Navy Football Opens 2011 At Home Against Delaware
Senior co-captain Jabaree Tuani will lead the Mids into the 2011 campaign Saturday against Delaware.
Aug. 29, 2011
Setting the Stage
Navy and Delaware meet for the 16th time when the two programs meet on Saturday at 3:30 pm in what will be the season opener for both squads. The game is presented by BB&T.
CBS Sports Network will broadcast Saturday's contest with Tim Brant (play-by-play), Randy Cross (analyst) and Kaylee Hartung (sideline) calling the action from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.
The Navy Football Tailgate Show on WNAV 1430 AM / 99.9 FM will air at 1:30 pm with Pete Medhurst, Joe Miller and Wylie Baker live from Annapolis.
The Navy Football Pregame Show with Bob Socci, Omar Nelson and Pete Medhurst will get underway at 2:30 pm, followed by game action beginning at 3:30 pm on the Navy Radio Network and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 134).
Following the contest, Joe Miller and Pete Medurst will recap the day's events in a 60-minute postgame show live on WNAV 1430 AM / 99.9 FM and WFED 1050 AM.
Pregame festivities will get underway at 1:15 pm with the Navy Football Team Walk. Originating at the Blue Angel in the southwest corner of the stadium, the team will make its way down the sidewalk and through NavyFest before walking up the drive to the stadium. Fans are encouraged to line up on both sides of the sidewalk to cheer for the team.
The March-on of the Brigade of Midshipmen will take place at 3:09 pm.
Two Hornets from VFA-211 out of Naval Air Station Oceana will be performing the fly-by.
Navy In Season Openers
Navy is 6-3 (.667) in season openers during the "triple option era" (2002-present).
The Midshipmen are 4-0 (1.000) when opening the season at home in that same time period.
Navy has lost its last two season openers, both of them in heartbreaking fashion. Last year, Navy ran up and down the field on Maryland but couldn't convert in the red zone and lost 17-14. In 2009, Ohio State held on for dear life to beat Navy in Columbus, 31-27, when the Buckeyes picked off a two-point conversion attempt and returned it 100 yards for two points of their own.
The Mids return 29 of the 34 players listed on the final 2010 offensive depth chart, including eight starters - left guard Josh Cabral, center Brady DeMell, right guard John Dowd, right tackle Ryan Basford, wide receiver Brandon Turner, slot back Aaron Santiago, slot back Gee Gee Greene and fullback Alexander Teich.
Navy returns 24 of the 33 players listed on the final 2010 defensive depth chart, including three starters - defensive end Jabaree Tuani, linebacker Max Blue and corner Kwesi Mitchell.
Ten of the Mids' 13 specialists listed on the final 2010 depth chart will return, including four starters - kicker Jon Teague, long snapper Brian Ackerman, punt returner Gary Myers and kick returner Marcus Thomas.
Navy returns four of its top-six rushers (Teich, Greene, quarterback Kriss Proctor and Santiago) and six of its top-seven receivers (Greene, Santiago, Teich, Turner, wide receiver Doug Furman and slot back John Howell).
The Mids return just two of their top-six tacklers (Tuani and Blue).
Navy is 8-7 all-time against the Blue Hens, including a 35-18 victory in 2009 behind five rushing touchdowns by Ricky Dobbs.
Navy-Delaware Series History
Navy leads the all-time series against the Blue Hens, 8-7, including a 35-18 victory in 2009 as quarterback Ricky Dobbs rushed for five touchdowns.
Navy holds a 7-5 advantage over Delaware in games played in Annapolis.
This is the first time the two teams have played in a season opener.
Delaware's last win over the Mids was in 2007 when Joe Flacco led the Blue Hens to a thrilling 59-52 victory. The next week the Mids went to South Bend and ended Notre Dame's 43-game winning streak over Navy with a 46-44 win in triple overtime.
The Blue Hens are coming off a 12-3 season that saw them advance to the FCS Championship Game where they lost to Eastern Washington, 20-19.
Delaware was ranked No. 1 in the country in the FCS last year in scoring defense, giving up just 12.07 points per game. The Blue Hens also ranked fourth in turnover margin (+1.13), fifth in total defense (280.73), ninth in passing efficiency (148.49), 12th in rushing defense (105.3) and 19th in total offense (401.8).
Tailback Andrew Pierce is coming off a sensational freshman campaign that saw him rush for 1,655 yards and 14 touchdowns. David Hayes is also back after rushing for 528 yards and six touchdowns a year ago.
The defense returns top tackler Paul Worrilow, who led the Blue Hens with 113 tackles and 9.5 tackles for a loss.
The Last Time ...
Navy 35, Delaware 18 Nov. 14, 2009 | Annapolis, Md.
Junior quarterback Ricky Dobbs rushed for 100 yards and a Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium record five touchdowns on 26 carries to lead Navy to a 35-18 victory over Delaware in front of 34,223 fans on Senior Day.
The five touchdowns by Dobbs are the second most in school history and gives him a school-record 22 touchdowns on the year (the previous record was 21 set by Bill Ingram in 1917). He is just one touchdown away from tying Tim Tebow and Chance Harridge for the NCAA record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.
Navy trailed 9-7 at the half thanks to three field goals by Jon Striefsky.
Dobbs' one-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the third quarter gave Navy the lead for good at 14-9, but the Blue Hens crawled to within two on a 21-yard field goal by Striefsky to make it 14-12 after three quarters.
Navy put the game away early in the fourth quarter. Dobbs ran 46 yards down to the Delaware four on an option keeper and then scored two plays later on a three-yard run to make it 21-12.
Delaware got the ball back and on second down, sophomore defensive end Jabaree Tuani sacked Devlin and knocked the ball out of his hand for a fumble, which Tuani recovered on the Delaware 37-yard line.
Four plays later, Dobbs scored his fourth touchdown of the day on a two-yard run to make the score 28-12.
Dobbs would score his fifth touchdown on a three-yard run to make the final score, 35-18.
Navy rushed for 242 yards against the Blue Hens, including 123 yards in the fourth quarter.
Eight-Straight Years of Eight or More Wins
Navy has won eight or more games in each of the last eight seasons, which is the ninth-longest streak in the country.
It's the longest streak in Service Academy history.
Boise State, with 11-consecutive years winning eight or more games, is the only non-BCS school that has a longer streak than Navy.
Navy Among Nation's Most Successful Programs
Navy clinched its eighth-consecutive winning season with a 38-37 victory over Central Michigan last November.
The eight-straight winning seasons are the most by Navy since it enjoyed 10-straight winning seasons from 1952-61.
The Mids own a 70-33 (.680) record over the last eight years after posting a 3-30 (.091) mark from 2000-02.
The 70 wins are the 18th most in the country during that span.
Home Sweet Home
Navy owns a 35-10 (.778) record at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium since 2003.
The Mids are an even better 13-3 (.813) at home under current head coach Ken Niumatalolo.
Navy has 167 players on its football roster who represent 25 states.
The Mids have 21 players that hail from Florida and 20 from Texas. Meanwhile, California (14), North Carolina (14), Georgia (13) and Pennsylvania (13) have also been fertile states for the Midshipmen.
Playing The Nation
Navy's schedule over the last decade has been diverse, as the Mids have played at least one team from every conference in addition to the Independents since 2000.