Mids Return to the Gridiron Saturday at Western Kentucky
Sept. 23, 2013
Setting the Stage
• Navy and Western Kentucky will meet for the third time on the gridiron when they square off at Houchens Industries / L.T. Smith Stadium (22,113) in Bowling Green, Ky. on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 2:00 pm Eastern, 1:00 pm in Bowling Green.
• This will be the first meeting between the two schools since 2011 when Navy defeated Western Kentucky, 40-14, in Bowling Green.
• Saturday’s game will be televised nationally by ESPNEWS with Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Ray Bentley (analyst) calling the action.
• The Navy Football Tailgate Show on WNAV 1430 AM / 99.9 FM will air at 12:00 pm (ET) with Joe Miller live from Bowling Green and Graham Whaples in the 1430 WNAV studio in Annapolis.
• The Navy Football Pregame Show with Pete Medhurst, Omar Nelson and Joe Miller will get underway at 1:00 pm (ET), followed by game action at 2:00 pm (ET) on the Navy Radio Network.
• Following the contest, Miller and Medhurst will recap the day’s events in a 60-minute postgame show live on WNAV 1430 AM / 99.9 FM and WFED 1500 AM.
• The tailgate show, the pregame show, the game and the postgame show are available over the internet to Navy All-Access subscribers.
Navy Looking To Go 3-0 For The First Time Since 2006
• Navy is off to a 2-0 start for the second time in the last three seasons and will be looking to go 3-0 for the first time since 2006.
• The Mids were 2-0 in 2011 before dropping a heartbreaking 24-21 game at South Carolina. The next week Navy lost at home to Air Force in overtime (35-34) and ended up losing six in a row en route to a disappointing 5-7 season.
• In 2006, the Mids defeated East Carolina (28-23), Massachusetts (21-20) and Stanford (37-9) to start the year 3-0 before falling to Tulsa, 24-23 in overtime. That Navy team went on to post a 9-4 record and played Boston College in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
• Starting corner Kwazel Bertrand will miss his third consecutive game with a left knee injury. Bertrand injured his knee the week before the season-opener. He is expected to be back for the Air Force game.
• Projected starting slot back Ryan Williams-Jenkins is expected to play in his first game this year. Williams-Jenkins tore the ACL in his left knee during spring practice and had surgery on April 9. Remarkably, in less than six months Williams-Jenkins has returned to the practice field and is ready to see his first action of the year.
• Projected starting slot back Colin Osborne is out for the year with a torn ACL in his right knee. Osborne injured his knee early in the fall and had surgery on September 12.
Scouting Western Kentucky
• The Hilltoppers, who are 2-2, are coming off a 58-17 destruction of Morgan State. Western Kentucky knocked off in-state rival Kentucky, 35-26, in the opener before losing to Tennessee (52-20) and South Alabama (31-24) in back-to-back games.
• Western Kentucky is averaging 227.2 yards per game on the ground and 246.5 yards through the air. Meanwhile, the WKU defense is giving up 195.5 yards per game on the ground and 187.5 through the air.
• Senior running back Antonio Andrews is one of the best running backs the Mids will see all year. He leads the Hilltopper offense with 545 rushing yards on 65 carries (8.4 yds/carry) and six touchdowns and has 10 catches for 119 yards (11.9 yds/catch). Andrews destroyed Morgan State last Saturday, rushing for 213 yards and five touchdowns on 17 carries.
• Western Kentucky has played four quarterbacks this year, with Junior Brandon Doughty starting three of the four games. Doughty has completed 78 of his 122 pass attempts (63.9) for 830 yards with five touchdowns and eight interceptions. Freshman Todd Porter started against Morgan State and completed five of his 10 pass attempts for 76 yards and an interception.
• Junior Willie McNeal and freshman Nicholas Norris lead the WKU receiving corps. McNeal has 15 catches for 207 yards, while Norris has 14 catches for 169 yards and three touchdowns.
• Senior linebacker Xavius Boyd leads the WKU defense with 45 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. Junior safety Jonathan Dowling has recorded 27 stops, recovered a fumble and forced two fumbles, while senior linebacker Andrew Jackson has 28 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss.
Navy vs. The The Sun Belt
• Navy is 55-17-1 (.760) all-time against teams from the Sun Belt.
• The Mids have played four of the eight teams that make up the Sun Belt, having played Arkansas State (1-0), Texas State (1-0), Troy (1-1) and Western Kentucky (2-0).
Time To Prepare
• The Mids are 10-12 (.455) under Niumatalolo with more than one week to prepare.
• In 2008, the Mids were 3-3 with more than one week to prepare, beating Towson, Northern Illinois and Army and losing to Pitt, Notre Dame and Wake Forest.
• In 2009, the Mids were 2-2 with more than one week to prepare, beating Army and Missouri and losing to Ohio State and Hawai’i
• In 2010, the Mids were 1-3 with more than one week to prepare, beating Army and losing to Maryland, Air Force and San Diego State.
• In 2011, the Mids were 2-1 with more than one week to prepare, beating Delaware and Army and losing to Air Force.
• In 2012, the Mids were 1-3 with more than one week to prepare, beating Army and losing to Notre Dame, Penn State and Arizona State.
• This season, the Mids are 1-0 with more than one week to prepare, beating Indiana.
Mids Putting Points on the board
• A week after scoring 41 points at Indiana, Navy hung 51 points on Delaware. The 51 points are the most in a Navy home opener since 1975 when the Mids defeated Connecticut, 55-7.
• Navy’s 92-combined points in the first two games of the season are the most by a Navy team to start the season since 1975 when the Mids opened the year by scoring a combined 97 points against Virginia (42-14) and Connecticut (55-7).
• Navy is averaging 46.0 points per game this season, the ninth-best scoring average in the country.