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Updated Thursday, November 21, 4:39 PM CT
SMU at Navy
When: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 23, 2019
Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
LINE: Navy -3.5.
SMU squandered a chance to take command of the American Athletic Conference West with a loss at Memphis earlier this month, a defeat that spoiled the school's best start in 37 years. The Mustangs still have a chance to capture the division title but face a must-win situation when they pay a visit to Navy on Saturday afternoon.
No. 21 SMU has had an extra week to prepare for Saturday's matchup after surviving another slugfest with a 59-51 victory over East Carolina on Nov. 9 to keep its chances of advancing to the AAC championship game intact. "It'll be a big game for us," said Mustangs coach Sonny Dykes, who earned his first victory at SMU with a 31-30 overtime victory over Navy last season that ended an eight-game losing streak in the series. "When you play against them, you've got to play very disciplined football. They execute very well. That's what good football teams do. ... They played disciplined and they execute. The Midshipmen, who were demolished at Notre Dame 52-20 last week, are in a three-way tie for first in the West but, like SMU, also lost to Memphis and are basically facing an elimination game to keep their West Division and conference title hopes alive. “We’ve got to come back in conference against SMU, a really good team," coach Ken Niumatalolo said after his team's five-game winning streak ended with a thud. "It’s our Senior Day and that’s a really special day for us. When you have kind of a nightmare game like this, you want to put it away as quickly as you can.”
ABOUT SMU (9-1, 5-1 ACC): Quarterback Shane Buechele has thrown for 28 touchdowns against eight interceptions this season, boosting those numbers with eight scoring passes in back-to-back 400-yard performances in November. James Proche, named a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist as the nation's top wide receiver, established season highs with 14 catches for 167 yards and two scores against the Pirates to extend his touchdown streak to nine games and eclipse 1,000 yards for the second straight year. Not to be outdone by his teammate, running back Xavier Jones has rushed for 18 of his school-record 20 touchdowns and scored in every game.
ABOUT NAVY (7-2, 5-1): The Midshipmen were averaging a nation-best 357.9 yards rushing but were limited to 281 against Notre Dame, including 117 by quarterback Malcolm Perry - his sixth straight game reaching the century mark. Perry, however, fumbled three times and was replaced in the third quarter, while fullback Jamale Carothers was held to 41 scoreless yards on 11 carries after amassing nine touchdowns (eight rushing) in his previous four contests. One of the biggest turnarounds for Navy this season has been a defense that was allowing 310.6 total yards before yielding nearly that many in the first half last week.
1. Proche, who has 24 scoring catches in the last two seasons, had nine receptions for 64 yards and a TD in last year's matchup.
2. Navy has won 16 straight on Senior Day, last losing in 2002.
3. Mustangs WR Reggie Roberson (foot), who has 43 catches for 803 yards, will miss his third straight game.
Ran DeBord - All Access Sporting News
Some content sourced and verified from: AASNSports; AP; FieldLevelMedia; Gracenotes
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