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A Look Back at the 2017 Navy Football Season

Sophomore Malcolm Perry is just the third player in FBS history to have two runs of 90 yards or more in the same season.
Jan. 12, 2018

Final Game Notes

Navy Sets numerous Records In 49-7 Rout of Virginia In The Military Bowl

• Navy’s 42-point win over Virginia in the Military Bowl was the largest margin of victory by Navy over a team that is currently in the autonomy 5 since the season opener in 1963 when the Mids defeated West Virginia, 51-7. That victory kicked off Roger Staubach’s run to the 1963 Heisman Trophy.
• Navy’s 452 yards rushing set a Military Bowl record, while it came up just shy of a Navy bowl record which is 467 yards set in the 2005 Poinsettia Bowl against Colorado State.
• Navy’s 76 rushing attempts set a Navy bowl record, as well as a Military Bowl record. The previous record was 71 against Pitt in the 2015 Military Bowl.
• Navy’s seven touchdowns tied a Navy bowl record. The Mids scored seven against Colorado State in the 2005 Poinsettia Bowl en route to a 51-30 win. It also tied a Military Bowl record (2010 by Maryland vs. ECU).
• The seven rushing touchdowns broke the Military and Navy bowl records.
• The 49 points marked the second most by the Mids in a bowl game (51 vs. Colorado State in the 2005 Poinsettia Bowl). It was also the second-most points by a winning team in Military Bowl history behind Maryland’s 51 against ECU in 2010.
• Navy’s 42-point win marked the largest margin of victory in Military Bowl history. It was previously 31 in a 51-20 victory by Maryland over ECU in 2010.
• The seven points by Virginia were the fewest scored by the losing team in Military Bowl history.
• The 28 points by Navy tied the Military Bowl record for the most in the first half (Toledo in 2011).
• Navy’s 21-point halftime lead (28-7) tied the largest halftime lead in Military Bowl history.
• Navy’s one pass attempt marked the fewest passing attempts in Navy bowl history and the fewest in Military Bowl history. The zero completions and zero passing yards also marked records for a Navy bowl and the Military Bowl.
• Navy’s 24 first downs are tied as the second most in Military Bowl history.
• Navy had 23 first downs rushing, which also broke the Military Bowl record previously set by the Mids with 22 against Pitt in 2015.
• Navy’s defense held Virginia to 175 yards of total offense which is the fewest total yards allowed in Military Bowl history. The previous record was 253 by Wake Forest against the Mids in 2016.
• Navy held Virginia to the third-fewest rushing yards in Military Bowl history.
• Navy is now 3-0 in bowl games where the opposition has returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown - 2017 Military Bowl, 2015 Military Bowl, 1996 Aloha Bowl.
Zach Abey is one of five players in FBS history to score five rushing touchdowns in a bowl game - 2015 by Kareem Hunt of Toledo, 2011 by Terrance Ganaway of Baylor, 1988 by Barry Sanders of Oklahoma State and 1902 by Neil Snow of Michigan.
• Abey broke the Navy record for most rushing touchdowns in a bowl game and tied the record for most total touchdowns in a bowl game (Reggie Campbell vs. Colorado State in 2005 Poinsettia Bowl - 3 rushing 2 receiving). He also broke the Military Bowl record for most rushing TDs.
• Abey also tied Campbell for the most points scored in a Navy bowl game with 30, while the 30 points by Abey are the most in Military Bowl history.
Bennett Moehring connected on all seven PATs for the Mids, setting a Navy bowl record. The previous high was six by Tom Vanderhorst vs. Cal in the 1996 Aloha Bowl, Joey Bullen vs. Colorado State in the 2005 Poinsettia Bowl and Moehring vs. LA Tech in the 2016 Armed Forces Bowl.
• The 114 yards rushing by Malcolm Perry are the second-most yards rushing by a QB in Military Bowl history behind Navy’s Keenan Reynolds’ 144 vs. Pitt in 2015.
• Guard David Forney was named to the All-Bowl team by the Associated Press, ESPN and USA Today. The entire offensive line was named to the All-Bowl Team by Sports Illustrated.

Tough Schedule
• According to the Cody Kellner Strength of Schedule Index, Navy played the nation’s 33rd-toughest schedule and the toughest among the non-autonomous five conferences. The Kellner Index gives each team a rating that is reflective of the success they have had within their strength of schedule.
• Navy’s opponents were a combined 96-68 on the year (.585). The Mids’ four nonconference opponents - Notre Dame 10-3, Florida Atlantic 10-3, Army 10-3 and Air Force 5-7 - were a combined 35-16 (.683). The six teams that beat Navy - Notre Dame (10-3), UCF (13-0), Memphis (10-3), Houston (7-5), Temple (7-6) and Army (10-3) - were a combined 57-20 (.740).
• Navy played eight regular-season opponents in 2017 that qualified for a bowl, posting a 2-6 record against those teams. The Mids beat Florida Atlantic, lost to Memphis, lost to UCF, lost to Temple, beat SMU, lost to Notre Dame, lost to Houston and lost to Army.  
• Navy played five teams that won 10 or more games (Florida Atlantic, Memphis, UCF, Notre Dame, Army). Only Ohio State (six) played more. Auburn, Iowa, Fresno State and Maryland also played five.

AAC Overall Conference Standings Since Navy Joined In 2015
• Since joining the American Athletic Conference in 2015, Navy has compiled an overall conference record of 18-6, shared a West Division title in 2015 and won the West Division outright in 2016.
• Navy’s 18-6 cumulative record is tied with Temple for the second-best record within the league over the last three years.  USF is first at 19-5.

Consistency
• Over the last five seasons, Navy is one of just seven teams that has not lost to a team that finished with a losing record.
• Navy is joined by Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Michigan and Ohio State on the list.

Mids Faced Some Prolific Offenses in 2017
• The Navy defense finished the year ranked 52nd nationally against the run (154.5), 54th in passing yards allowed (215.8), 48th in total defense (370.3) and 62nd in scoring defense (26.3 ppg).
• However, if you dig deeper into those numbers you will see that Navy played some of the top offenses in the country in 2017.
• The Mids played four of the top-seven and six of the top-20 rushing offenses in the country and the Navy defense held all of them except Air Force below their average:  Army (first, 362.3 yds/gm, 221 vs. Navy), Air Force (fourth, 307.4, 340 vs. Navy), FAU (sixth, 285.3, 40 vs. Navy) Notre Dame (seventh, 269.5, 163 vs. Navy), Tulsa (14th, 247.3, 229 vs. Navy) and Tulane (20th, 231.5, 191 vs. Navy).
• Navy faced two of the top 10 and three of the top-16 passing offenses in the country and held all three below their average: Memphis (7th, 335.0, 279 vs Navy), UCF (10th, 331.8, 236 vs. Navy), and SMU (19th, 294.1, 261 vs. Navy).
• Navy battled two of the top five, three of the top nine, four of the top 15 and five of the top-25 total offense leaders in the country and held all five below their average: Memphis (4th, 532.1, 397 vs. Navy), UCF (5th, 530.5 yards per game, 483 vs. Navy), FAU (9th, 498.4, 326.0 vs. Navy) and SMU (15th, 478.5, 426 vs. Navy), and Notre Dame (25th, 454.9, 327 vs. Navy).
• Navy played the top two, three of the top eight, four of the top 13 and five of the top-24 scoring offenses in the country and held all but one under their average: UCF (1st, 48.2 pts/gm, 31 vs. Navy), Memphis (2nd, 45.5, 30 vs. Navy), FAU (8th, 40.6, 19 vs. Navy), SMU (13th, 37.8, 40 vs. Navy) and Notre Dame (24th, 34.2, 24 vs. Navy).

Defensive Improvements
• The Navy defense improved in all four major categories in 2017: Against the run (154.5 yards per game in 2017, 179.9 yards per game in 2016), the pass (215.8 yards per game in 2017, 254.1 yards per game in 2016), total defense (370.3 yards per game in 2017, 434 yards per game in 2016) and in scoring defense (26.3 ppg in 2017, 31.0 in 2016).

Home field Advantage
• The Mids are 44-11 (.800) at home under Niumatalolo, including a 29-5 (.853) mark over the last five seasons.

700 Club
• With its 66-31 victory over East Carolina on Nov. 19, 2016, Navy became the 24th school in the FBS and the first Service Academy to reach 700 wins in its program’s history.
• Navy has amassed a 708-558-57 (.557) record over 136 seasons of football and is just one win behind Syracuse for 23rd on the NCAA all-time winning list.

Mids Consistently Among Nation’s Top Rushing Teams
• Over the last 14 years, Navy has consistently been one of the top rushing teams in the country, never finishing lower than sixth.  
• The Mids kicked off the trend in 2002 when they finished third in the country in rushing, averaging 270.8 yds/gm.
• In 2003, Navy led the nation averaging a then school-record 323.2 yds/gm.
• In 2005, Navy led the country in rushing for the second time in three years, averaging 318.7 yds/gm.
• Navy finished the 2006 campaign averaging a nation’s-best and then school-record 327.0 yds/gm.  
• The Mids rushed for a then school-record 348.8 yds/gm in 2007, becoming the first team in NCAA history to lead the nation in rushing three consecutive years.     
• In 2008, Navy led the country in rushing for an unprecedented fourth straight year, averaging 292.4 yds/gm.
• The Mids finished No. 2 in the country in 2013, averaging 325.4 yards per game.
• Navy finished No. 2 in the country in 2014, rushing for 338.1 yards per game.  It was the Mids’ best rushing effort since 2007 when they set the school record.
• In 2015, Navy finished No. 2 in the country, averaging 326.7 yards per game.  Georgia Southern, coached by current Tulane coach Willie Fritz, led the country in 2015 averaging a whopping 363.0 yards per game.
• The Mids finished 2016 ranked No. 4, rushing for 310.9 yards per game.
• Navy averaged a school-record 351.4 yds/gm in 2017, which was the second most in the country.


 

 

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