Kent State at Navy
The Week After: After last week's last-second 27-24 victory over rival Air Force, Navy must avoid a letdown in its pursuit of the six victories needed to be eligible for a bowl game. With road games remaining against Notre Dame (4-1) and Rutgers (3-2), a loss today would leave little margin for error.
Rush to Judgment: Navy, which averages 249.8 rushing yards per game, should have more success on the ground against a defense that allows 209 rushing yards per game. Five Midshipmen players are averaging at least 30 rushing yards per game, led by senior quarterback Lamar Owens's 75. That's helped create big plays for junior wide receiver Jason Tomlinson, who caught four passes for a career-high 114 yards against Air Force, the most by a Navy player since 2002.
One Thing or Another: Junior inside linebacker Rob Caldwell, who leads Division I-A with 15.5 tackles per game, leads a Navy against an offense that throws more than it runs. Freshman running back Jerry Flowers is the only Kent State player averaging more than 40 rushing yards, but six receivers have at least 14 receptions, led by senior Derrick Bush (21 catches, 242 yards, 2 TDs) and redshirt junior Najah Pruden (17 catches, 363 yards, 3 TDs). Navy will be without junior cornerback Jeremy McGown (broken arm) for the second straight game.
-- Jon Gallo
Georgetown at Cornell
Old Schools: Georgetown plays its second Ivy League team this year -- it lost to Brown, 34-3, on Sept. 17. It is the first time Georgetown is playing two Ivy teams in program history, which dates from 1887. It likely will not be the last -- Brown and Dartmouth are tentatively on the schedule next year. Overall, the Hoyas are 2-10-1 against the Ivy League. That includes a 42-20 win over Cornell in 2003.
Back-to-Back on His Feet: Senior running back Marcus Slayton has rushed for 130 and 115 yards in the past two games. He also rushed for 113 yards in the win over Cornell two years ago. He will have his work cut out, however, if he is to reach that mark today. Cornell has given up 100 yards rushing to an individual player once in the past 14 games; last week, it held Harvard's Clifton Dawson, a transfer from Northwestern, to a career-low 39 yards rushing.
-- Christian Swezey
Howard at Morgan State
Major History: Howard and Morgan State first played in 1889; overall, the Bears lead the series, 34-33-1. Morgan State junior Jason Jackson (Oxon Hill) rushed for a school-record 251 yards and four touchdowns in a 55-26 win over Savannah State on Sept. 17. That he holds the school record is impressive, considering former NFL running backs Leroy Kelly and Bobby Hammonds also played there.
Not a Great Place to Start: Morgan State has faced deficits of 28-0, 37-0, 25-0 and 20-0 this year. It lost all four games. The Bears also haven't been great at stopping the run: They gave up 394 rushing yards to Bowie State, 349 to Hampton and 313 to Bethune-Cookman. That is good news for Howard running back Keon Coleman (267 yards rushing, three touchdowns).
On the Other Side: Howard senior free safety Antoine Bethea has 36 tackles, four passes broken up and an interception. Morgan State senior Larry "Choo Choo" Davis has 51 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 2 interceptions.
-- Christian Swezey