Fearless Rick's 2016 College Football Picks - Week 15

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WEEK 15 NCAA Football Picks

All times Eastern

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Week 14 Results: Coin: 2-4 Rick: 2-4
Cumulative: Coin: 85-96-3 Rick: 96-85-3

Saturday, December 10

Army vs. Navy (-6 1/2, 47) (Baltimore, MD) - Season-ending injuries to Navy starting quarterback Will Worth (right foot) and starting slotback and team captain Toneo Gulley (left foot) put the Middies at a distinct disadvantage. The injuries were suffered on the same play in 34-10 loss to Temple last week in the American Athletic Conference championship game.

With the game being played in Baltimore, Navy has something of a home field edge. However, Navy (9-3) is facing Army (6-5) in the 117th Army-Navy Game Saturday on one week's rest for the first time since 1941. The Black Knights will have had ample time off (21 days) after topping Morgan State, 60-3, on November 19. Whether that will result in some rustiness or renewed enthusiasm, this renewal of the armed forces rivalry should be one of the better games in some time. Navy has emerged victorious in each of the last 14 years, so the injuries to key Navy players gives the Black Knights more than just a passing glimmer of hope.

Army ranked fifth in total defense, allowing just 289 yards per game, and was 14th in points allowed, giving up 19.1 per game on average. Employing a spread option offense, Navy amassed an average of 327.5 rushing yards per game, third nationally, behind New Mexico (360.9) and, guess who? Army, which averaged 328.5. The Middies scored 39.1 points per game to Army's 30.0, but, without two starters in their backfield, those stats ought to be brought down to earth by a large measure.

The kicker in all this is that Navy's defense is a real weak point, and one which the Knights can and will exploit, allowing 30.4 points per game, tied with Baylor for 81st nationally. Much of the yardage allowed by Navy (about 3/5ths of their total) was in the passing game, an area in which Army does not do well. The Black Knights threw for just 80.5 yards per game, dead last at #128 in the FBS.

If anything, Navy will be somewhat subdued by the Army defense, which should do well against substitutes for the Midshipmen. Plus, they should be able to control the ball and the clock, and thus, the game, against Navy's always-suspect defensive unit. Look for Army to break the drought and win this one outright.

Coin Flip: NAVY

Rick's Pick: Black Knights 30 Midshipmen 24

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