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Navy needs to step up on third down.
1. Push the Accelerator on the Run Game
The Blue Raiders might know it’s coming, but there’s nothing they can do to stop it.
Win or lose, the Midshipmen have been successful at running the ball. Even in the team’s four losses, Navy managed to top 200 yards on the ground in three of those games.
Whether it’s quarterback Keenan Reynolds (250 CAR, 1,124 YDS, 26 TDs) or the other seven players on the roster with more than 200 rushing yards, the team must run the ball constantly.
Make Middle Tennessee prove it can stop the run. And if the team can, keep dishing it out until the Blue Raiders can’t stop it anymore.
2. Make Blue Raiders Win it Through the Air
To Middle Tennessee's credit, the team actually has a decent rushing attack. The Blue Raiders enter with the nation's No. 25-ranked rushing attack (208.3 YPG).
But if the Midshipmen can slow down the attack, they will increase their chances of victory.
That’s because Middle Tennessee hasn't had the best of luck through the air. The team only ranks No. 86 in passing offense (207.4 YPG). At best, the Blue Raiders have been decent.
Navy should dare Middle Tennessee to try and win the game through the air.
More often than not, the Midshipmen should win that battle.
3. Keep Playing Big on Third Down
Navy converts on third down with the best of them.
Thus far, the team ranks No. 6 in the nation (53.1 percent rate).
Conversely, Middle Tennessee has been pretty bad at stopping opponents on third down. The team ranks just No. 117 in opponent third-down conversion rate (47.2 percent).
This could be a huge factor in the outcome of the game.