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SMU Mustangs vs Navy Midshipmen: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

Written by: Andre Viljoen
Updated October 14, 2022
8 min read

How to Watch

Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, MD

When: Saturday, November 23rd at 3:30pm EST


SMU Mustangs (Away)

Head Coach: Sonny Dykes {All-Time: 55-53 | LT, CAL, SMU}

Regular Season Record: 9-1

The SMU Mustangs enter this game looking to achieve their first ten-win season since 1984, three years before receiving the death penalty. More importantly, a win would put the Mustangs in striking distance of their first appearance in the AAC Championship Game. Memphis does hold the head-to-head tiebreaker against SMU but still has to face 9-1 Cincinnati in their season finale, which could benefit the Mustangs.

The Mustangs recovered from their heartbreaking loss to Memphis by beating East Carolina last week in a wild 59-51 shootout. Quarterback Shane Beuchele went off for 414 passing yards and five touchdown passes, while running back Xavier Jones ran for 157 yards and three scores, securing his second 1,000 season in the process. Junior tight end Kylen Granson hauled in three of Beuchele’s touchdown passes as part of a seven-catch, 167 yard outing, while redshirt senior wideout James Proche caught 14 passes for 167 yards and the other two scores.

SMU’s defense was far from a juggernaut that afternoon, surrendering 644 yards of offense, 498 of which came in the air from ECU quarterback Holton Ahlers. Ahlers torched the Mustangs for six passing touchdowns, managing to complete 19 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns to Tyler Snead. The lone highlights for this unit were sacks from senior d-linemen Delontae Scott and Demerick Gary, as well as a fumble recovery by special teamer Tyler Lavine.

Navy Midshipmen (Home)

Head Coach: Ken Niumatalolo {All-Time: 94-60 | NAVY}

Regular Season Record: 7-2

After a one week hiatus from their conference schedule, the Navy Midshipmen will regroup against SMU as they work towards securing their second AAC Championship Game appearance. Like SMU, Navy suffered their lone conference loss to Memphis, meaning they will also need some help from Cincinnati and South Florida to knock the Tigers out of first place in the West Division.

The Midshipmen are coming off a brutal but not surprising 52-20 loss to Notre Dame last weekend. The Middies were held under their 349.7 rushing average, putting up just 281 yards on the ground against the Irish. Quarterback Malcolm Perry led his team with 117 rushing yards, while his backup, Perry Olsen, registered Navy’s lone rushing touchdown. Perry also added a 43-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Mychal Cooper. The two quarterbacks hurt their team badly with fumbles, as Perry lost three of Navy’s four fumbles.

On the other end of the field, the Midshipmen were picked apart by Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book, who tossed four of his five touchdown passes to Chase Claypool. Navy’s pass rush failed to make Book uncomfortable, although linebackers Jacob Springer, Diego Fagot, and Paul Carothers were able to register one tackle for a loss each.

SMU vs Navy All-Time Series

In 20 meetings between these divisional foes, Navy holds a 12-8 lead over SMU. Last year’s game saw the Mustangs come out on top 31-30 in overtime, snapping an eight game losing streak to the Middies that dates back to 1998. That year also happens to be the last time the Mustangs won a game in Annapolis. Since the formation of the American Athletic Conference, Navy has an average winning margin of 29.3 points over the Mustangs.

SMU Roster Notes

Redshirt senior receiver Myron Gailliard is listed as questionable with an undisclosed injury.

Junior receiver Reggie Roberson Jr. is listed as questionable with a foot injury.

Freshman linebacker Tama Tuitele is listed as questionable with a leg injury.

Head-to-Head: Xavier Jones (SMU) vs Diego Fagot (NAVY)

Although Beuchele should light up the stat sheet in the passing game for SMU, the bigger focus will be on the AAC’s third-leading rusher in Xavier Jones. On the other end, Navy’s Diego Fagot will look to neutralize Jones in the run game and force Beuchele into more throws to slow down the game.

Xavier Jones

Running back | 5-11, 208lb | Spring HS | Spring, TX | Redshirt Senior

After a promising freshman season in 2015, Jones got hit with the injury bug the following season, dealing with hamstring and shoulder ailments. Fast forward two seasons and Jones has worked his way to being one of the best backs in the brief history of the AAC. The former three-star recruit ranks second in AAC history in rushing and scrimmage touchdowns and sixth in rushing yards. Jones’ experience against Navy is limited in large part due to injuries, however, his career line of 151 rushing yards on 26 carries against the Midshipmen should see a good boost on Saturday.

Diego Fagot

Middle Linebacker | 6-3, 240lb | Calvary Christian Academy | Fort Lauderdale, FL | Sophomore

Getting into the starting lineup as an underclassmen at a service academy is not a common occurrence. Navy linebacker Diego Fagot has nonetheless managed to crack it after playing in a reserve role in 2018. The sophomore from South Florida already has NFL linebacker size and has made a habit of getting into opposing backfields for negative plays. Fagot has three double-digit tackle performances this year, two of which came against rivals Air Force and Notre Dame, a sign of his ability to shine in high stakes games.

SMU at Navy Best Bet and Odds

Find the latest odds for SMU vs Navy below. The odds are provided by New Jersey sportsbooks bet365 NJ, DraftKings, and SugarHouse NJ.

Good luck! 

Money Line

Sportsbook SMU Navy
bet365 NJ +145 -165
DraftKings +135 -165
SugarHouse NJ +135 -165
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Andre Viljoen

150 Articles

Andre has been writing for WSN since February 2019, covering college basketball and college football. A graduate of Florida State and UNC-Chapel Hill, he lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. When he is not writing, he enjoys playing sports and Magic: The Gathering.

Email: [email protected]

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