Navy and Rutgers Rekindle Gridiron Series Saturday in New Jersey
Oct. 10, 2011
Setting the Stage
Navy and Rutgers will meet for the 24th time in series history when they square off on Saturday at 2:00 pm at High Point Solutions Stadium (52,454) in New Brunswick, N.J.
ESPN3 will air the national broadcast with Dave Popkin (play-by-play) and Adam Archuleta (analyst) calling the action.
The Navy Football Tailgate Show on WNAV 1430 AM / 99.9 FM will air at 12 noon with Pete Medhurst live from New Brunswick and Joe Miller and Wylie Baker in the 1430 WNAV studio.
The Navy Football Pregame Show with Bob Socci, Omar Nelson and Medhurst will get underway at 1:00 pm, followed by game action at 2:00 pm on the Navy
Radio Network and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 93).
Following the contest, Miller and 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 Mids enter Saturday's contest on a three-game losing streak, its longest losing streak since 2002. The losing streak has come at the hands of South Carolina, Air Force and Southern Miss who have a combined record of 13-4. South Carolina is ranked in the top 25, while Southern Miss is receving votes.
Since 2003, Navy has won 18 games against BCS foes, the most of any non-BCS team in the country. The Mids have defeated at least one BCS team in eight-consecutive seasons, the second-longest streak in the country.
Senior quarterback Kriss Proctor is trying to become the first quarterback in school history to rush for over 100 yards and pass for over 100 yards in three-consecutive games. He is one of only three players to do it in two-straight games (Brian Madden in 2001 and Chris McCoy in 1997).
Navy is the No. 1 rushing team in the country (366.0), while Rutgers is 20th in run defense (101.2). Navy is 24th in total offense (463.4), while Rutgers is 20th in total defense (306.). Rutgers is No. 1 in the country in turnover margin (+2.8), while Navy is 23rd (+0.8). Rutgers is 11th in the country in scoring defense (15.2), while Navy is 36th in scoring offense (34.0). Rutgers is 115th in rushing offense (79.8), while Navy is 112th in rushing defense (220.8). Rutgers is 106th in total offense (314.8), while Navy is 85th (408.2) in total defense.
Since 2003, Navy is 25-6 (.806) following a loss. The Mids are 11-4 (.733) under Niumatalolo following a loss.
Navy is 24-3 under Niumatalolo when scoring first (losses in 2008 against Wake Forest in the EagleBank Bowl, 2009 vs. Temple and at No. 10 South Carolina in 2011) and 5-14 when the opponent scores first.
The Last Time ...
Navy 23, Rutgers 21 Sept. 20, 2008 | Annapolis, Md.
Matt Harmon's 24-yard field goal with 2:06 remaining gave Navy a 23-21 lead and Ross Pospisil's interception two plays later put the game away, as the Midshipmen rallied for a thrilling 23-21 victory over Rutgers in front of a stadium-record crowd of 37,821 fans.
Tailing 14-6, Navy managed just 109 yards of total offense in the opening half. The score could have been worse if not for the brilliant play by safety Wyatt Middleton, who stripped wide receiver Tiquan Underwood of the ball at the Navy four-yard line with 20 seconds remaining in the half. The fumble was recovered by safety Emmett Merchant in the end zone for a touchback.
Navy took to the air to start the second half with Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada completing three of four passes for 77 yards and a touchdown on the opening drive.
The biggest pass play of the drive was the first one as the Mids were facing a third-and-seven on their own 21-yard line. Despite being under duress, Kaheaku-Enhada threw a perfect strike to wide receiver Tyree Barnes, who made a spectacular catch with two defenders on him. The 41-yard pass play gave Navy the ball at the Rutgers 38-yard line. Four players later, Kaheaku-Enhada hit Barnes with a 22-yard touchdown pass to pull the Mids to within one at 14-13.
Navy took its first lead of the game since early in the first quarter on the next drive, marching 94 yards on nine plays. Fullback Eric Kettani rushed for 54 yards on the drive, including a 44-yard run up the middle that put the ball in Rutgers territory. He capped off the drive with a two-yard TD run to give Navy the 20-14 advantage.
The two teams traded punts before Rutgers regained the lead on a 12-yard touchdown run by Jourdan Brooks that gave the Scarlet Knights a 21-20 lead and set up the Harmon and Pospisil's heroics.
The Scarlet Knights are 4-1 on the year and receiving votes in the USA Today/Coaches Poll.
Rutgers is coming off a 34-10 shellacking of Pitt. The Scarlet Knights also own wins over North Carolina Central (48-0), Ohio (38-26) and Syracuse (19-16 in overtime). Their only loss was at North Carolina, 24-22.
Rutgers has played two quarterbacks this year. Chas Dodd has completed 69 of his 127 attempts for 754 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions, while Gary Nova has completed 32 of his 68 pass attempts for 412 yards and four touchdowns.
Redshirt freshman Jawan Jamison leads the Rutgers rushing attack with 243 yards on 91 carries. True freshman Savon Huggins has four touchdowns on 36 carries.
Mohamed Sanu is one of the top wide receivers in the country. He has 45 catches for 455 yards and five touchdowns in Rutgers' five games. He is tied for sixth in the country in receptions per game (9.0)
Led by senior Khaseem Green and junior Logan Ryan, Rutgers' defense has been stout. Green has 45 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks, while Ryan has 26 tackles and six pass break-ups. Duran Harmon is tied for second in the country in interceptions (0.8 per game) and Justin Francis is 14th in the nation in sacks per game (0.9).
The Scarlet Knights have one of the best kickers in the country in San San Te. He is No. 1 in the country in field goals per game (2.4) and ninth in scoring per game (10.6).
The Garden State
Navy has three players from the state of New Jersey.
Freshman quarterback Brendan Dudeck is from Hamilton Square, sophomore guard Eric Mahler is from Matawan and sophomore quarterback DJ Sargenti is from Ridgefield.
Southern Miss Hands Navy Its Third-Straight Defeat, 63-35
Southern Miss quarterback Austin Davis completed 21-of-23 pass attempts for 283 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another 75 yards and a touchdown to lead the Golden Eagles to a 63-35 rout of Navy in front of 33,462 fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
The 63 points were the most points allowed by a Navy defense since 2002 when the Mids gave up 65 points to NC State in a 65-19 loss. The 28- point loss is the worst loss Navy has suffered since 2006 when Rutgers beat the Mids, 34-0.
The game completely turned in the favor of the Golden Eagles on the first two drives of the game. Navy won the toss and promptly drove the ball down to the Southern Miss six-yard line, where, on second-and-four, Mike Patrick lost two yards and on third-and-six John Howell was stopped for one yard. After taking a delay of game penalty to give Navy kicker Jon Teague a better angle for the kick, Southern Miss blocked the low line-drive attempt and Marquese Wheaton returned it 79 yards for a touchdown.
It was Teague's second kick in a row that was blocked. Air Force blocked his extra-point in overtime in Navy's 35-34 loss to the Falcons the week before.
Undeterred, the Navy offense moved back down the field and had the ball first-and-goal at the Southern Miss seven-yard line. On first down, quarterback Kriss Proctor carried the ball down to the one. On second down, Proctor was stopped for no gain. On third down, Proctor pitched the ball to Bo Snelson, who was met at the goal line for no gain. Navy elected to go for it on fourth down and Proctor was stopped once again at the goal line.
Southern Miss then completely took the wind out of Navy's sails by moving 99 yards on six plays with Jeremy Hester scoring from three yards out to give the Golden Eagles what turned out to be an insurmountable 14-point lead. The big play on the drive was a 77-yard pass from Davis to Austin Balentine on third-and-seven from their own four-yard line.
Tracy Lampley scored on a four-yard run early in the second period to make it 21-0 and then Davis hit Ryan Hanks with a five-yard scoring pass to make it 28-0 with 7:32 remaining in the half. Navy would pull no closer than 21 points the rest of the night.
Proctor led the Navy offense with 17 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed five of his 10 pass attempts for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Senior fullback Delvin Diggs, filling in for the suspended Alexander Teich, carried the ball 17 times for 93 yards and two touchdowns, while John Howell had seven carries for 66 yards and a score.
Brandon Turner (43 yards) and Gee Gee Greene (27 yards) had touchdown catches for the Mids.
Matt Warrick led the Navy defense with 11 tackles. Tra'ves Bush and David Sperry recorded 10 tackles each.
Notes From The Southern Miss Game
The 98-combined points are the most in a Navy game since 2007 when the Mids beat North Texas, 74-62 (the 136 points in that game set an NCAA record for a regulation game). It is the most points scored in a game played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium since 2007 when Delaware beat Navy, 59-52 (111).
The 63 points scored by Southern Miss are the most by a Navy opponent since NC State scored 65 against Navy in 2002.
The 28-point loss was the largest margin of defeat suffered by a Navy team since 2006 when the Mids lost at home to Rutgers, 34-0.
The two teams combined for 1,153 yards (Southern Miss-584, Navy 569). The 584 yards by Southern Miss were the most yards allowed by Navy since 2007 against North Texas (635) and the 569 yards by Navy are the most since last year's East Carolina game (596).
Navy rushed for a season-high 421 yards. It was the most since last year's game against Central Michigan (437) and the 24th most in school history.
First Half Woes
Navy has been outscored 56-10 in the first half of its last two games (losses to Air Force and Southern Miss). On the year, Navy has been outscored 87-70 in the first half.
Meanwhile, the Mids have outscored the opposition 100-66 in the second half (including overtime).
Navy's best quarter has been the third quarter (48-24), while the second quarter has been the Mids' worst quarter (outscored 52-34).
The mark of a good team is having the ability to win away from home. Navy is 38-23 (.623) in games played away from Annapolis over the last nine years, which is tied for the 13th-best mark in the country.
The Mids are 1-1 (.500) in games played away from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in 2011 with the loss coming by three points at then No. 10 South Carolina.
Special teams has been a major problem for the Mids this year. Navy has missed six kicks to date (four extra-points and two field goals), which is the most combined missed kicks in a season since 2007 when the Mids missed 10 field goals and two extra-points.
The four missed extra-points this season are the most since Geoff Blumenfeld missed four in 2004.
Senior kicker Jon Teague had an extra-point blocked against Delaware, the Mids mishandled the snap and Teague missed an extra-point against Western Kentucky, Teague missed a field goal and had an extra-point blocked against Air Force in a 35-34 overtime loss and he had a field goal blocked that was returned for a touchdown on the first drive of the game against Southern Miss.
The Mids also rank 114th in kickoff returns (17.96) and 114th in kickoff return defense (26.35).
The Mids do rank 12th in the country in punt returns (15.67).
Navy Vs. the BCS / Non-BCS
Since 2003, Navy owns an 18-22 (.450) record against schools from a BCS conference and an impressive 54-14 record (.794) against non-BCS foes. Navy's 18 BCS wins are the most by a non-BCS school since 2003.
Head coach Ken Niumatalolo is 22-8 (.733) against non-BCS squads and 7-9 (.438) against teams from a BCS conference.
Navy's 18 wins against BCS schools have come against Vanderbilt (`03, `04), Duke (`04, `05, `06, `07), Rutgers (`04, `08), Stanford (`06), Connecticut (`06), Pitt (`07), Notre Dame (`07, `09, `10), Wake Forest (`08, `09, `10) and Missouri (`09).
Navy has beaten at least one BCS opponent in eight-consecutive years, which is the second-longest active streak in the country by a non-BCS school. TCU has had at least one BCS win in nine-consecutive seasons.