By Lucas Owens
This week is much like last week in that there are four games being played, but most of the games this week feature teams that are likely to be bowl eligible, except for Houston who must win out to gain eligibility. Included in those teams are No. 23 Navy and No. 16 Notre Dame, whose rivalry takes place this week and should be loads of fun.
Tulane (-6) @ Temple
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Penn. Saturday, November 16 at 11:00 a.m. CST
These two teams enter the matchup with the same record and somewhat similar trajectories. Tulane won their matchup with Tulsa two weeks ago, while Temple beat USF last Thursday night. However, where they differed in those matchups is in their level of offensive play. Tulane largely succeeded against the Tulsa defense, scoring 38 points at home, while Temple was stuffed completely by USF and only scored one offensive touchdown, having to rely on their defense instead. I believe that will pose a problem for the Owls as, unless quarterback Anthony Russo has a fantastic game, I don’t think they can rely on their defense to score as many points as their offense and still win like they did against USF. While Temple’s offensive woes and whether they continue or not will be a huge factor in the game, the greater factor will be how Tulane’s quarterback Justin McMillan performs both as a rusher and a passer. Temple’s defense will likely have problems containing the dual threat quarterback, who has 13 touchdowns by air and 12 by foot so far this year. Thus, I have Tulane favored to win this game.
Prediction: Tulane 24 – 17 Temple
No. 23 Navy (+7) @ No. 16 Notre Dame
Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Ind. Saturday, November 16 at 1:30 p.m. CST
Here it is, one of the biggest games of Navy’s season every year. The longest uninterrupted intersectional rivalry in college football returns and looks to be of the best matchups in the recent history of the game. A Navy win this year would be a fantastic case for them possibly being the best team in the AAC, but Notre Dame is going to be no pushover. While the Fighting Irish have losses from both Michigan and Georgia and have had a few other close calls, they are still incredibly formidable, especially on offense behind quarterback Ian Book. The Navy offense will have possibly their hardest game of the season, as Notre Dame always seems great at stopping the triple option, thus the impact player of this game will be Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry. His decision making will be key, and do not doubt his ability to pass the ball either. I am going to go out on a little bit of a whim here and say that the Navy Midshipmen get a huge win in South Bend this weekend.
Prediction: Navy 42 – 35 Notre Dame
No. 18 Memphis (-10.5) @ Houston
TDECU Stadium, Houston, Texas. Saturday, November 16 at 2:30 p.m. CST
Looking from the beginning of this season, to see the trajectory of these two teams is pretty amazing. Memphis is on the top of the world right now, being ranked in the top 20 with their lone loss because of a controversial call at Temple, while Houston begun the year with grand expectations that have been dashed completely. Memphis’ offense completely outclasses the Houston defense, to a point where I think there is no doubt Memphis will at least score willingly on most drives. Where there is doubt is how their defense performs. The Tigers allowed 48 to SMU and 41 to Tulsa, so it would be a good sign for their future matchups if they could stop Houston and quarterback Clayton Tune from scoring as much as they have allowed. Memphis, however, had a bye week last week and should come into this one completely rested and ready to meet the Houston Cougars.
Prediction: Memphis 45 – 28 Houston
No. 17 Cincinnati (-14) @ USF
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla. Saturday, November 16 at 6:00 p.m. CST
Cincinnati comes into this game incredibly hot off a drubbing of UCONN at home, while USF sputtered last week against Temple. Quarterback Desmond Ridder did not have that good of a game for the Bearcats, but that was more due to their style of play against a team like UCONN. He should have a better game this week considering the style of USF’s defense stopping the run. The player to watch for the Bulls will be Jordan Cronkrite, who has potential to run circles around the Cincinnati defense and have a big day depending on how the USF offensive line performs. Again, USF is a fairly “emotionally based” team, in that they rely on momentum. So, if the Bulls start the game off hot and get a few huge plays, they should have a good shot of winning it. However, I think after a blowout last week of UCONN the Cincinnati Bearcats will come out hot and continue their winning streak.
Prediction: Cincinnati 42 – 24 USF
Game of the Week: No. 23 Navy @ No. 16 Notre Dame
This rivalry continues to be a great one, and the 2019 edition looks to be one of the best in recent memory with both teams incredibly hot and Navy having an outstanding year.
- No. 17 Cincinnati 8-1 (5-0)
- No. 18 Memphis 8-1 (4-1)
- No. 23 Navy 7-1 (5-1)
- SMU 9-1 (5-1)
- Tulane 6-3 (3-2)
- UCF 7-3 (4-2)
- Temple 6-3 (3-2)
- USF 4-5 (2-3)
- Tulsa 3-7 (1-5)
- ECU 3-7 (0-6)
- Houston 3-6 (1-4)
- UCONN 2-8 (0-6)
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org