meeting
Southern Methodist Navy
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/26/16 NAVY 75 SMU 31 427 96 331 600 496 104
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Southern Methodist B. Hicks 70.5 331 2 2
Navy W. Worth 71.4 104 1 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Southern Methodist K. Freeman 18 58 3.2 1
Navy Z. Abey 7 111 15.9 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Southern Methodist X. Castille 8 86 10.8 1
Navy T. Carmona 1 35 35.0 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Southern Methodist X. Castille 1
Navy W. Worth 3
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Southern Methodist B. Hicks 59.1 2588 20 6
Navy Z. Abey 41.7 717 6 6
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Southern Methodist X. Jones 123 700 5.7 6
Navy Z. Abey 233 1202 5.2 13
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Southern Methodist T. Quinn 90 921 10.2 7
Navy T. Carmona 12 333 27.8 4
Touchdowns Player TD
Southern Methodist C. Sutton 10
Navy Z. Abey 14
Quickchart Matchup
Southern Methodist Southern Methodist Off vs  Navy Navy Def
Southern Methodist 505.3 yards
Navy 408.1 yards
Southern Methodist 5 yards/rush
Navy 4.6 yards/rush
Southern Methodist 8 yards/attempt
Navy 8.8 yards/attempt
Navy Navy Off vs  Southern Methodist Southern Methodist Def
Navy 457.1 yards
Southern Methodist 459.1 yards
Navy 5.6 yards/rush
Southern Methodist 4.3 yards/rush
Navy 11.1 yards/attempt
Southern Methodist 8.6 yards/attempt