Last Updated: 2017-10-18
The Navy Midshipmen have to bounce back from a loss that took them out of the national rankings, as they failed on offense against Memphis last week. There really isn’t any other way to put it, and they are going to have to be much more efficient on Saturday as they take on the UCF Golden Knights in a game that is set to get underway at 3:30 PM ET in Annapolis. Please remember that you will get reduced juice at VietBet, so you can avoid laying the customary -110 in the football betting odds, and you can place wagers in real time with Live Betting Ultra.
Navy went into the game with the Tigers averaging a whopping 414 yards per contest, best in the nation. But it turned out to be much more of a defensive battle, falling way under the posted total of 72 points. The Middies got 314 yards on the ground, but they got bitten by that bugaboo that often strikes triple option offenses, as they turned the ball over five times.
Still, one cannot underestimate what Navy (5-1 SU, 3-2-1 ATS) can do when it is playing less mistake-ridden football. Zach Abey, who ran for 146 yards and three TD’s last week, is more than capable as the trigger man, but he obviously does not offer much in the way of the passing option, and he fumbled the ball three times. head coach Ken Niumatalolo can’t have much more of that.
Unfortunately, his team, which had been #24 in the nation with the coaches and #25 with the Associated Press, dropped out of the ratings entirely with that defeat.
This week they face a team that is squarely in the national rankings, and they must figure out a way to trade points. UCF (5-0 SU, 4-0 ATS), which destroyed East Carolina 63-21 last weekend, is the highest-scoring team in the nation, averaging 50.6 points per game. And they are ranked 20th in the nation in both major polls.
In the football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, the Knights are laying points on the road:
UCF Golden Knights -8
Navy Midshipmen +8
Over 66 points -110
Under 66 points -110
The architect of what they’re doing at Central Florida is Scott Frost, a former quarterback at Nebraska who played safety for several NFL teams and ultimately wound up as the offensive coordinator at Oregon, before finally taking the UCF job. The Knights stayed at home for the Cure Bowl last year and were beaten 31-13 by Arkansas State, but there were building blocks being put in place after a disastrous 2015 season.
The offense is high on the list in terms of some of the advanced metrics, including #3 in Efficiency, #2 in Explosiveness and #3 in Finishing Drives. In other words, they know what they are doing. The trigger man of this attack, McKenzie Milton, is 70% accurate with 15 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. And there is a very well-balanced ground attack, even more so than the Middies have.
Maryland, which defeated Texas, and, yes, Memphis, which just beat Navy, are on the list of UCF’s victims. But what these guys haven’t done is face the triple option, as this is the first time they will be playing against Navy.
But here is the interesting angle for VietBet patrons to consider – Frost has played option football extensively, first in high school and then for Nebraska, where he won a national title under center in 1997. That may help, but when it comes down to it, is that going to make it any easier for his team to handle it? Well, Frost can help put a scout team together and show them what to do, and there was some preparation for Georgia Tech, which is very similar, although that game got wiped out because of Hurricane Irma. Will that make the difference?
Not against a Navy team that can cut down on mistakes. You can bet that Niumatalolo cracked the whip this week, and Navy has covered its last four when getting points at home. We’re going to grab those points with the underdog, who can at least do a good job of keeping Frost’s offense off the field for long stretches.
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