Setting the Stage Navy and Penn State will meet for the 38th time on the gridiron when they square off at Beaver Stadium (106,572) in University Park, Pa. on Sept. 15. Kickoff is set for 3:30 pm. This will be the first meeting between the two schools since 1974 when Navy went on the road and upset nationally-ranked Penn State, 7-6. The win ended the Nittany Lions' 21-game home winning streak and overall winning string of 13 consecutive games. The series dates back to 1894 when the two teams played to a 6-6 tie. The game will be nationally televised on ABC/ESPN2 with Mike Patrick (play-by-play), Ed Cunningham (color) and Jeannine Edwards (sideline) calling the action. Check your local listings to find out which network will be carrying the game in your area. The Navy Football Tailgate Show on WNAV 1430 AM / 99.9 FM will air at 1:30 pm with Pete Medhurst live from Beaver Stadium and Joe Miller in 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. 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. The WNAV pregame and postgame shows will be available over the internet to Navy All-Access subscribers, as will the game broadcast.
Navy Nuggets Navy owns a 17-16 (.515) record in games played away from the friendly confines of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium under head coach Ken Niumatalolo, including a 3-5 (.375) mark over the last two years. The Mids are 15-6 (.714) in home games under Niumatalolo which includes a 2-3 (.400) record in 2011. In Navy's last five wins, it outscored the opposition, 105-31, in the first half, including 43-0 in the first quarter. In the Mids' last eight losses, they have been outscored, 179-69, in the first half, including 72-10 in the first quarter. Navy has been held below 300 yards rushing in seven of its last 13 games and won just one of those games (Army). Navy is 27-4 (.870) under Niumatalolo when scoring first. The Mids are 5-18 (.217) under Niumatalolo when the opponent scores first and have lost the last eight games (over the last three years). Under Niumatalolo, the Mids are 21-3 (.875) when leading after the first quarter and 11-19 (.367) when trailing or tied after the first stanza. An opposing running back has rushed for over 100 yards in a game against Navy in nine of the last 13 contests. In the previous 40 games, Navy surrendered only nine 100-yard rushing games to opposing running backs.
Injuries Starting sophomore outside linebacker Chris Johnson is out for the year with a torn ACL in his left knee. Starting junior wide receiver Matt Aiken is questionable with a right knee injury.
Scouting Penn State The Nittany Lions are 0-1 under first-year head coach Bill O'Brien, losing to Ohio, 24-14, last weekend. Quarterback Matt McGloin completed 27 of his 48 pass attempts for 260 yards and two touchdowns against the Bobcats. Nine of those 27 completions went to wide receiver Allen Robinson, who had 97 yards receiving. Tight end Kyle Carter added six catches for 74 yards. Running back Bill Belton carried the ball 13 times for 53 yards. Outside linebackers Michael Mauti (12 tackles) and Gerald Hodges (11 tackles) led the defense against Ohio. Penn State will play at Virginia on Saturday.
The Last Time ... Navy 7, Penn State 6 Sept. 21, 1974 | University Park, Pa. Navy parlayed a lone second-quarter touchdown drive of 80 yards and some steady and alert defensive play to upset nationally-ranked Penn State, 7-6, on a rainy and windy day. The Midshipman victory ended Penn State's 21-game home winning streak and overall winning string of 13-consecutive games. The Nittany Lions missed on four field goal attempts, including one from the 43-yard line with less than two minutes on the clock. Navy also gobbled up five Lion fumbles. Navy initiated its lone touchdown drive in the second period when fullback Bob Jackson burst over the left side for 21 yards. Quarterback Phil Poirier then was successful on passes of 14 and 21 yards, respectively to wide receivers Ike Owens and Robin Ameen. Another key play was a pass to Jackson, gaining nine yards and a first down on the State 10. On third down from the four, Jackson on the fullback run-pass option hit Ameen in the end zone and Steve Dykes added the extra point. The Nittany Lions, kept off balance by the Navy defense led by Chet Moeller, pieced together a 58-yard drive midway through the fourth quarter. Fullback Tom Donchez made five-straight carries during the march, gaining 24 yards and a first down on the five. Tom Shuman then hit Jerry Jeram with a five-yard scoring pass, the clock showing 4:41 remaining. Penn State went for a two-point conversion but Shuman's pass for wingback Jim Eaise was knocked down by Navy halfback Ed Jeter. Penn State had the ball once more, but Chris Bahr failed on the 43-yard field goal try. Earlier Nittany Lion drives to the Navy 19, 36, 23, 12, 15 anad nine-yard lines ended in fumbles or missed field goals. Moeller had 13 tackles, three of them for losses, and a recovered fumble.
Navy Falls To Notre Dame In Emerald Isle Classic Notre Dame rushed for 293 yards and five touchdowns, while Navy turned it over four times as the Fighting Irish scored a 50-10 victory in front of 48,820 fans at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Theo Riddick rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, while George Atkinson III carried the ball nine times for 99 yards and two touchdowns to pace the Irish rushing attack. The Mids trailed Notre Dame 20-0 late in the second quarter when they drove 75 yards in 13 plays setting up a second-and-one from the Notre Dame 16-yard line. Junior quarterback Trey Miller dropped back to pass and lost control of the football before his arm came forward. Notre Dame's Stephon Tuitt picked up the loose ball and rumbled 77 yards for a touchdown to give the Irish an insurmountable 27-0 lead. Navy drove right back down the field against the Notre Dame defense, moving 74 yards in 10 plays, with freshman kicker Nick Sloan nailing a 26-yard field goal at the end of the half to cut Notre Dame's lead to 27-3. The Mids pulled to within 27-10 on the first drive of the second half as Miller completed three-consecutive passes for 75 yards, the final one a 25-yard touchdown strike to Shawn Lynch. With the momentum starting to swing back in Navy's favor the Mids desperately needed the defense to come up with a stop, but instead the Irish moved 87 yards in 12 plays with Atkinson scoring from the three to make it 33-10 and squashing Navy's comeback hopes. Miller completed 14 of his 19 pass attempts for 192 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Lynch had four catches for 87 yards and a touchdown, while Casey Bolena caught three passes for 61 yards. Senior fullback Prentice Christian carried the ball twice for 39 yards to lead the Navy rushing attack. Parrish Gaines led the Navy defense with a career-high 12 tackles and his first-career interception. Tra'ves Bush added eight tackles and a tackle for a loss, while Chris Ferguson, Jordan Drake and Brye French had seven stops each.
A First Time For Everything Junior wide receiver Casey Bolena caught a career-high three passes for a career-best 61 yards against Notre Dame. He entered the contest with four career receptions for 53 yards. Senior fullback Prentice Christian, making his first-collegiate apperance, paced Navy in rushing with 39 yards on two carries including a long rush of 25. Sophomore fullback Noah Copeland carried the ball six times for 29 yards in making his first-collegiate start at fullback. He also caught three passes for 11 yards. Sophomore outside linebacker Jordan Drake turned in a career-high seven tackles against the Irish after contributing four tackles his freshman year as a member of special teams. Sophomore corner Parrish Gaines recorded a career-high 12 tackles against Notre Dame and also picked off his first-career pass. Senior wide receiver Jonathan Gazaille made his first-career catch for a gain of four yards against the Irish. Junior wide receiver Shawn Lynch caught a career-high four passes for a career-high 87 yards in what marked just his third game played at wide receiver (he played defense as a sophomore). He caught a 16-yard pass from quarterback Trey Miller for his first-collegiate reception and caught a 25-yard strike from Miller for his first-career touchdown. Freshman kicker Nick Sloan connected on his first-career field goal attempt from 26-yards at the end of the first half against Notre Dame. Senior outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel recorded his first-collegiate sack against Notre Dame.
Lots of Passing Yards Usually Means A Loss Junior quarterback Trey Miller was completed 14 of his 20 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown against Notre Dame. The 192-yard passing effort was Navy's best since throwing for 227 yards in a 34-31 loss to Duke in 2010 and the most yards Navy has thrown for against Notre Dame since 1996 when the Mids threw for 218 yards in a 54-27 loss to the Irish in ironically enough, Dublin.
Low Totals Navy's 10 points in the opener against Notre Dame were the fewest points it has scored in a game since Oct. 2, 2010, when the Mids scored just six points in a 14-6 loss at Air Force. The Mids' 149 yards rushing against Notre Dame were the fewest by a Navy team since Dec. 11, 2010, when Navy rushed for just 139 yards in a 31-17 victory over Army.
Freshman Kicker Freshman Nick Sloan beat out five other kickers to earn the job as Navy's kicker on field goals and PATs. He made his first-career field goal attempt from 26 yards against Notre Dame and also made his only PAT attempt. Sloan is the first freshman to start at kicker for Navy since 1996 when Tim Shubzda started multiple games, including the opener against Rutgers. Shubzda connected on four-of-six field goal attempts and all six of his PAT's as a freshman, splitting time with Jason Covarubbias and Tom Vanderhorst.
Beltran Off To A Good Start Sophomore punter Pablo Beltran got off to a good start, averaging 46.2 yards per punt on his four punts against Notre Dame which inlcuded a long of 63. Beltran averaged 37.5 yards per punt as a freshman. He was the first freshman to start at punter for the Midshipmen since Brian Schrum in 1992.