All three service academies are in action Saturday, and two of them face stout challenges.
• In what appears to be the weekend’s cupcake, Navy plays host to Georgia Southern at 3:30 p.m. The game airs on CBS College Sports. The disappointment boiling over in Annapolis after Monday’s loss to Maryland surely will fuel the Mids, but they also will be coming off a short week. Southern, of course, is where former Navy coach Paul Johnson roamed the sidelines before coming north. Current Georgia Southern head coach Jeff Monken was an assistant at Navy under Johnson from 2002-07.
The Eagles had an easy time in their opener last week, beating visiting Savannah State, 48-3.
Navy said junior slot back Aaron Santiago, suffering from a strained left hamstring, is questionable for Saturday’s game.
• Army hosts Hawaii at noon (CBS College Sports) – nice move on the Black Knights’ part to schedule the game at 7 a.m. Hawaii time. (How many will be up listening to the Warriors that early? I’m thinking there will be more Hawaiians surfing.) Army pulled out a 31-27 victory at Eastern Michigan last week, thanks to a touchdown from sophomore fullback Jared Hassin with 38 seconds remaining. Hassin, who attended the Air Force Academy briefly before transferring to West Point, scored three times and averaged 5.67 yards a carry in his collegiate debut.
Hawaii hung in there for a while with USC in the opener last week, eventually falling 49-36. No, this is not the same squad as it was when June Jones was calling plays, and Colt Brennan and Timmy Chang were throwing the ball all over the place. And USC’s defense has been suspect in recent years, but still – hanging 36 on any BCS conference team is impressive.
Among Army’s injuries: Army linebacker Andrew Rodriguez is out indefinitely with a back injury. His replacement, sophomore Nate Combs, suffered a knee injury against Eastern Michigan and also is out indefinitely.
• Air Force hosts an always solid BYU team at 4 p.m. Eastern (Versus). The Falcons probably will be without all-Mountain West Conference defensive back Reggie Rembert, who suffered a neck injury in last week’s 65-21 defeat of Northwestern State. Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said earlier this week that Rembert was a “long shot” to see action Saturday.
The Cougars (1-0) beat Washington, 23-17, last week in their opener.
Air Force will hold special ceremonies before the game and at halftime, marking the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.