Somewhere in the past month Saturday's matchup with Ball State went from looking like a "sure win" in the eyes of the media to an "all the rage upset pick" that really isn't even much of an upset. Many Navy fans (including myself) have been weary of Ball State since when we first saw this game on the schedule, but with Navy's disappointing start to the season and defensive woes it seems like everyone is ready to jump on Ball State's bus.
Case in point, MAC Report Online and The Sports Network, which both predict Ball State wins against Navy's embattled defense. It doesn't matter if nobody is familiar with either of these websites, what matters is that the perception of this Navy team has changed, and that suddenly they find themselves back to being an underdog even though Vegas may disagree.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, maybe it's just what Paul Johnson needs. A humbled team with a lot of young guys on defense which people are now starting to doubt. Last week I wrote that the Rutgers game would tell us a lot about the character of this Navy team. Well, I lied, because it looks like this Saturday's contest will tell us everything we need to know about the rest of the year. If Navy can win this game, I think the team will start to take on an identity of its own and develop some momentum for the rest of the year. However, if Navy loses this game things could get ugly, and fast. I'd rooting for the former.
Injury Update: The Baltimore Examiner writes that Jeff Deliz is " likely out for the season" and that either Kevin Snyder or Wyatt Middleton will get the call to start the game Saturday.
Edit: Wagner confirms that both Deliz and Sovie are out for the season. I hate football.