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P6 Pick’em: Is Navy a legitimate contender?

Two top teams square off, and a bunch of blowouts may occur for the rest of the conference.

NCAA Football: Memphis at Navy Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

There is plenty of distance between the two teams playing in five of the six games involving AAC teams. The one that isn’t has major implications on the AAC West race, and will determine if one team is a contender going forward. So you can expect plenty of blowouts this week, but also one game that could be a tight one.

P6 Pick’em Records- Joe: 44-6 Joey: 45-5

Game of the Week

#25 Navy at Memphis (Memphis -3.5, Saturday 2:45pm CT)

Two contrasting offenses face off, and whichever defense can solve the opposing offense will determine who wins this game. Navy’s triple option is an offense that Memphis (4-1) has yet to see, and the Tigers have struggled stopping the run (187 ypg). Navy has been average against the pass, and have yet to face an offense of Memphis’ caliber.

Navy (5-0) has yet to prove that they are a legitimate contender, and have consistently struggled to pull away from teams in the last month. Games against Tulsa, Cincinnati, and Tulane have been closer than anticipated, so it’s been hard to consider them in the race. They now have an opportunity this week (and next) to prove they belong, and will face an offense that its leaps and bounds better than any offense they’ve seen thus far.

Riley Ferguson is arguably the best quarterback in the conference, and has numerous weapons at his disposal. The 11th best offense in the nation is averaging nearly 50 points in their wins, and it’s because they outscore their opponents so far. This will be a different kind of test. Navy’s offense will try to control the ball and time of possession, and there are two questions the Tigers must answer. Can the defense provide its first good performance of the year against the triple option? And can the offense be on the sideline for extended periods of time and still be explosive? If the answer is yes to both, this game will be a blowout.

Joe: Memphis 46 - Navy 30

Joey: Memphis 35 Navy 27

The Rest of the AAC

UConn at Temple (Temple -10, Saturday 11:00am CT)

Temple created some distance last week with a 34-10 domination of ECU, and now they have a chance to separate themselves from another bad team. UConn is allowing nearly 400 yards to opposing offenses through the air, which might give Logan Marchi an opportunity to have his best game of his career.

Joe: Temple 30 - UConn 13

Joey: Temple 27 UConn 17

Houston at Tulsa (Houston -13.5, Saturday 3:00pm CT)

Last year’s game came down to a goal line stand, but that most likely won’t be the case this year. Houston has struggled to run the ball and at the quarterback position in general, but running the ball shouldn’t be difficult against Tulsa’s porous defense. The Golden Hurricane currently allows 347.8 yards per game rushing, and has the second worst defense in the country.

Joe: Houston 37 - Tulsa 27

Joey: Houston 41 Tulsa 24

ECU at #22 UCF (UCF -35, Saturday 6:00pm CT)

Who’s the worst team in the country? That would be the ECU Pirates, and they play one of the best offenses in UCF. If you ask us, that’s not a good combination. UCF is on fire right now, and stopping their offense may only happen if the backups get in.

Joe: UCF 66 - ECU 17

Joey: UCF 63 ECU 21

Tulane at FIU (Tulane -13.5, Saturday 6:00pm CT)

Last year, Tulane’s biggest score in a conference game was 38 points. They blew that out of the water last week with their 62-point performance against Tulsa. This is a completely different offense from last year, and FIU could be in trouble against yet another AAC team. The Golden Panthers were on the wrong end of a rout in their first game against UCF, allowing 61 points. FIU is vastly improved from then, but they still might struggle to stop the Green Wave offense.

Joe: Tulane 38 - FIU 23

Joey: Tulane 40 FIU 26

Cincinnati at #18 USF (USF -24.5, Saturday 6:30pm CT)

This has the potential to be a great game for both teams. Cincinnati has struggled as of late, but has shown the potential to compete with the best. USF is trying to prove they are a top team, but first half struggles have plagued them so far. Things won’t go well for the Bulls if they let the Bearcats hang around, so a fast start is vital.

Joe: USF 45 - Cincinnati 21

Joey: USF 49 Cincinnati 17