Fresh off a promising first season under Rick Carter, the Holy Cross Crusaders head to Annapolis open the 2019 season against the Navy Midshipmen, who are coming off their worst season in 16 years.
The game is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on CBS Sports Network. If you don’t have cable or don’t have that channel, you can watch a live stream of the game on your computer, phone, Roku, Fire TV Stick or other streaming device via one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
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Holy Cross vs Navy Preview
Holy Cross doesn’t get any favors to start the year as after facing Navy, they meet up with New Hampshire, Yale, and Syracuse. To make matters worse, the Crusaders are entering 2019 without last year’s sparkplug to a 4-0 finish, quarterback Geoff Wade. While the rushing attack seems to be mostly in place, the quarterback play is a major question mark entering 2019 and one that could have some drastic negative impacts on the offense.
Defensively, the Crusaders come from a defensive-minded conference in the Patriot League, though that likely won’t help too much against a Navy team that should be able to physically impose their will. Don’t expect the Crusaders to pose much of a threat to Navy’s vaunted triple-option rushing attack despite their ability to put together strong performances against other FCS programs.
Although the Midshipmen have seen some sustained success sticking to almost exclusively triple-option sets, it seems times are changing and a few rocky years has pushed coach Ken Niumatalolo into throwing the football a bit more frequently. Senior quarterback Malcolm Perry enters his second year starting under center, yet has only attempted 27 total pass attempts, making him – and the Navy pass attack – a relative unknown. Perry’s experience growing up in the triple-option offense make him an ideal candidate to help bridge the gap into the future, and one that could potentially put up massive numbers for the Midshipmen in 2019.
The Midshipmen return most of a defense that struggled at times last season. With a new coordinator calling the shots and some added experience in the mix, it isn’t unrealistic to think that Navy could see a jump back towards the strong numbers the defense posted when they first entered the AAC. While Navy typically lacks the sheer size of other defensive units – by nature of being a service academy – coordinators have been able to harness the defense to produce quality performances before. Expect some growing pains but keep an eye on how the defense looks as a solid start can go a long ways towards establishing a strong mindset for the rest of the season.
Holy Cross doesn’t have a whole ton to look forward to this season in what should be a bit of a rebuilding year in the absence of quarterback Geoff Wade. Expect Navy to come out and effectively run the ball early while opening up and taking the passing attack for a test drive once they build up a comfortable lead.
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