Three Keys: Navy at Troy

Navy appears to have become an honorary member of the Sun Belt Conference at this point in the season as they travel to Troy to take on a conference member for the second straight week. The Trojans will present a different challenge from the FAU Owls as their spread based attack is capable of striking quickly and decisively. Here are three keys to victory as Navy chases its sixth straight win.

Navy appears to have become an honorary member of the Sun Belt Conference at this point in the season as they travel to Troy to take on a conference member for the second straight week. The Trojans will present a different challenge from the FAU Owls as their spread based attack is capable of striking quickly and decisively. Here are three keys to victory as Navy chases its sixth straight win.

1) Finish drives with touchdowns

The 24 points that Navy put up last weekend was the lowest scoring output during the five game win streak that the Mids have put together. One of the problems against FAU was finishing drives strongly with touchdowns. Kicker Nick Sloan was called on to attempt three field goals (he only made one) as the Owls were able to contain the option as Navy got closer to the goal line. In the end it was not important last week as Florida Atlantic employed a dink and dunk passing game which lost its threat potential as the game wore on. This week, however, Navy plays a team which just put up 48 points in a shootout with Tennessee. More than 24 points will be needed to win this one.

2) Keep the Trojan offense off the field

The Trojans put up a ludicrous 721 yards of total offense against the Vols last Saturday, the most allowed in history by the SEC team. Troy does a little bit of everything on offense. They have two quarterbacks who split time and each has a different style which makes it hard for defenses to stay keyed in and focused on their strengths. The team is 15th in the nation through the air, but they are also a respectable 50th in the country in rushing offense thanks to the work of junior Shawn Southward. Southward has almost 800 yards and 9 touchdowns on the season.

For Navy to win this game the Midshipmen need to control the ball and keep the potent Troy offense off the field. Teams with quick strike offenses need rhythm to get up to speed and if Navy can disrupt that rhythm with some sustained drives chewing up clock then it will be huge.

3) Pass the ball when needed

The reason that Troy lost last weekend when putting up 48 points was the defenses inability to stop Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray through the air. Bray threw for 530 yards in the game and just tore up a secondary which is one of the worst in the country. Obviously Keenan Reynolds will not put up those kinds of numbers, but if he is accurate and efficient in his passing then he may be in line for the best passing game of his short career so far.

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