Preview: Pittsburgh at Navy

When: 2:30 PM ET, Monday, December 28, 2015
Where: Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland




MILITARY BOWL PRESENTED BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN STORYLINES

1. Navy tries for the first 11-win season in program history when it meets Pittsburgh on Dec. 28 in the Military Bowl on the Midshipmen's home field in Annapolis, Md., in what could be coach Ken Niumatalolo's final game with Navy. Niumatalolo, who took over as Midshipmen coach prior to the the 2007 Poinsettia Bowl, is 67-37-0 - the winningest coach in Academy annals - but appears to be a strong candidate to take over at BYU. "It's been my life," Niumatalolo, a Mormon who went on a two-year mission after his freshman year at Hawaii, told reporters about his time at Navy. "My kids have grown up here. I've given everything for this program."

2. Keenan Reynolds, who finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting, plays his final collegiate game after becoming the first Midshipmen quarterback to defeat Army four times. Reynolds rushed for two touchdowns in No. 22 Navy's 21-17 victory over the Black Knights on Dec. 12 to set the Division I record with 85 career TDs, passing Georgia Southern's Adrian Peterson and Towson's Terrance West. Reynolds has rushed for 4,415 yards, trailing only West Virginia's Pat White (4,480) and Michigan's Denard Robinson (4,495) on the all-time FBS list for quarterbacks.

3. While it appears the Midshipmen may soon need a new coach, Pittsburgh's Pat Narduzzi on Dec. 10 received a two-year contract extension through 2021 after guiding the Panthers to eight wins in his first season. Narduzzi's rushing defense is 20th nationally at 126.1 yards per game, but he must figure out a way to stop the country's No. 3 ground attack which averages 319.2 yards. Pittsburgh held Navy to 220 rushing yards in a 24-21 loss in Annapolis on a last-second goal in 2013.

TV: 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Navy -3.5

ABOUT PITTSBURGH (8-4, 6-2 ACC): The Panthers boast a trio of offensive standouts in quarterback Nathan Peterman (61.4 percent completion rate, 19 touchdowns, five interceptions), redshirt freshman running back Qadree Ollison (1,048 rushing yards, 10 TDs) and wide receiver Tyler Boyd (85 catches, six TDs). Freshman defensive back Jordan Whitehead finished third in the ACC with 67 solo tackles. Pittsburgh, which finished second to North Carolina in the ACC's Coastal Division, plays in its eighth straight bowl after losing to Houston 35-34 in last season's Armed Forces Bowl to drop to 13-18 in bowl games.
 
ABOUT NAVY (10-2, 7-1 American Athletic Conference): Reynolds ran for 1,229 yards and 21 touchdowns this season - the second-most rushing scores in the nation to Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry of Alabama (23) - while fullback Chris Swain added 909 yards and 10 scores. Reynolds tossed seven touchdown passes - five to wide receiver Jamir Tillman - in 98 attempts this season. The Midshipmen (9-10-1 in bowl games) play in their fourth straight bowl and try for their third consecutive victory after a 17-16 win over San Diego State in the 2014 Poinsettia Bowl and a 24-6 verdict over Middle Tennessee in the 2013 Armed Forces Bowl.



PREDICTION: Pittsburgh 28, Navy 24

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Pittsburgh 8-4 L1 28.2 24.6 3-3 5-1 6-3 0-0 6-2
Navy 10-2 W1 36.2 21.3 6-0 4-2 2-1 0-1 7-1

Last Meeting

Pittsburgh Navy
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/26/13 PITT 21 NAVY 24 338 135 203 325 220 105

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
PITT T. Savage 74.1 203 2 0
NAVY K. Reynolds 44.4 105 1 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
PITT I. Bennett 22 77 3.5 0
NAVY K. Reynolds 21 93 4.4 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
PITT D. Street 9 96 10.7 1
NAVY M. Thomas 2 63 31.5 1
TDs Player TD
PITT T. Boyd 1
NAVY K. Reynolds 1
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
PITT N. Peterman 61.6 2150 19 5
NAVY K. Reynolds 53.1 1077 7 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
PITT Q. Ollison 204 1048 5.1 10
NAVY K. Reynolds 241 1229 5.1 21
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
PITT T. Boyd 85 873 10.3 6
NAVY J. Tillman 27 570 21.1 5
TDs Player TD
PITT Q. Ollison 10
NAVY K. Reynolds 21

Quickchart Matchup

Pittsburgh Off vs  Navy Def
381 yards
367.4 yards
4.6 yards/rush
3.9 yards/rush
7.3 yards/attempt
7.5 yards/attempt
Navy Off vs  Pittsburgh Def
411.4 yards
344.7 yards
5.7 yards/rush
4.1 yards/rush
10.6 yards/attempt
7.1 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Pittsburgh Overall Navy
8-4-0 W/L 10-2-0
6-6-0 ATS 8-4-0
5-6-1 O/U 7-5-0
28.2 Pts For 36.2
24.6 Pts Against 21.3
Pittsburgh A/H Navy
5-1 W/L 6-0
5-1-0 ATS 5-1-0
2-4-0 O/U 3-3-0
25.0 Pts For 40.2
18.0 Pts Against 14.5
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