Today's game

October 12, 2002|By Kevin Van Valkenburg

Rice (1-4) at Navy (1-4)

Site: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

Time: Noon

Radio: WJFK(1300 AM), WNAV (1430 AM)

Line: Rice by 7 1/2

Series: Rice leads 5-2

Last meeting: Rice won, 21-13, last year in Annapolis.

Last game: Rice defeated Louisiana Tech, 37-20; Air Force defeated Navy, 48-7.

Navy offense vs. Rice defense: Frustrated by fumbles, Navy coach Paul Johnson has decided to sit slot backs Eric Roberts and Tony Lane. Replacements Brad Tepper and Sam Mathews have less speed, but might improve the Mids' ball control. Quarterback Craig Candeto is still a threat to score on every play, but he'll have to avoid linebacker Jeff Vanover, who leads the Owls with 43 tackles and six sacks.

Navy defense vs. Rice offense: Air Force's option gave Navy trouble last week, and Rice runs a similar offense, but with more speed. Owls quarterback Kyle Herm leads the team in rushing with 300 yards. He threw for two touchdowns in last year's win over the Mids. To stop the Owls, Navy needs big plays from its linebackers. Middle linebacker Andy Sinitiere is likely out with a concussion, so Dustin Elliott looks to fill in. Navy is giving up 477 yards a game, ranking 111 out of 117 Division I teams.

Special teams: Lionel Wesley and Lamar Owens take over on kickoff returns for Navy after seeing their first action against Air Force. Rice hasn't been particularly strong on returns, but punter Travis Hale is averaging 43 yards a kick.

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