College Football

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12:30 PM PT1:30 PM MT2:30 PM CT3:30 PM ET8:30 PM GMT4:30 AM 北京时间1:30 PM MST3:30 PM EST, Dec. 5, 2020
Jack Stephens Field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland  Attendance: 0

No. 24 Tulsa seeks berth in AAC title game with win vs. Navy

Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Navy Midshipmen

  1. Navy has won all five meetings with Tulsa since joining the American Athletic Conference in 2015. The Midshipmen beat the Golden Hurricane 45-17 in Tulsa last season, Tulsa's largest home loss since a 52-7 defeat to No. 4 Oklahoma in 2014.
  2. After a season-opening defeat to Oklahoma State, Tulsa has reeled off five straight wins, its longest winning streak since a seven-game run in 2012. The Golden Hurricane have not played since a 30-24 double-overtime win over Tulane on November 19.
  3. Corey Taylor II (132 rushing yards) and JuanCarlos Santana (138 receiving yards) both notched their first 100-yard games of the season against Tulane. It was just the second time in the last three seasons that Tulsa has had a 130-yard rusher and a 130-yard receiver in the same game (Shamari Brooks and Sam Crawford Jr. in 2019 at San Jose State).
  4. Navy has lost three straight games after a 3-2 start. Last week's 10-7 loss to Memphis was the third time this season the Midshipmen have been held to single-digit points, their most such games since 2000 (also three). Navy had just two games with single-digit points over the previous six seasons combined.
  5. Nelson Smith has rushed for 120+ yards in three of his last five games after totaling 65 rushing yards in his first three games of the season. Smith's three 120-yard games this season are the most in the AAC.

No. 24 Tulsa will look to lock up its first berth in the American Athletic Conference title game with a win over Navy on Saturday in Annapolis, Md.

The Golden Hurricane (5-1, 5-0 AAC) have won five straight games since losing at then-No. 11 Oklahoma State 16-7 to open the season. Tulsa can also secure a spot in the conference title game with a loss on Saturday, provided it beats No. 7 Cincinnati (8-0, 6-0) next week.

"I feel like we should be in decent shape," Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery said Tuesday, according to the Tulsa World. "Everybody's got bruises and banged up a little bit this time of year, but for the most part I think everybody else will be available."

However, Tulsa has never beaten Navy (3-5, 3-3) in AAC play. The Midshipmen are 5-0 against Tulsa since they joined the league in 2015. The Midshipmen dominated Tulsa last season, as quarterback Malcolm Perry rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries in a 45-17 win. But Perry now plays for the Miami Dolphins, and the Midshipmen haven't been able to replicate his production under center this year.

Navy has played at least two quarterbacks in six of its eight games, with the only exceptions being against Temple and Houston, when Dalen Morris played every snap.

Morris and Tyger Goslin split time in the team's last game, combining to complete 4 of 11 passes for 88 yards and an interception. Navy rushed for 233 yards on 52 carries, led by Nelson Smith, who had 29 carries for 142 yards and a touchdown.

Navy and Tulsa were initially scheduled to meet on Nov. 7, but the game was postponed after a coronavirus outbreak swept through the Naval Academy, preventing the Midshipmen from traveling to Oklahoma for the contest.

By moving the game to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, it will allow Navy to have Senior Day for its 26 Midshipmen to play one more home game. Navy, which closes the season at Army on Dec. 12, has won 17 straight games on Senior Day, but No. 18 should be tough to get.

Tulsa is ranked 14th nationally in third-down defense (.319), 14th in defensive touchdowns (two) and 15th in fumble recoveries (seven). The Golden Hurricane relies heavily on All-America candidate linebacker Zaven Collins, who leads the Golden Hurricane with 48 tackles, four sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss, and his four interceptions are tied for fourth nationally. Meantime, Kendarin Ray has recorded 46 tackles and broken up five passes, while Bryson Powers has notched two fumble recoveries.

Quarterback Zach Smith, who is coming off a torso injury that sidelined him for most of the team's last game against Tulane on Nov. 19, has completed 98 of his 162 pass attempts for 1,266 yards with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. Josh Johnson (32 catches, 408 yards, 5 TDs) and Keylon Stokes (31 catches, 446 yards, 2 TDs) are his favorite targets.

Deneric Price, who has 356 yards and a pair of scores on 71 carries, and T.K. Wilkerson (73 carries, 300 yards, four touchdowns) pace the ground game.

"What they do on offense presents everybody with trouble," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "They spread you out a ton and pound the football. If you don't shore up the run game, they'll keep pounding you. If you try to get people involved with the run game, they'll get you on the edges."

--Field Level Media

Updated December 2, 2020

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