Navy Faces VMI in Home Opener
Junior Casey Bolena caught five passes against Penn State for 30 yards.
Sept. 17, 2012
Setting the Stage
• Navy and VMI will meet for the ninth time on the gridiron when they square off at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000) in Annapolis, Md. on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3:30 pm and the game is presented by USAA.
• Navy leads the all-time series, 8-0, over the Keydets in a series that dates back to 1898. The last meeting came in 2003 when the Mids won, 37-10, in Annapolis.
• The game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports Network with Grant Boone, Todd Christensen and Sheehan Stanwick Burch calling the action.
• The Navy Football Tailgate Show on WNAV 1430 AM / 99.9 FM will air at 1:30 pm with Pete Medhurst and Joe Miller live from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• 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 Medhurst 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 tailgate show, the pregame show, the game and the postgame show are available over the internet to Navy All-Access subscribers.
Game Day Festivities
• Pregame festivites will get underway at approximately 1:00 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. The march-on will be broadcast live for free on Navy All-Access.
• Saturday's fly-over will take place at 3:31:10 pm and will consist of two FA-18 Hornets from Oceana, Va. The pilots will be Lt. Tony Kopp (`07) and Lt. Adam Kyle (`07).
• Between the first and second quarter, the Naval Academy will be recognized for winning the 2012 Patriot League President's Cup. Head coaches or representatives from the following Patriot League championship teams will be recognized: men's cross country, women's cross country, men's swimming & diving, women's swimming & diving, women's basketball, women's lacrosse, men's tennis, women's tennis, golf and women's outdoor track & field.
• The Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps will perform at halftime.
• Following the game, both teams' alma maters will be played.
• The Keydets are 1-2 on the year, losing to Delaware State (17-10) and Richmond (47-6) and defeating Chowan (24-17).
• David Turner leads VMI in rushing with 113 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries.
• Quarterback Eric Kordenbrock has completed 64 of his 107 pass attempts (59.8 pct.) for 646 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions. His favorite target is James Rogers, who has 11 catches for 111 yards.
• Linebacker Ty Garvin has recorded 24 tackles, two tackles for a loss and a sack.
• Punt returner James Fruchan is 18th in the FCS in punt returns, averaging 11.4 yards per return.
The Last Time ...
Navy 37, VMI 10 Aug. 3, 2003 | Annapolis, Md.
• Fullback Kyle Eckel rushed for a career-high 129 yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback Craig Candeto added two touchdowns as Navy routed VMI, 37-10, in front of 30,129 fans at newly-refurbished Jack Stephens Field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The win for Navy was its first at home since Nov. 13, 1999, when the Mids defeated Tulane.
• Navy jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead thanks to an efficient offense and a stout defense. After going three and out on its first series, the offense scored on four straight possessions.
• Tony Lane got the Mids on the board when he scored from 18 yards out on a fourth-and-three play with 7:05 left in the first.
• The Mids scored three times in the second quarter as Eckel scored on touchdown runs of three and two yards and Candeto scored from three yards out.
• The defense played one of its best halves in recent memory, holding VMI to 109 yards of total offense, including 25 yards on the ground.
• After a sloppy third quarter and a 58-minute delay due to lightning, the Mids put the game away early in the fourth quarter as Candeto scored on a two-yard touchdown run and Geoff Blumenfeld made a 42-yard field goal.
• Junior slot back Eric Roberts added 52 yards rushing on four carries, while Lane had 50 yards rushing on three carries.
• Candeto completed seven of his 16 pass attempts for 161 yards. Freshman Jason Tomlinson and junior Amir Jenkins had three catches apiece.
• Jeff Vanak led the Navy defense with seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and a key forced fumble in the third quarter that was recovered by Josh Smith. Smith led the Mids with 11 tackles.
Navy Versus The Big South
• Navy is 8-0 (1.000) all-time against teams currently in the Big South. VMI is the only school Navy has played from the conference.
• Other schools that make up the Big South include Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Gardner-Webb, Liberty, Presbyterian and Stony Brook (who plays Army next week and nearly knocked off Syracuse last week).
Old Dominion State
• Navy has just five players hailing from the state of Virginia.
• Junior wide receiver Matt Aiken (Roanoke), sophomore kicker Colin Amerau (Alexandria), freshman kicker Austin Grebe (Stafford), freshman wide receiver Marc Meier (Chesapeake) and freshman corner Edward Robinson (Chesapeake).
• Aiken is a starter that has missed the first two games with a knee injury. He is questionable for Saturday's game against the Keydets.
• Amerau has handled Navy's kickoffs this fall.
• Navy is 0-2 for the first time since 2005 when the Mids started 0-2 with losses to Maryland and Stanford. That Navy team went on to finish 8-4, win the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy and defeat Colorado State, 51-30, in the Poinsettia Bowl. The Mids have not started 0-3 since 2001 when Navy finished 0-10.
• Playing Notre Dame in Dublin and Penn State at State College has been arguably the toughest first two games in school history.
• In the last 40 years, Navy has started the year with two FBS opponents just eight times and only twice (2005 and 1982) did Navy go on to have a winning record.
• Navy lost to Maryland in Baltimore and at home against Stanford to start the 2005 season and finished 8-4; lost to Virginia and at Boston College in 1992 and finished 1-10; beat Virginia and lost at Indiana in 1986 and finished 3-8; won at North Carolina and lost to Virginia in 1984 and finished 4-6-1; lost at Virginia and to Mississippi State at home to start the year in 1983 and finished 3-8; beat Virginia and lost to Arkansas in Little Rock in 1982 and finished 6-5; beat Virginia and won at Penn State in 1974 and finished 4-7.
• Navy has been outscored 84-17 to start the season. It's the Mids' largest combined two-game deficit (-67 points) since 2001 when Navy opened the season with a 45-26 loss to Temple and then lost to Georgia Tech, 70-7 (82 combined points).
• The Mids have been shut out in the first quarter in seven of the last 10 games dating back to last year and have not scored a touchdown in the first quarter in nine of the last 11 games.
• Navy owns a 15-6 (.714) record in games played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium under Ken Niumatalolo and is 17-17 (.500) away from home.
• Navy has already turned the ball over eight times this year after committing just 15 turnovers in 2011. The Mids have lost six fumbles in the first two games after losing just nine fumbles all of last year.
• The Mids have not scored a touchdown in the first half in consecutive games for the first time since 2001 (Temple and Georgia Tech).
• Navy led the country in fewest penalties last year with just 28. However, it has already committed nine penalties this year, including seven against Penn State.
• In Navy's last five wins it has outscored the opposition, 105-31, in the first half, including 43-0 in the first quarter. In Navy's 32 wins under Niumatalolo, the Mids have outscored the opposition 506-308 in the first half, including 255-105 in the first quarter
• In the Mids' last nine losses, Navy has been outscored, 199-69, in the first half, including 86-10 in the first quarter. In Navy's 23 losses under Niumatalolo, the Mids have been outscored 444-218 in the first half, including 202-71 in the first quarter.
• Under Niumatalolo, the Mids are 21-3 (.875) when leading after the first quarter and 11-20 (.355) when trailing or tied after the first stanza.
• Navy has been held below 300 yards rushing in eight of its last 14 games and is just 1-7 (.125) in those games (Army is the lone win).
• The Mids are 17-5 (.773) under Niumatalolo when rushing for 300 yards or more and 15-18 (.455) when the offense is held under 300 yards rushing.
• Navy is 27-4 (.870) under Niumatalolo when scoring first and 5-19 (.208) when the opponent scores first. Navy has lost the last nine games (over the last three years) when the opposition scores first. Navy's last win after an opponent scores first was on Oct. 16, 2010, when Navy fell behind SMU, 14-0, before rallying for a 28-21 victory.
• An opposing running back has rushed for over 100 yards in a game against Navy in nine of the last 14 contests. In the previous 40 games, Navy surrendered only nine 100-yard rushing games to opposing running backs.
• This is the latest home opener for the Mids since 1995 when Navy played host to Wake Forest on Sept. 23.
• Navy is 4-0 under head coach Ken Niumatalolo in home openers with victories over Towson, Louisiana Tech, Georgia Southern and Delaware.