Air Force (1-4) at Navy (2-1)

Time: Saturday, 11:30 a.m.

Site: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium


Get the Baltimore Football app for iPhone and Android

Radio: 1090 AM, 1430 AM

Series: Air Force leads, 27-18

Last meeting: Navy won, 28-21, in overtime in Colorado Springs on Oct. 6, 2012

Navy offense vs. Air Force defense: After averaging 46 points and more than 500 yards over the first two games — victories over Indiana and Delaware — the Midshipmen started well but slumped badly when starting quarterback Keenan Reynolds was knocked out in the second quarter of last week's loss at Western Kentucky. Reynolds, who came off the bench to lead Navy to an overtime victory last year in Colorado Springs, is expected to play, as are a full allotment of slotbacks. Four of them — DeBrandon Sanders, Geoffrey Whiteside, Marcus Thomas and Darius Staten — are averaging between 9.4 yards and 11.8 yards per carry. While Reynolds leads the team in rushing with 53 carries for 259 yards and three TDs, the sophomore is also a threat to pass (14 of 21 for 324 and two TDs). Of Air Force's 11 new starters, seven are on defense. Junior linebacker Joey Nichol leads the Falcons with 53 tackles, 4.5 for loss. Air Force has shown its collective inexperience on defense and is ranked 123rd in third down defense (66.7 percent surrendered) 121st in total defense (526.2 yards), 118th in pass efficiency and 106th in rushing defense (212.4). If Reynolds stays upright, Navy should roll.

Navy defense vs. Air Force offense: The Midshipmen struggled last week to contain Western Kentucky's Antonio Andrews. While Andrews reportedly committed orally to the Falcons out of high school, there is nobody on Air Force's current roster who resembles him. The biggest concern this week for Navy will be relatively new quarterback Karson Roberts, who made his first career start in the Falcons' 45-42 loss at Nevada last week. The sophomore rushed 23 times for 161 yards and two TDs, including a 60-yard run, while also connecting on five of 10 passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. Perennially one of the top rushing teams in the country, the Falcons are currently eighth (296 yards a game). Linebackers Cody Peterson and D.J. Sargenti continue to lead the Midshipmen in tackles (26 and 24, respectively), but freshman William Tuider started to make some plays after coming in for Chris Johnson last week. As long as the Midshipmen don't let Air Force's new quarterback do what Reynolds did to the Falcons last year, Navy should win.

Don Markus