I really like this match-up for Virginia in their first bowl appearance in 6 years. If this wasn't being played on Navy's home field this might be a max POD. Nonetheless, Virginia is about 150 miles away and should still have plenty of fans in the stands to balance it out a bit. The ACC went 3-0 vs. the AAC this year outscoring them by 30 points. Wake Forest (ACC) also beat Temple (AAC) as double digit dogs last year in the Military Bowl.
Navy has had an uncharacteristic year and they lost again to Army to end the year. You always expect the service academies to play well in the bowl games in terms of effort, but I think Virginia just may want this a little more. I also will make the statement again having TV cameras around your program constantly is not a good thing. Navy had Showtime following them around and I don't think it was a coincidence that it was their worst season in some time.
Virginia has the defense to stop the option and there is no threat of a pass game with this Navy team. Whether it's Malcolm Perry who can't throw past 10 yards or Zach Abey who locks into one guy the Virginia defense knows they have to stop the option. Bronco Mendenhall has always been great at defending the option 8-2 SU & ATS dating back to his days at BYU. They also beat Georgia Tech this year as dogs and held them to 220 rushing yards 78 came on 1 run, while Georgia Tech had to pass a season high 24 times. Only two teams held Georgia Tech to less running yards, Clemson & Georgia, both playing in the college football playoff. LB Micah Kiser will be the difference he had 18 tackles in the game against Georgia Tech. Quin Blanding at S is another NFL future player along Chris Peace at LB this defense has the experience and knowledge to shut Navy down enough to win this game.
Navy's defense is going to have issues here. Their secondary ranks 120 th in opposing QB rating. Virginia's Kurt Benkert has thrown 17 TD's and 4 INT's in wins and 8/6 in losses. He's had a tough schedule facing 5 Top 30 passing defenses this
Subscribe on iTunes