Lobos must handle option

New Mexico's lack of balance will prove fatal, as the Middies will ride their option attack to victory.

Originally Published: December 20, 2004
By Tony Granieri | Scouts Inc.
This could be one of the postseason's most entertaining games. Both schools are coming off a surprising year and want nothing more than to showcase their abilities in front of a national television audience. New Mexico is riding high after closing out the regular season with five straight wins, the team's longest winning streak since 1997.

Who: Navy vs. New Mexico
When: Dec. 30, 4:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Where: San Francisco, Calif.
Navy is coming off its most successful campaign since 1963, when Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach was the team's starting quarterback. Obviously, there's much at stake for these two upstart programs, and a win in the Emerald Bowl would help garner respect. This game also features two teams with opposing strengths.

The Lobos rank eighth nationally against the run, while Navy represents the third-most productive rushing team in the NCAA. Something will have to give when they collide. Will New Mexico's stingy run defense rise to the occasion or will the Midshipmen's vaunted triple-option pave the way for an upset win?