Midshipmen, Falcons meet in Colorado Springs for first leg of Commander-In-Chief's Trophy series
After a brutal start to the season, the Navy Midshipmen finally seemed to figure some things out in a second-half rally against Tulane two weeks ago. Now the Midshipmen hit the road to take on the Air Force Falcons in the first leg of the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy rivalry. This will mark the first game of the season for Air Force as the Falcons worked to still manage to play Navy and Army before the Mountain West Conference worked out a plan to return to the field this season.
Navy is looking to defend its ownership of the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy. Air Force is looking to extend its eight-game winning streak dating back to last season. Something has to give in Colorado Springs this weekend.
Navy at Air Force
Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 6 p.m.
Spread: Navy -6.5
When Navy Has the Ball
Don't look now, but Navy may have a passing game to use to their advantage this season. Dalen Morris completed 6-of-11 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown in Navy's wild comeback against Tulane. This doesn't mean Navy is going to win many shootouts through the air, but it is a unique wrinkle to a team that has largely been reliant on the option ground attack. Don't worry though, because Navy will still roll with the option. Jamale Carothers led the Mids in rushing against Tulane with 25 rushing attempts for 127 yards.
When Air Force Has the Ball
Air Force's strength will certainly be up front on the line of scrimmage. Senior Nolan Laufenberg was a popular preseason All-American pick, and Parker Ferguson is on the Outland Trophy watch list. Air Force allowed just four sacks in 2019 to lead the nation. They will help create room to run for running back Kadin Remsberg as he continues to climb the school's all-time rushing list. BYU ran over Navy's defense in their opener, and the Midshipmen got off to a rough start against Tulane, but if they can carry the momentum from their rally against the Green Wave, they should be prepared for the physical grind that will come with facing Air Force's offense.
The big challenge for Air Force will be trying to avoid the kind of sluggish start to the season Navy had in their opener and other teams have seemingly fallen victim to early in the year. But this could be a little bit different, as the Falcons have embarked on a preseason routine with the sole focus of facing Navy and Army (before the Mountain West was set to return). But there is something to be said for Navy having already played a couple of games, and they may have a more balanced approach they can rely on when needed by being able to throw the ball. These two programs are well aware of each other, so expect a good, close contest. In the end, Navy will find a way to get out of Colorado with a hard-fought victory.
Prediction: Navy 26, Air Force 23