TULSA, Okla. – Navy and Tulsa were in similar situations a week ago, with each team carrying a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter. The Midshipmen squandered their lead but were able to rally and pull out a victory over Air Force, while the Golden Hurricane fell in three overtimes to SMU -- a loss they will try to rebound from when they host Navy on Saturday night in an American Athletic Conference matchup.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU. LINE: Navy -1
The Midshipmen were in command against Air Force before surrendering 16 unanswered points and the lead in the fourth quarter, although they regrouped for a 34-25 victory. "We found a way to win," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "That is a great team win. We went back and forth. We needed to step up and we did." The Golden Hurricane were in a more favorable position and seemingly on the verge of handing SMU its first defeat before coughing up a 21-point cushion in the fourth quarter. "We're continuing to get better," coach Philip Montgomery insisted. "We've just got to continue that process and find ways to win."
ABOUT NAVY (3-1, 1-1 AAC)
Malcolm Perry again came through in the clutch for the Midshipmen, throwing for 114 yards while rushing for a team-high 111 yards and scoring the second of his two touchdowns with 22 seconds to play last week. Fullback Nelson Smith was limited to 19 yards on eight carries in a loss to Memphis before rebounding with 82 yards and a pair of scores on 19 carries versus Air Force. Navy was limited to a season-low 214 yards rushing by Air Force, but it piled up 389 yards on the ground in last season's 37-29 win over the Golden Hurricane.
ABOUT TULSA (2-3, 0-1)
Navy will be the first opponent that isn't unbeaten entering the matchup versus the Golden Hurricane, who rolled up 500 yards of offense but could not get off the field in the fourth quarter last week, allowing all six fourth-down conversions. Quarterback Zach Smith has thrown for 700 yards over the past two weeks, but his season-high four touchdown passes were offset by three interceptions, ending a streah of 128 passes without a pick. Keylon Stokes has 16 receptions for 303 yards and four TDs over the past three games.
1. Navy is 5-1 in the series and has won all three meetings at Tulsa, but it has dropped 14 in a row on the road.
2. Tulsa has scored more points in the second quarter (65) than all other quarters combined.
3. The Midshipmen have forced seven turnovers in their four games.
PREDICTION: Tulsa 27, Navy 26