What to look for as unbeaten Navy takes on Memphis
By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: October 12, 2017
Navy is seeking its first 6-0 start since 1979 and trying to maintain its lead in the American Athletic Conference West Division, while Memphis wants to remain in serious division title contention. Navy has a half-game lead in the West over Houston, which also is unbeaten in conference play.
Navy rushing attack vs. Memphis run defense. Navy averages 414.2 yards rushing per game to lead FBS. Navy also ranks fourth nationally in yards per carry (6.53) and second in time of possession (35:49.40). Memphis' biggest concern is that Navy controls the ball and keeps the Tigers' own high-powered offense on the sidelines. The Tigers rank just 94th nationally in run defense.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Navy: QB Zach Abey: This 6-foot-2 junior has run for 870 yards and has averaged 174 yards rushing per game to rank second nationally. He averages 29.2 carries per game to lead all FBS players. He connected on a game-winning 16-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Carmona with 15 seconds left in a 48-45 victory over Air Force .
Memphis: QB Riley Ferguson: The reigning American Athletic Conference offensive player of the week just threw seven touchdown passes in a 70-31 triumph over Connecticut .
FACTS & FIGURES
Navy has rushed for at least 400 yards in three straight games. Since 2000, the only other teams to have three straight rushing performances of at least 400 yards are Nevada in 2009, Oregon in 2012 and Georgia Southern in 2015. No teams since 2000 have rushed for at least 400 yards in four straight games. ... Memphis gained a school-record 711 yards against UConn last week. ... This is the third straight season that Navy has been ranked. The last time Navy was in the Top 25 for three consecutive seasons was 1958-60. ... Navy is 5-0 for the first time since 2004. ... Memphis' Anthony Miller and Phil Mayhue - both former walk-ons - have combined for 299 career catches. The only active FBS duo with more career receptions is at Syracuse, where Ervin Phillips and Steve Ishmael have teamed up for 356 catches.