Commander-In-Chief's Trophy, Bowl Appearance Highlight 2012 Navy Football Season
Jan. 8, 2013
Navy Quick Hitters
Since 2003, Navy has won 19 games against schools from a BCS conference. The 19 wins against BCS schools during that time period, which have come against 10 different teams, are the most in the country by a non-BCS school.
Navy played six bowl eligible teams in the regular season (counting Penn State, which did not go to a bowl due to NCAA sanctions) and compiled a 3-3 record against the six programs. The Mids defeated Air Force (6-6), Central Michigan (6-6) and East Carolina (8-4) and lost to Notre Dame (12-0), Penn State (8-4) and San Jose State (10-2). Navy opponents went 2-3 in their bowl games.
Navy's five losses this season (Notre Dame, Penn State, San Jose State, Troy and Arizona State) came at the hands of opponents who were a combined 44-19 (.698). Notre Dame (12-1) was ranked No. 1 in the country and lost to Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game, while San Jose State (11-2) defeated Bowling Green in the Northrop Grumman Military Bowl in Washington, D.C. Notre Dame finished No. 3/No.4 in the country, while San Jose State was ranked 21st in both polls. Penn State received votes in the final Associated Press poll, while Arizona State received votes in the final USA Today/Coaches poll.
Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo is just the third coach in school history to start his coaching career at Navy with a 5-0 record against Army. Paul Johnson turned in a 6-0 mark against West Point (2002-07), while Wayne Hardin won his first five games (1959-63) before losing.
Navy has been the dominant Service Academy over the last decade, posting a 19-2 record (.905) against Army (11-0) and Air Force (8-2) in the last 21 meetings, winning eight Commander-In-Chief's Trophies in the last 10 years and going to nine bowl games in the last 10 years. Navy has amassed an 83-45 (.648) overall record in the last 10 years, while Air Force is 68-56 (.548) and Army is 32-88 (.267). The 83 wins are the 21st most in the country over the last decade.
Niumatalolo has led the Midshipmen to a 40-26 (.606) record in his five seasons as the head coach. He is fourth all-time at Navy in career wins. Niumatalolo holds Navy coaching records for most wins in the first two (18), three (27), four (32) and five seasons (40) of a career.
Over the final 11 games of the year (8-3), Navy outscored the opposition in the second half, 174-111. The Navy defense allowed just 12 second half touchdowns in those games.
The Mids turned the ball over 13 times in their five losses and six times in their eight wins.
Senior outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel scored a perfect 1600 on his SAT and was the only current FBS player in the country to accomplish such a feat. He carries a 3.91 GPA in systems engineering and was named a Capital One First-Team Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America. He got a 4.0 during the fall semester, which was his fourth 4.0 semester of his career. Wetzel was also a force on the field for the Midshipmen, recording 79 tackles (tied for third on the team), a team-high 15 tackles for a loss, a team-high seven sacks, broke up a pass, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble.
Keenan Reynolds was the first freshman to start at quarterback for Navy since Jim Kubiak started five games in 1991. Meanwhile, he is just the third freshman in school history to start at quarterback (the other was Alton Grizzard in 1987). Reynolds was 6-2 as a starting quarterback with wins over Central Michigan, Indiana, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Texas State and Army and losses to Troy and Arizona State. He also came off the bench with Navy down eight points to Air Force in the fourth quarter to lead the Mids to an overtime victory. He led Navy to three fourth-quarter comebacks (Air Force, Indiana and Army). Kubiak won just one game as a freshman starter (beat a 5-5 Army team) and Grizzard won two games (lost to Army). Reynolds is the first Navy quarterback to win his first four career starts since senior Bob Powers, who won his first six career starts in 1979, and is the first freshman in series history to win Army-Navy MVP honors.
Sophomore punter Pablo Beltran averaged 43.6 yards per punt (44 punts) this season, which is the third-best single-season average in school history. Beltran would stand 18th nationally if he qualified (must average 3.6 punts per game).
Navy was 4-0 this year in games decided by eight points or less after going 2-5 last year in such games.
Navy was 4-0 during the month of October after going 0-5 last year in October. It was the first time Navy went undefeated in the month of October since 1996.
Navy owns an 83-45 (.648) record over the last 10 years after posting a 3-30 (.091) mark from 2000-02. The 83 wins are the 22nd most in the country over the last decade.
Navy was 4-0 this year and 31-4 (.886) under Niumatalolo when scoring first and 4-5 this year and 9-22 (.290) under Niumatalolo when the opponent scores first.
The Mids were 3-0 ths year and 24-3 (.889) under Niumatalolo when leading after the first quarter and 5-5 this year and 16-23(.410) under Niumatalolo when trailing or tied after the first stanza.
Navy was 6-0 this year and 27-4 (.871) under Niumatalolo when leading at the half and 2-5 this year and 12-23 (.343) under Niumatalolo when tied or trailing at the half.
Navy was 5-0 this year and 31-3 (.912) under Niumatalolo when leading after three quarters and 3-5 this year and 8-24 (.250) under Niumatalolo when tied or trailing after three quarters.
Navy owns a 19-7 (.731) record in games played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium under Niumatalolo and is 21-19 (.525) away from home.
Navy Sets Spring Practice Schedule
Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo announced the dates for Navy's spring football practice. The Mids will practice the NCAA-mandated 15 times, which includes two scrimmages and a spring game.
Navy will begin practicing on Monday, March 18 .
The team will scrimmage at the stadium on Saturday, March 30 and Saturday, April 6. The spring game will take place on Friday, April 12 at 7:00 pm.
Practices during the week generally run from 4:00-6:00 pm and the Saturday scrimmages and practices start at approximately 9:00 am. All dates and times are subject to change.
Navy Football Spring Practice Schedule
Monday, March 18 (shorts)
Tuesday, March 19 (shorts)
Thursday, March 21
Saturday, March 23
Monday, March 25
Wednesday, March 27
Friday, March 29 (Stadium/Coaches Clinic)
Saturday, March 30 (Scrimmage at the Stadium/Coaches Clinic)
Tuesday, April 2
Thursday, April 4
Saturday, April 6 (Scrimmage at the Stadium)
Tuesday, April 9
Wednesday, April 10
Thursday, April 11 (shorts)
Friday, April 12 (Blue & Gold Game at the Stadium)
Navy Falls To Arizona State In the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
Taylor Kelly threw four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth score to lead Arizona State to a 62-28 victory over Navy in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in front of 34,172 fans at AT&T Park.
Offensive MVP Marion Grice ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns for the Sun Devils (8-5), who used their fast-paced spread offense to score touchdowns on their first nine possessions.
Among the highlights for Navy were Keenan Reynolds' 3-yard TD pass to Matt Aiken in the first half and a 95-yard kickoff return for a score by Gee Gee Greene in the third quarter. Greene's kickoff return for a TD was the first in school history in a bowl game.
Arizona State's Rashad Ross started and ended the first-half scoring with touchdown receptions. His 16-yard catch from Kelly capped a 75-yard game-opening drive and he got behind the Navy defense for a 52-yard score in the final minute of the half to make it 34-7. Ross then caught a 50-yard TD pass on Arizona State's first drive of the second half to make it 41-7.
Grice scored on a 10-yard run in the first quarter and a 39-yarder in the third. He had 19 touchdowns this season, with 11 coming on the ground.
The Midshipmen had a few opportunities to keep the game close on offense in the first half but Greene was unable to hold onto a pass in the end zone on fourth-and-7 from the 31 in the first quarter and Reynolds lost three yards on a third-and-1 keeper from the eight before Nick Sloan missed a field goal.
Sen. John McCain, a former Navy fighter pilot who represents Arizona in Congress, handled the pregame toss. Instead of using a coin, the game sponsored by Kraft, uses an Oreo with one side being a chocolate cookie and the other vanilla.
Greene carried the ball 12 times for 112 yards to go along with his kickoff return for a touchdown. Freshman fullback Chris Swain rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown on four carries, while sophomore fullback Noah Copeland rushed for 47 yards on 10 carries.
Brandon Turner caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Trey Miller in the fourth quarter.
Matt Warrick led the Navy defense with nine tackles, while Tra'ves Bush, Keegan Wetzel, Jordan Drake and Parrish Gaines had six tackles apiece.
Mids Lock Up Bowl Bids Through 2016
Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk and Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Executive Director Brant Ringler announced that Navy has agreed to play in the 2016 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas, if bowl eligible. Navy had previously announced it would play in the game in 2013, as well.
Navy now has agreements in place for bowl games for the next four years: The 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas; the 2014 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego; the 2015 Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman in Washington, DC and the 2016 Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth.
Navy Bowl History
The 2012 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl was Navy's 18th bowl appearance and the ninth in the last 10 years.
Navy owns a 7-10-1 bowl game record.
Navy's 28 seniors compiled a 32-20 record (.615), qualified for three bowl games, won a bowl game (2009 Texas Bowl against Missouri) and won the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy twice in their four years. The seniors were 4-0 against their biggest rival, Army, and 6-2 in Service Academy games (2-2 against Air Force).
The 28 seniors are: offensive tackle Andrew Barker (High Point, N.C.), linebacker Matt Brewer (Wildwood, Mo.), safety Tra'ves Bush (Johnston, S.C.), guard Josh Cabral (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), tackle Evan Campbell (Pasadena, Md.), fullback Prentice Christian (Bowie, Md.), long snapper Billy Coats (Minden, Nev.), guard Matt Couch (Enola, Pa.), defensive end Josh Dowling-Fitzpatrick (Westerville, Ohio), safety Jerad Fehr (Draper, Utah), linebacker Brye French (Deatsville, Ala.), wide receiver Jonathan Gazaille (Grand Prairie, Texas), slot back Gee Gee Greene (Columbia, S.C.), guard Beau Haworth (Annapolis, Md.), defensive end Wes Henderson (Wexford, Pa.), slot back John Howell (Hatfield, Pa.), wide receiver Tyler Lynch (Irving, Texas), linebacker John Michael Nurthern (Phoenixville, Pa.), wide receiver John O'Boyle (Charlotte, N.C.), tackle Ryan Paulson (Broomfield, Colo.), center Kahikolu Pescaia (Kailua, Hawai'i), tackle Joe Ryan (Tucson, Ariz.), wide receiver Matt Shibata (Honolulu, Hawai'i), slot back Bo Snelson (Pasadena, Texas), defensive end Collin Sturdivant (High Point, N.C.), wide receiver Brandon Turner (Renton, Wash.), linebacker Matt Warrick (Chesterfield, Mo.), outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel (Palos Heights, Ill.).
Niumatalolo Making History
Ken Niumatalolo has led the Midshipmen to a 40-26 (.606) record in his five season as head coach at Navy. He is fourth all-time at Navy in career wins.
He holds Navy coaching records for most wins in the first two seasons (18), three seasons (27), four seasons (32) and five seasons (40) of a career.
His eight wins in his first year are tied for the fourth most in school history by a coach in his first season and the most by a Navy coach in his debut season since Tom Hamilton won eight in 1934.
He is just the third coach in school history to win his first five games against Army. Paul Johnson went 6-0 against West Point (2002-07) and Wayne Hardin won his first five games (1959-63) before losing.
He is just the second coach since World War II to lead Navy to a winning record in his first three years at the helm, joining Wayne Hardin (5-4-1 in 1959, 9-2 in 1960 and 7-3 in 1961) on the exclusive list.
He is the only coach in school history to lead Navy to a bowl game in each of his first three seasons.
Niumatalolo joins Eddie Erdelatz and Wayne Hardin as the only coaches in school history to beat Notre Dame in back-to-back years.
In 2009, Niumatalolo was the first coach to lead an unranked Navy team over a ranked Notre Dame squad since 1936 (which was the first year of the polls) when Tom Hamilton led Navy to a 3-0 victory over the Irish.
He is the first head coach in Service Academy history to win the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy in each of his first two years.
Niumatalolo is the first Samoan head football coach on the collegiate level and the second Polynesian head coach in FBS history (Larry Price, who was the head coach at Hawai'i from 1974-76, was the first).