Navy (5-1) vs South Florida (6-2)
Quarterback Will Worth looks to continue his impressive play just a short ride from his hometown when he leads No. 22 Navy against host USF on Friday (Enter Contest) in a key American Athletic Conference showdown. The senior from Valrico – Florida – rushed for a total of 316 yards in consecutive victories over Houston and Memphis.
Worth is second in the nation in rushing TDs (nine) for a quarterback behind Louisville’s Lamar Jackson. Worth and the Navy triple-option attack take on a USF defense licking its wounds after giving up 319 yards on the ground in a 46-30 loss to Temple last week. Quarterback Quinton Flowers (hamstring), injured against Temple, will be ready to go Friday and the junior leads a USF offense that is averaging 42.4 points – 11th in the nation.
Worth, who started the season as a backup before Tago Smith went down with a knee injury, is 6-for-9 through the air for 161 yards and four touchdowns the last two games and has rushed for 489 yards overall. Junior Chris High is the top running back threat with 392 yards and five scores while senior Jamir Tillman boasts team highs of 19 receptions and 286 yards. Navy’s senior running back Dishan Romine is 12th in the nation in kickoff returns, averaging 28.4 yards on 10 attempts. The Midshipmen struggle against the pass, allowing 256 yards per game to rank 94th in the nation, but junior linebackers Micah Thomas (46 tackles) and D.J. Palmore (five sacks) have shined. Navy ranks first in the country in least penalty yards per contest (19.33).
The Bulls stand 103rd in the nation in total defense and 100th in rushing defense as they try to stay alive in the hunt for a spot in the AAC championship game. USF had allowed an average of 23 points in the three games before Temple, which was more than good enough for a high-powered offense that is led by Flowers (1,722 yards passing, team-high 745 rushing). Flowers has had a hand in 23 touchdowns (15 passing) and looks to get his top receiver Rodney Adams (34 catches, 502 yards) going after the senior was limited to two receptions and 43 yards by Temple. USF running back Marlon Mack, the school’s all-time leading rusher with 3,081 yards, has run for a touchdown in all seven games he played this season.