#64 Navy Football 2012 Preview

Navy Midshipmen

2012 Overall Rank: #64
Navy College Football 2012 Team Preview
Navy Team Page


Since Paul Johnson ran things at Navy back in the early 2000s, the Midshipmen have been known for running a triple-option offense.  Under Ken Niumatalolo, the offense has thrived, and he has built a great thing in Annapolis.  Last season, the shortcomings of the team came to the surface, and the Midshipmen finished with a losing record.  Their inability to pass caught up with them in the end.  The important thing is that they beat their archrivals in Army in the final game of the season.  This season, though they must find replacements for quarterback Kriss Proctor and running back Alexander Teich, they have an opportunity to rebound.  It all starts with a game against the Irish overseas.

2011 Record: (5-7)
2011 Bowl:  None
Coach: Ken Niumatalolo (32-21 at Navy)
Offensive Coordinator: Ivin Jasper
Defensive Coordinator:  Buddy Green

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Gee Gee Greene, RB, 501 yards
Passing: Trey Miller, QB, 205 yards
Receiving: Brandon Turner, WR, 300 yards
Tackles: Matt Warrick, LB, 103
Sacks: Brye French, LB, 1.5
Interceptions: Two tied at 2

Other Key Returnees: DE Wes Henderson, LB Matt Brewer, RB John Howell, WR Matt Aiken

Key Losses: QB Kriss Proctor, FB Alexander Teich, DE Jabaree Tuani, CB David Sperry

Much like their Army counterparts, Navy’s bread is buttered in the ground game.  They were in the top five nationally in rushing for just about the entire 2011 season.  In an offense predicated on the triple-option rushing attack, yards come in chunks.  Racking up 312 yards per game on the ground went a long way in setting them up for wins.  They will have a new trigger man this season with the departure of Kriss Proctor under center, so it will be interesting to see if they can keep it up.  As a result of their ability to run, Proctor was not sacked very much last season.  Navy only allowed slightly over one sack per game.  Generally with fast, athletic quarterbacks in this type of system they have the escapability to avoid pass rushers.  They also were excellent at holding onto the ball.  They were top-15 in turnover margin.

Naturally, if the rushing attack is superb, then their passing attack is dreadful.  They are right next to their armed forces buddies from Army at second to last in the nation at just over 85 yards per game.  Granted, they do not throw much per contest anyway.  But when a team is down toward the end of the game, it would be nice to be able to go to the air and score quickly.  Though it does not look like the air attack will change much, they could stand to gain a few more yards by passing effectively.  Defensively, Navy was not particularly stellar.  They had a real hard time getting to the quarterback (a mere one sack per game), nor could they disrupt the line of scrimmage.  Rarely did they get into the backfield to stop a player before he gained positive yardage.  They gave up over 410 yards of offense per game.  Despite all their success on the ground, in order to win they will have to be better at stopping teams.

The Bottom Line:
Navy is always within a win or two of being bowl eligible every season.  The 2012 season should be no different.  They are disciplined players with an established coach.  They have had success on the field.  They start out with a heck of a game in Dublin, Ireland against Notre Dame.  After that, it is not inconceivable to think they could rattle off a bunch of wins.  As an independent, the scheduling can be brutal.  The 2012 campaign seems to give them a little reprieve (on paper anyway).  A suitable replacement for Proctor is essential to execute this offense.  When they find their quarterback, it is not out of the question to believe they could win eight or nine games.

Projected Bowl: Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 312.25 (4th in nation, 2nd in Independent)
Passing Offense: 85.75 (119, 3)
Total Offense: 398.00 (48, 3)
Scoring Offense: 29.67 (47, 2)
Rushing Defense: 186.92 (92, 3)
Pass Defense: 226.92 (67, 4)
Total Defense: 413.83 (86, 4)
Scoring Defense: 28.92 (78, 4)
Turnover Margin: .75 (15, 1)
Sacks: 1.0 (112, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 1.17 (21, 2)