Sep 25, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Navy Midshipmen quarterback Xavier Arline (7) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Houston Cougars at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

UCF plots to keep Navy’s offense in check

Central Florida has faced Navy and its triple-option offense before, but first-year Knights coach Gus Malzahn did not see that style too often during his Southeastern Conference days as the coach of Auburn.

Luckily for UCF (2-1, 0-0 American Athletic Conference), the team had an open date last week, providing extra time to prepare for the Midshipmen’s run-heavy attack ahead of the Knights’ league opener Saturday at Annapolis, Md.

Malzahn said Navy’s offense “presents challenges,” even though the Midshipmen average the fewest points per game in FBS (10.0).

“It’s an offense you don’t see the entire year,” Malzahn said. “I know Travis (Williams, UCF’s defensive coordinator) has worked hard during fall camp, even some on Sunday nights preparing for this. Hopefully having that week will help us with that defensively.”

The Knights will kick off their conference schedule against Navy after a reasonably successful September. They stormed back for a Week 1 win over Boise State and trounced FCS opponent Bethune-Cookman before hanging close with Louisville on Sept. 17. Saturday will be the Knights’ first chance to wipe an awful taste from their mouths after Dillon Gabriel gave up a last-minute pick six in a 42-35 road loss to the Cardinals.

Gabriel is out indefinitely after breaking his clavicle, but he won’t need surgery. True freshman Mikey Keene will make his first collegiate start against Navy (0-3, 0-1 AAC).

Keene will get to face a team still searching for its first win. Navy saw its first conference action last week and took a 17-7 halftime lead over Houston but allowed three touchdowns in a 6:08 span and lost 28-20.

Starting quarterback Xavier Arline is Navy’s leading rusher (171 yards, two touchdowns) as well as its leading passer (5 of 14, 109 yards) on the season. Arline was happy with the progress his unit showed last Saturday but hopes to do better in finding his passing lanes.

“I think taking pre-snap reads will help, being that I’m more of a shorter guy,” said Arline, who is 5-foot-9. “Taking pre-snap reads and anticipating where guys are going to be on the field before it happens will give me a better opportunity to get the ball out of my hands. …

“If we can just put all the pieces together, I think we’re going to be a really good football team.”

UCF is 2-0 all-time against Navy. The programs haven’t met since 2018.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Sportsbooks

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Upcoming Games

Aug 27th, 12:00 PM

Austin Peay

WKU

@

Aug 27th, 12:30 PM

Nebraska -10.5 -107

Northwestern +10.5 -107

@

Aug 27th, 3:30 PM

Idaho State

UNLV

@

Aug 27th, 4:00 PM

Wyoming +8.5 -110

Illinois -8.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 4:00 PM

UCONN +29.5 -110

Utah State -29.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 5:00 PM

Duquesne

Florida State

@

Aug 27th, 7:00 PM

Charlotte +5.5 -110

Florida Atlantic -5.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 8:15 PM

Florida A&M

North Carolina

@

Aug 27th, 9:00 PM

North Texas -4 -110

UTEP +4 -110

@

Aug 27th, 10:00 PM

Nevada -16.5 -107

New Mexico State +16.5 -107

@

Aug 27th, 10:30 PM

Vanderbilt -4.5 -110

Hawaii +4.5 -110

@

Sep 1st, 6:00 PM

St. Francis-PA

Akron

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

Ball State +27.5 -110

Tennessee -27.5 -110

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

Central Michigan +19 -110

Oklahoma State (12) -19 -110

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

West Virginia +7.5 -107

Pittsburgh (17) -7.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

South Carolina State

UCF

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

Bryant

Florida International (FIU)

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

LIU

Toledo

@

Sep 1st, 7:30 PM

VMI

Wake Forest (22)

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

LA Tech +16 -107

Missouri -16 -107

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

Penn State -3.5 -107

Purdue +3.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

Eastern Illinois

NIU

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

Alabama A&M

UAB

@

Sep 1st, 9:00 PM

New Mexico State +37.5 -107

Minnesota -37.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 10:00 PM

Northern Arizona

Arizona State

@

Sep 1st, 10:30 PM

Cal Poly

Fresno State

@

Sep 1st, 10:30 PM

Portland State

San Jose State

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Virginia Tech -7.5 -107

Old Dominion +7.5 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Western Michigan +20 -107

Michigan State (15) -20 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Eastern Kentucky

Eastern Michigan

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

William & Mary

Charlotte

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

Temple +6.5 -110

Duke -6.5 -110

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Tennessee Tech

Kansas

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Illinois +3.5 +103

Indiana -3.5 +103

@

Sep 2nd, 10:00 PM

TCU -9 -107

Colorado +9 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Sam Houston State

Texas A&M (6)

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Rutgers +9 -110

Boston College -9 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

NC State (13) -10 -110

East Carolina +10 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

North Carolina -4 -110

Appalachian State +4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

South Dakota State

Iowa

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Buffalo +20.5 -110

Maryland -20.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Colorado State +30 -110

Michigan (8) -30 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Central Connecticut State

UCONN

@

Sep 3rd, 12:00 PM

Delaware

Navy

@

Sep 3rd, 12:30 PM

Richmond

Virginia

@

Sep 3rd, 1:00 PM

Northern Iowa

Air Force

@

Sep 3rd, 2:00 PM

Southeast Missouri State

Iowa State

@

Sep 3rd, 2:30 PM

Bowling Green +3 -110

UCLA -3 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Cincinnati (23) +7.5 -107

Arkansas (19) -7.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Oregon (11) +16.5 -107

Georgia (3) -16.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Arizona +10 -110

San Diego State -10 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

UTEP +39 -110

Oklahoma (9) -39 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Bethune-Cookman

Miami-FL (16)

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

North Dakota

Nebraska

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Houston (24) -6.5 -110

UTSA +6.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Tulsa -2 -110

Wyoming +2 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Norfolk State

Marshall

@

Sep 3rd, 4:00 PM

Troy +21.5 -110

Ole Miss (21) -21.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 4:00 PM

UC Davis

California

@

Sep 3rd, 4:00 PM

BYU (25) -13 -110

USF +13 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 5:00 PM

Nicholls State

South Alabama

@

Sep 3rd, 5:30 PM

Texas State +11 -110

Nevada -11 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

Rice +33.5 -110

USC (14) -33.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

Middle Tennessee +4.5 -110

James Madison -4.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

Morgan State

Georgia Southern

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

Florida Atlantic -1 -110

Ohio +1 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Mercer

Auburn

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Utah (7) -1.5 -107

Florida +1.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Miami-OH +20 -110

Kentucky (20) -20 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Elon

Vanderbilt

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

South Dakota

Kansas State

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Albany-NY

Baylor (10)

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Illinois State

Wisconsin (18)

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Massachusetts +31.5 -110

Tulane -31.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Army +3 -110

Coastal Carolina -3 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Liberty -4 -110

Southern Miss +4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Grambling State

Arkansas State

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Southeastern Louisiana

Louisiana-Lafayette

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Utah State +34.5 -106

Alabama (1) -34.5 -106

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Memphis +12.5 -110

Mississippi State -12.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Georgia State +11 -110

South Carolina -11 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Notre Dame (5) +13.5 -107

Ohio State (2) -13.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

SMU -7.5 -110

North Texas +7.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Colgate

Stanford

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Louisiana-Monroe +37 -110

Texas -37 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Murray State

Texas Tech

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Louisville -4 -110

Syracuse +4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

Maine

New Mexico

@

Sep 3rd, 9:30 PM

Idaho

Washington State

@

Sep 3rd, 10:30 PM

Boise State +4 -110

Oregon State -4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 10:30 PM

Kent State +21.5 -110

Washington -21.5 -110

@