1 Up, 31 To Go

By Adam Caparell - December 20, 2007

Bowl season gets underway tonight so get ready for 32 games, nearly all of them meaningless and many of them unappealing, as college football continues to reward teams for mediocre seasons. But with that in mind, Navy and Utah present our first matchup of the postseason in the Poinsettia Bowl. So prepare yourself for the last helping of the triple-option until next September.

The key for Navy in this one is simple: they have to run the ball down Utah's throat to have a chance. The nation's top rushing team knows only one way to win and that's on the ground. Seven Midshipmen have run for more than 400 yards this season, but how will Navy's running prowess translate against the Utes?

Not as well as you might think. Sure the triple option is tough to stop, but Utah's had three weeks to work on devising ways to do so and keep in mind they also have seen the option plenty of times playing Air Force in conference play every year. Plus the Utes have a pretty good defense. And when they have the ball in their hands, Utah should be able to easily score some points. Navy is a woefully inept defensive team - dealing with a lot of injuries this season - while Utah averages 163.7 yards per game on the ground behind a big offensive line.

"The matchup up front is going to be a key, because they're so big," Navy defensive coordinator Buddy Green said.

And don't forget, how is Navy going to play without coach Paul Johnson on the sidelines? He's off to Georgia Tech and won't be coaching the Midshipmen in their bowl game. Not having him around only stands to hurt Navy.

The Line: -8
O/U: 66

If I Were A Betting Man: Utah and the under. The Utes have a defense that'll keep Navy in check, but the Midshipmen are going to get their points. Just not as many as they're used to.

Bowl Season: 0-0

Posted by Adam Caparell at 02:50 PM on December 20, 2007

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