Navy Opens 2009 Football Season Saturday at Ohio State
Aug. 31, 2009
Setting the Stage
Navy kicks off the 2009 season this Saturday when the Midshipmen travel to Columbus, Ohio to battle the sixth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes in a nationally-televised contest aired live on ESPN.
Dave Pasch (play-by-play), Chris Spielman (analyst) and Bob Griese (analyst) will call the action from Ohio Stadium (102,239) beginning at 12:00 pm.
The Navy Football Radio Network will provide more than six hours of coverage starting at 10:00 am with its pregame show on 1430 WNAV (Annapolis) hosted by Pete Medhurst, Joe Miller and Wiley Baker.
The Navy Football Pregame Show will get underway at 11:00 am with Bob Socci, Omar Nelson, John Feinstein and Pete Medhurst setting the scene from Columbus, followed by game action beginning at 12:00 pm. Sirius Radio (Ch. 121) will carry the Navy broadcast, as well as "The Best of Sirius" on XM (102).
Following the contest, Pete Medhurst and Joe Miller will recap the day's events in a 60-minute postgame show live on 1430 WNAV.
Saturday's fly-by will be conducted by The Fighting Bengals of VMFA(AW)-224 stationed at MCAS Beaufort in Beaufort, S.C.
The Fighting Bengals just returned from a deployment to Iwakuni, Japan.
The group brought five jets, 10 aircrew, and 11 Marines to Ohio for training and the fly-by.
While in Ohio, the Fighting Bengals will be doing dissimilar air combat training with various Ohio based Air Force units, as well as conducting Air to Ground training for two combat section lead qualifications.
Among the pilots performing Saturday's fly-by is former Navy offensive lineman Grant Moody (`03).
Navy owns 13 victories over BCS opponents since 2003. That number is tied with Utah for the most by a non-BCS team over the last six years.
Ohio State is the highest ranked team Navy has played since Oct. 30, 1993, when Navy lost to No. 2 Notre Dame, 58-27, at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.
Navy last defeated a team ranked in the Top 10 on Nov. 17, 1984, when the Mids shocked No. 2 South Carolina, 38-21, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Navy is trying to win a record fifth-straight NCAA rushing title this year. Before Navy's current streak, no team had ever won the rushing title more than twice in a row.
Navy has won three-straight season openers, defeating East Carolina (28-23) in 2006, Temple in 2007 (30-19) and Towson in 2008 (41-13).
Navy last lost a season-opener in 2005, 23-20, to Maryland at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Navy is 6-1 in openers in the triple option era (2002-07).
This is the first time since 1999 that Navy has opened the season against a ranked opponent. The Mids lost to 10th ranked Georgia Tech, 49-14. Navy finished that year 5-7.
Navy Seeks Seventh-Straight Season of Eight or More Wins
The Midshipmen have won at least eight games in six-consecutive seasons, the longest streak in school history and the nation's 12th-longest active streak.
Navy's current streak of six-consecutive winning seasons is the longest since turning in 10-straight winning seasons from 1952-61.
Navy returns 25 letterwinners and 13 starters (four offense, seven defense, two specialists) from a team that posted an 8-5 record, won a school-record sixth-straight Commander-In-Chief's Trophy, defeated a school-record four bowl teams, appeared in a school-record sixth-straight bowl game, won an NCAA-record fourth-consecutive national rushing title and led the FBS in graduation rate for a fourth-straight year.
Navy vs. The Big Ten
The Mids are 26-40-3 all-time against the Big Ten.
The Mids have winning records against Illinois (1-0) and Purdue (2-0).
Navy has losing records against Indiana (0-2), Minnesota (0-1), Michigan (5-12-1), Northwestern (0-3), Ohio State (0-3) and Penn State (17-18-2).
Navy is 1-1 all-time against Wisconsin.
Navy last played a Big Ten opponent on Sept. 21, 2002, when the Mids lost to Northwestern, 49-40, in Annapolis.
Navy last beat a Big Ten team on Sept. 29, 1979, when Navy won at Illinois, 13-12.
Navy's next Big Ten scheduled opponent is Indiana. The Hoosiers will visit Annapolis on Nov. 17, 2012.
Scouting The Buckeyes
Ohio State is one of the preeminent college football programs in the country, winning seven national championships and 33 Big Ten titles.
OSU has produced 172 First-Team All-Americans and seven Heisman Trophy winners.
Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel owns a remarkable 83-19 record in eight seasons in Columbus.
The Buckeyes have won 10 or more games in each of the last four years and have played in three of the last seven National Championship games.
Ohio State is led on offense by quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who rushed for 631 yards and six touchdowns and threw for 1,311 yards and 12 touchdowns a year ago.
The Ohio State offense ranked 24th in the nation in rushing (192.46), 105th in passing (150.23), 76th in total offense (342.69) and 45th in scoring offense (27.62) last year.
The Buckeye defense is led by senior defensive backs Kurt Coleman and Anderson Russell. Coleman recorded 78 tackles, four interceptions and five pass break ups last year, while Russell had 67 tackles, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
The Ohio State defense finished 2008 ranked 18th against the run (110.23), 13th in pass efficiency defense (105.23), 14th in total defense (293.77) and sixth in scoring defense (13.92).
On tap to play one of the toughest schedules in recent memory, the Mids will battle eight teams that played in bowl games a year ago.
Ohio State is ranked No. 6 in the country and is the preseason favorite to win the Big Ten after playing Texas in the Fiesta Bowl.
Louisiana Tech is projected to have one of its best teams in years after winning the Independence Bowl last year.
Pitt is picked to win the Big East after playing in the Sun Bowl a year ago.
Air Force is picked fourth in the Mountain West Conference after playing in the Armed Services Bowl last year.
Rice is coming off a 10-3 season and won the Texas Bowl.
Wake Forest is coming off an 8-5 campaign and beat Navy in the EagleBank Bowl.
Notre Dame is ranked 23rd in the preseason poll and is coming off a Hawai'i Bowl championship.
Hawai'i finished 7-7 last year, losing to Notre Dame in the Hawai'i Bowl.
Since 2003, Navy owns a 13-16 (.448) mark against BCS schools.
The Mids own victories over Vanderbilt (2003, 2004), Duke (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), Rutgers (2004, 2008), Stanford (2006), Connecticut (2006), Pittsburgh (2007), Notre Dame (2007) and Wake Forest (2008).
The 13 wins over BCS opponents are tied (Utah) for the most by a non-BCS school since 2003.