1. NAVY WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN
2018 was a quirky aberration.
Head coach Ken Niumatalolo created a consistent machine in Annapolis, and then last year the running game went from unstoppable to inconsistent, and the defense wasn’t able to do much of anything right.
A few tweaks, an apparent deeper commitment to the option style attack, and now Navy should be back in the bowl picture again.
There might be a whole lot of missing parts from last year’s team, but that’s not as big a deal at service academy, with the development in place to truly create a Next Man Up system that fills in the parts.
With Malcolm Perry back at quarterback – almost purely as a runner – and with a nice blend of backfield parts, expect Navy to hit the 4,000-yard rushing mark again. The big change will be on defense, where there will finally be a bit more of a pass rush, and the third down stops should start to follow.
Set The Regular Season Win Total At … 6
Four of the first five games are against teams that didn’t go bowling, and with the possible exception of Notre Dame in South Bend, there isn’t a game on the slate Navy can’t pull off. There’s no UCF to deal with from the American Athletic, and there’s no Temple or Cincinnati, either.
It’s a manageable enough of a slate to assume at least six wins and a bowl appearance, but even with all the positive changes and all the upside, there’s now a little bit of a prove-it factor after last year’s disaster.