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East Carolina Pirates vs. Navy Midshipmen
NCAAF: Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 3:30 PM EST
Tough to say which East Carolina team will show up in this game. In their season opener they were beaten badly by a Power 5 conference team in NC State and then in their last game they laid a 48-9 beat down on a weaker Gardner-Webb team. They head into this game as a seven-point betting underdog facing Navy, who crushed the Pirates giving up 66 points in the last meeting in 2016.
This is the first AAC game for both of these teams.
Navy easily won their season opener facing Holy Cross and the team is no different than it has been for many years, as they are all about the run. They racked up 428 rushing yards in their win over Holy Cross and look to get off to a good start in conference play for a team that only won three games last season.
A little confidence
East Carolina has to come into this game with some confidence after crushing Gardner-Webb 48-9 in their last game. In that game, they racked up 574 yards of offense, including 365 rushing yards, and only gave up 186 yards stuffing the run. This was a far cry from their 34-6 opening season loss against NC State where they gave up over 500 yards and only rushed for 41 yards. In that game, they gave up 191 rushing yards and facing Navy, their run defense is obviously a key to the game.
In the win over Gardner-Webb, Holton Ahlers passed for 195 yards with a TD and a pick and he spread the wealth with his receivers. Darius Pinnix Jr. rushed for 134 yards and Demetrius Mauney rushed for 107 yards and the team simply could not be stopped on the ground. They will be facing a Navy defense that only gave up 64 yards in their last game, but it was only Holy Cross. Last season Navy only ranked 90th in the nation in defending the run with Navy a little better ranking 73rd.
Navy may look to run with the rock
I mentioned before that Navy is all about the run and in their opening 45-7 win over FCS Holy Cross they rushed for 428 yards while only having 103 passing yards. The Midshipmen had 14 players that had touches for runs in the Holy Cross win led by Nelson Smith and C.J. Williams, who combined for 187 rushing yards.
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) August 31, 2019
QB Malcolm Perry passed for 103 yards on only nine attempts and he rushed for 28 yards.
Navy had two fumbles in the game losing one of them and they have to not turn the rock over on the ground in this game. Navy will be facing an East Carolina team that was beaten badly on the road in their opener against NC State and did not win a road game all of last season.
The Navy Midshipmen are:
- 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game
- 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall
- 20-8-1 ATS in their last 29 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game
The East Carolina Pirates are:
- 7-21 ATS in their last 28 road games
- 9-30-1 ATS in their last 40 conference games
- 14-41 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
- 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Both teams are coming off blowout wins, and both are coming off bad last seasons. Navy has the run game and while that is about all they have on the offensive side of the football that is all they will need in this game. They will rack up a ton of rushing yards and the Pirates will not be able to stop them. ECU will put up some points and not get blown out, but at home, Navy will get this conference win and cover the spread.
Prediction: PICK: Navy
Full-Game Total Pick
I do not see much run defense in this game by either team, which is why I am picking Navy to win and cover. However, considering there will be a ton of rushing yards in this game, especially from Navy, it means each team will score a lot. Because of that you have to take the Over in this game where defense will be at a premium.
Prediction: PICK: Over