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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Football

The opposition: Previewing UH football matchup against Navy


Freshman running back Alton McCaskill has scored five touchdowns in the last two games for UH footballs. | Alejandro Rodriguez

Freshman running back Alton McCaskill has scored five touchdowns in the last two games for UH footballs. | Alejandro Rodriguez/The Cougar

After winning two consecutive games for the first time under head coach Dana Holgorsen, UH football looks to continue its winning ways against Navy.

Here is everything you need to know about the matchup:

Midshipmen offense

The triple-option offense of Navy has frustrated defenses for years, but in 2021 the Midshipmen struggled to get anything going.

In two games on the season, the Navy offense has put up a total of 10 points resulting in an 0-2 start.

The Midshipmen’s offense is coming off one of the worst performances in program history, tallying a mere 68 yards of total offense in the loss to Air Force.

Quarterback play has been inconsistent for Navy. While Maasai Maynor and Xavier Arline have taken the most snaps under center, the Midshipmen had four different players throw a pass this season. The four quarterbacks have combined to throw 93 yards and two interceptions.

Arline also led the Midshipmen in rushing attempts on the season, with 32 carries for 107 yards including scoring Navy’s only touchdown this year.

Midshipmen defense

It has been a rough start to 2021 for the Midshipmen defense, giving up 72 points on 689 yards in the two games.

Struggling to get pressure on the quarterback has been a thorn in the side of Midshipmen defense, leading to opposing offenses having a field day against Navy.

The one positive for the Navy defense has been the ability to create turnovers, forcing three in two games on the season.

How does UH match up with Navy?

Coming off a 2020 match up in which the Cougars defense held Navy completely in check, UH has the blueprint to limit Navy’s offensive productivity for the second straight year.

With the way the Cougars’ defense has been playing, giving up a total of seven points in the last two weeks, UH has the personnel to put together its third consecutive strong defensive performance.

Offensively the big question remains at whether starting quarterback Clayton Tune is healthy enough to play or if Ike Ogbogu will lead the UH football offense for a second week in a row.

Nevertheless, freshman running back Alton McCaskill and sophomore receiver Nathaniel Dell have been reliable playmakers for the Cougars’ offense. They will have a chance to exploit a struggling Navy defense no matter who is at quarterback for UH.

Where to watch

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be shown on ESPNU. Fans can listen to the game on KPRC 950 AM.

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