No. 25 Navy makes its fifth straight bowl appearance in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, while Louisiana Tech is playing in its third straight bowl. The Midshipmen are trying to secure back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time, but they're coming off back-to-back losses.
Navy quarterback Will Worth and running back Toneo Gulley both suffered season-ending foot injuries in the 34-10 loss to Temple in the AAC title game on Dec. 3. Playing without Worth and Gulley, Navy totaled a season-low 201 yards in a 21-17 loss to Army on Dec. 10. The Midshipmen will miss Worth's 25 rushing touchdowns and Gulley's 9.9 yards per carry.
However, both teams' offenses rank among the nation's best this season. According to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, the over/under is set at 67.5 on Friday, the highest of any remaining bowl game.
Louisiana Tech is led by quarterback Ryan Higgins, Conference USA's Most Valuable Player. Higgins' 4,208 passing yards rank third in the FBS, and his 37 passing touchdowns are tied for fifth in the nation. Wide receiver Carlos Henderson, Conference USA's Offensive Player of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year, is tied for second in the FBS with 17 receiving touchdowns and is eighth with 1,406 receiving yards.
Navy, even with a healthy Worth under center, put up its big numbers by running out of the option. Only Army and Air Force attempted fewer passes than Navy this year, but no team has averaged more yards per pass attempt than Navy's 11.2. Louisiana Tech ranks 11th in the nation with 9.3 yards per attempt.
Navy has won the two previous meetings against Louisiana Tech (2009 and 2010), but ESPN's Football Power Index gives the Bulldogs a slight advantage with a projected 52 percent chance to win.