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Ranking comparison

To get a better idea of how Utah and Navy match-up, I thought it would be best to compare each national ranking. Unlike the position rankings, there is no real bias when crunching these numbers.

Team Total Offense Total Defense Scoring Offense Scoring Defense Run Offense Run Defense Pass Offense Pass Defense Turnover Margin
Utah 81st 362.83 YPG 15th 319.42 YPG 74th 25.50 PPG 3rd 15.58 PPG 47th 163.67 YPG 38th 131.33 YPG 85th 199.17 YPG 15th 188.08 YPG 15th 0.83
Navy 24th 444.58 YPG 99th 438.17 YPG 8th 39.92 PPG 109th 36.50 PPG 1st 351.50 YPG 80th 172.67 YPG 119th 93.08 YPG 106th 265.50 YPG 63rd -0.08

Leader of the two bolded.

When it comes to offense, Navy clearly has the advantage, as they lead in total offense, scoring offense and run offense. Only Utah has the advantage in pass offense and that's because Navy avoids passing the ball like the plague.

Now on defense, it's a completely different story, as the Utes lead in total defense, scoring defense, run defense and pass defense. Navy does not lead in any of these defensive categories, which means this will be the perfect offense versus defense match-up. The team whose strength fares the best tonight will win the game. That means Utah's defense will have to have a superb game for the Utes to win. Likewise, if Navy is going to win, their offense will have to perform at a higher level, especially if their defense fails to stop Utah and its running attack.

With Navy not really being good enough to stop the run and pass, Utah will probably have a balanced offense. Yet the running game will be important to not only eat clock, but keep the Navy offense off the field. And that might be the biggest key tonight, not giving the Midshipmen that many opportunities to work their offense.