What: Georgia Southern Eagles at US Naval Academy Midshipmen
Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD.
When: 3:30pm EST. Saturday, 15 November 2014
How to Watch: The game will be available on the CBS Sport Network if you have that channel. It may be available for streaming from the cbssports.com website here.
Live Stats: On the Naval Academy's website.
Line: Navy by 3 across the board.
When this football season ends, you will likely see the Naval Academy ranked as the team leading the FBS in rushing yards per game. Right now ESPN shows them as #2. They are 36.2 yards behind the team that is currently ranked #1. That team? Their opponent this week, the Georgia Southern Eagles. Georgia Southern isn't technically eligible for their stats to be considered in the record books this season as a transitioning school, but we all know just what they're doing on the field.
So, Saturday's game pits the two best rushing teams in the nation. Both average a lot of yards. Both average a fair amount of points. Georgia Southern is 8th in the country for points scored (42.8/game) and 22nd in points allowed (21.3/game). Meanwhile, Navy is 51st in points scored (31.8/game) and 89th in points allowed (30/game). On the surface that looks like Georgia Southern has the stronger offense and defense, but quality of opponents must be considered. Navy has played two teams in the Top 10, while Georgia Southern has only played one in the Top 25.
This game is extremely hard to pick. Navy is favored by three points at home, which is essentially just a push and Vegas saying "yeah, it could go either way but here's three points for home field and the cold." Both teams run option-based offenses. Georgia Southern is very familiar with the version Navy runs and played against it early in the season when they played Georgia Tech. Navy may not be as familiar with Georgia Southern's version, but they've had two weeks to prepare for it.
If you're a fan of football games that go fast, you should definitely watch this one. With two option teams, it's liable the game finishes in under three hours if CBS Sports lets it. They're notorious for commercials though, so those will prolong the game. It should also be a lot of fun for people that like to watch rushing offenses.
I think the X-factor will come down to which team makes more big plays in the passing game and which side limits its turnovers. It will definitely be fun, though.