Preview: Navy at East Carolina

When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 19, 2016
Where: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, North Carolina


Navy can clinch the American Athletic Conference's West Division and a spot in the league title game with a win Saturday at East Carolina. The Midshipmen held on for a 42-40 win over Tulsa last week to improve to 12-2 since they joined the conference last season, once again riding a prolific attack led by quarterback Will Worth.

The senior ran for three touchdowns to bump his count to 18, tied for second in the nation, and threw for another score. "Every week, he keeps coming and doing great things," coach Ken Niumatalolo said of Worth. "He played well. He's a tough, physical kid. A great leader." Navy has averaged 66 points in two wins at East Carolina and claimed four of five meetings overall, including a 45-21 triumph at home last year. The Pirates dropped seven of eight after a 2-0 start and have given up at least 30 points in six of the last seven.

TV: 4 p.m. ET, ESPNews. LINE: Navy -7

ABOUT NAVY (7-2, 5-1 AAC): Worth is averaging 148.4 rushing yards while completing 64 percent of his passes in the last five contests, helping the Midshipmen to a scoring average of 40.6. Senior Dishan Romine rumbled for a season-high 97 yards and scored his first career touchdown last week, and he is averaging 9.8 yards per carry. They team with Chris High (473 yards) and four others with at least 100 rushing yards on the season to create the nation's fourth-ranked ground game (309.6).

ABOUT EAST CAROLINA (3-7, 1-5): Philip Nelson has completed 67.9 percent of his passes with 16 touchdown strikes, but the senior had zero TDs in a 55-31 loss to SMU last week while throwing two interceptions in another turnover-filled game for the Pirates. For the second straight game, Nelson - who is hampered by a shoulder injury - was replaced by sophomore Gardner Minshew and both could see action again this week. Zay Jones remains atop the national leaderboard in receiving yards (1,473) and receptions (139), and the senior star - who had 10 catches for 130 yards against Navy last season - needs eight catches to pass former teammate Justin Hardy (387) for the most career grabs in FBS history.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The game was originally scheduled for Oct. 13 but was postponed due to the effects of Hurricane Matthew.

2. Minshew has thrown for 506 yards and two TDs in relief duty over the last two weeks.

3. Navy is tied for fifth in the country in fewest lost turnovers (eight) and East Carolina is tied for 116th (22).

PREDICTION: Navy 49, East Carolina 35

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Navy 7-2 W2 35.3 29.9 5-0 2-2 1-2 0-0 5-1
East Carolina 3-7 L2 28.3 33.0 3-2 0-5 3-5 0-0 1-5

Last Meeting

Navy East Carolina
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
9/19/15 ECU 21 NAVY 45 456 415 41 405 80 325

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
NAVY K. Reynolds 57.1 41 0 0
ECU B. Kemp 73.5 325 3 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
NAVY K. Reynolds 24 142 5.9 5
ECU C. Hairston 10 38 3.8 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
NAVY D. Sanders 1 23 23.0 0
ECU I. Jones 10 130 13.0 0
TDs Player TD
NAVY K. Reynolds 5
ECU B. Williams 2
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
NAVY W. Worth 61.2 1146 7 3
ECU P. Nelson 67.9 2621 16 8
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
NAVY W. Worth 216 913 4.2 18
ECU J. Summers 129 683 5.3 6
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
NAVY J. Tillman 29 459 15.8 1
ECU I. Jones 139 1473 10.6 6
TDs Player TD
NAVY W. Worth 18
ECU J. Summers 7

Quickchart Matchup

Navy Off vs  East Carolina Def
441.9 yards
442.1 yards
5.5 yards/rush
5.1 yards/rush
11.1 yards/attempt
7.7 yards/attempt
East Carolina Off vs  Navy Def
496.6 yards
444.3 yards
3.9 yards/rush
4.8 yards/rush
7.3 yards/attempt
8.6 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Navy Overall East Carolina
7-2-0 W/L 3-7-0
5-3-1 ATS 3-7-0
6-3-0 O/U 5-5-0
35.3 Pts For 28.3
29.9 Pts Against 33.0
Navy A/H East Carolina
2-2 W/L 3-2
1-2-1 ATS 3-2-0
1-3-0 O/U 4-1-0
27.0 Pts For 37.2
30.2 Pts Against 28.4