Navy to Play Host to Indiana on Homecoming
Senior Keegan Wetzel is part of the Navy defensive unit that has surrendered just 49 points over the last four contests.
Oct. 15, 2012
Setting the Stage
Navy and Indiana will meet for the third time on the gridiron when they square off Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000). Kickoff is set for 3:34 pm and the presenting sponsors for Saturday's game are SAIC and Verizon Wireless.
This will be the first meeting between the two schools since 1986 when Indiana won 52-29 in Bloomington. Navy is scheduled to open up the 2013 season in Bloomington on Sept. 7.
Indiana's trip to Annapolis will mark the first Big Ten team to play at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium since 2002 when Northwestern defeated Navy, 49-40.
Saturday is Homecoming for Navy. Navy is 38-24 all-time on Homecoming, but have lost two straight and five of the last six on Homecoming. Last year, Navy lost to East Carolina, 38-35. Navy's last win on Homecoming came in 2009 when the Mids edged Wake Forest, 13-10.
Saturday's game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports Network with Grant Boone, former Oakland Raider Pro Bowl tight end 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.
Game Day Festivities
Pregame festivities 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 Navy All-Access subscribers.
Saturday's fly-over will be two F-18's and will take place at 3:31 pm. The pilots are based out of China Lake, Calif.
Legendary Navy cross country coach Al Cantello will be honored at the second timeout in the first quarter. Cantello is in his 50th year coaching at the Naval Academy and his 45th as the head men's cross country coach. Since his arrival, the Midshipmen have been one of the most consistent men's cross country programs, both regionally and nationally. In 44 seasons at the helm of the cross country program, Cantello boasts a 241-69-1 career record. Last season, Cantello led the Mids to their fourth consecutive Patriot League Championship, while garnering conference coach of the year accolades for the fourth straight season.
Between the first and second quarter, the Naval Academy Athletic Association will honor the Navy women's basketball team. Head coach Stefanie Pemper guided the Mids to their second straight Patriot League title and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2012. Navy defeated Holy Cross in the championship game, 57-48, as sophomore Jade Geif was named the Patriot League Tournament Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season. The Mids fought valiantly before falling to Maryland, 59-44, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Hoosiers are 2-4 on the year with victories over Indiana State (24-17) and Massachusetts (45-6) and hard luck losses to Ball State (41-39), Northwestern (44-29), Michigan State (31-27) and Ohio State (52-49).
Indiana is the only team in the country not to lose a fumble this year and its two turnovers are the fewest in the country.
Quarterback Cameron Coffman has been solid in replacing injured starter Tre Roberson, completing 108 of his 172 passes for 1,076 yards with seven touchdowns and one interception.
Shane Wynn is Coffman's favorite target with 31 catches for 294 yards and five touchdowns. Cody Latimer has 27 catches for 431 yards and two touchdowns.
Stephen Houston has rushed for 368 yards and six touchdowns on 63 carries, while D'Angelo Roberts has carried the ball 50 times for 183 yards and two touchdowns.
On defense, Adam Replogle leads the Hoosiers with 41 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks, while David Cooper has 39 tackles and four tackles for a loss.
Indiana ranks 71st in the country in rushing offense (160.0), 15th in passing offense (313.0), 27th in total offense (473.0) and 32nd in scoring offense (35.5).
The Hoosiers rank 109th in rush defense (221.2), 77th in pass defense (242.7), 103rd in total defense (463.8) and 92nd in scoring defense (31.8).
The Last Time ...
Indiana 52, Navy 29 Sept. 20, 1986 | Bloomington, Ind.
Indiana capitalized on four Navy turnovers and made good use of five big plays on offense to hand the Midshipmen a 52-29 defeat.
The five key plays for the Hoosiers netted them 222 yards of offense and they added a 59-yard interception return that went for a touchdown. The Mids fumbled the ball over on their second play from scrimmage in the game, with Indiana halfback Damon Swezy breaking loose for a 59-yard TD run on the next play.
John Berner's seven-yard run pulled the Mids even, but Indiana added a field goal late in the first period and then erupted for 28 second-quarter points, 21 of them the result of turnovers.
Navy bounced back in the third period with 19 points, as tailback Chuck Smith scored from the four and from the one. But the Hoosiers stemmed the comeback with a touchdown of their own, a 33-yard run by quarterback Dave Kramme.
Navy Vs. The Big 10
Navy is 26-42-3 (.387) all-time against teams currently in the Big 10 Conference.
The Mids lost earlier this year to Penn State, 34-7. Navy last beat a team from the Big 10 in 1979 when Navy beat Illinois, 13-12.
Navy is scheduled to play at Indiana on Sept. 7, 2013, and will play host to Ohio State on Aug. 30, 2014, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Navy Quick Hitters
Opening the year against Notre Dame in Dublin and at Penn State was the toughest opening two games in school history.
In the last 40 years, Navy has started the year with two opponents from BCS conferences just eight times and only twice (2005 and 1982) did the Mids go on to have a winning record.
Navy last beat a team from the Big 10 in 1979 when Navy beat Illinois in Champaign, 13-12.
Navy has been the dominant Service Academy over the last decade going 18-2 against Army (10-0) and Air Force (8-2), winning seven-consecutive Commander-In-Chief's Trophies from 2003-09 and going to eight straight bowl games from 2003-10.
Navy will join the BIG EAST for football only starting in 2015.
The Navy defense has given up just 49 points over the last four games (16 quarters plus one overtime), allowing three points to VMI, 12 to San Jose State, 21 to Air Force and 13 to Central Michigan. It is the fewest points Navy has allowed over a four-game stretch since 1981 when the Mids surrendered a combined 46 points to Yale (23), Air Force (13), Boston College (10) and William & Mary (0).
Since 2003, Navy has won 18 games against schools from a BCS conference. The 18 wins against BCS schools during that time period are the most in the country by a non-BCS school. Navy's 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's three losses this season (Notre Dame, Penn State and San Jose State) have come at the hands of opponents that are a combined 14-4 (.778) on the year. Notre Dame (6-0) is currently ranked fifth in the country, while Penn State (4-2) is receiving votes in the AP Poll (it is ineligible for the USA Today/Coaches Poll). San Jose State (4-2) was receiving votes before being knocked off by Utah State, 49-27, last week.
For the seventh year in a row, the Naval Academy finished in the top five in the country for graduating NCAA student-athletes on the FBS level. Navy graduated 100 percent of its student-athletes in six of the 20 NCAA sports reported. Overall, 96 percent of Navy's student-athletes that enrolled from 2000-03 graduated.
Senior outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel scored a perfect 1600 on his SAT and is believed to be the only current FBS player in the country to accomplish such a feat. He carries a 3.89 GPA in systems engineering and is an Academic All-America candidate and a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete-of-the-Year candidate. Wetzel has also been a force on the field for the Midshipmen, recording 28 tackles, a team-high 5.5 tackles for a loss and a team-high four sacks. He has also recovered a fumble and broken up a pass.
Over the last 11 years, Navy has consistently been one of the nation's top rushing teams, never finishing lower than sixth. The Mids are currently 14th in the country in rushing (233.3).
Navy has played 11 true freshmen this year, which is tied for the 15th most in the country.
Navy has had 15 players make their first career starts this fall, which is tied for the fourth most in the country.
Keenan Reynolds is the first freshman to start at quarterback for Navy since Jim Kubiak started five games in 1991. Reynolds won his first-career start, 31-13 over Central Michigan.
Sophomore punter Pablo Beltran is off to a great start in 2012, averaging 45.5 yards per punt (22 punts). He stands 10th in the country in punting, while Navy is 16th in the country in net punting (40.7).
Freshman Nick Sloan is one of just 16 true freshman kickers starting in the FBS this year. He is 6-for-6 on field goals and 13-for-13 on extra-points. He is one of four kickers in the FBS that has yet to miss a kick (field goal or extra point).
Navy owns a 6-3 record all-time in overtime games, winning six of its last seven.
Navy is tied for 94th in the country in red zone offense, scoring on just 13 of 18 chances. Five of the 13 scores have been field goals. The Mids are 7-7 in the red zone the last two games (4-4 against Air Force and 3-3 against Central Michigan).
The Mids are ranked 25th in the country in red zone defense, allowing 13 scores on 18 opportunities. Six of the 13 scores have been field goals.
Navy owns a 78-43 (.645) record over the last 10 years after posting a 3-30 (.091) mark from 2000-02. The 78 wins are tied for the 22nd-most wins in the country during that span.
Senior guard Josh Cabral and slot back Gee Gee Greene have started 31 consecutive games for the Midshipmen, while senior linebacker Matt Warrick has started 20 straight games.
Navy is 28-4 (.875) under Ken Niumatalolo when scoring first and 7-20 (.259) when the opponent scores first.
Under Niumatalolo, the Mids are 22-3 (.880) when leading after the first quarter and 13-21 (.382) when trailing or tied after the first stanza.
The Mids are 18-5 (.783) under Niumatalolo when rushing for 300 yards or more and 17-19 (.472) when the offense is held under 300 yards rushing.
Navy has turned the ball over 12 times this season (nine lost fumbles and three interceptions) after committing just 15 turnovers in 2011 (nine lost fumbles and six interceptions). Junior quarterback Trey Miller has been responsible for 10 of Navy's 12 turnovers (seven fumbles and three interceptions) with five of those turnovers coming inside the opponent's 30-yard line.
The Navy offense has lost nine fumbles this year after losing just nine fumbles in 12 games a year ago. The Mids are tied for the sixth most lost fumbles in the country.
Indiana is the only team in the country not to lose a fumble this year and its two total turnovers are the fewest in the country.
Navy ranks 99th in the country in third down offense, converting just 25 of 52 tries (.347). The Mids are 11-17 (.647) on fourth down, which ranks 31st in the country.
The Navy defense ranks 100th in third down defense, giving up 34 conversions in 73 attempts (.466). The Mids held Central Michigan to 2-10 (.200) third down conversions last week.
Opponents, however, are just 2-for-8 (.250) when going for it on fourth down against the Navy defense, which ranks as the 15th best fourth down defense in the country.
Navy owns a 16-7 (.696) record in games played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium under Niumatalolo and is 19-17 (.528) away from home.
Niumatalolo holds Navy coaching records for most wins in the first two seasons (18), three seasons (27) and four seasons (32) of a career. His 35 wins in five seasons is tied with Wayne Hardin for second-most.
Reynolds Leads Mids To 31-13 Victory Over Central Michigan
Freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds threw for 134 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 59 more yards to lead Navy to a 31-13 victory over Central Michigan.
Reynolds, who was the first freshman to start at quarterback at Navy since Jim Kubiak in 1991, is the first Navy quarterback to throw three touchdowns since Chris McCoy against Colgate in 1991.
Navy won the coin toss and elected to receive with Reynolds promptly driving the Mids 74 yards on eight plays. On the first play of the game he hit senior slot back Bo Snelson down the middle for 26 yards and on the final play of the drive he hit senior wide receiver Brandon Turner with a 23-yard touchdown strike to put the Mids up 7-0.
After a Central Michigan field goal, Reynolds led Navy on a 66-yard drive, this time hitting senior slot back Gee Gee Greene with a 19-yard touchdown pass to make the score 14-3.
Central Michigan cut Navy's lead to 17-13 thanks to a touchdown right before the end of the half, followed by a field goal on the first drive of the third quarter. Navy, however, answered with an 11-play, 61-yard drive that ate up 5:29 on the clock as senior fullback Prentice Christian scored his first career touchdown from two yards out to push the Mids' lead to 24-13.
After the Navy defense held the CMU offense to a three-and-out, Reynolds hit Greene with a 41-yard touchdown pass on the first play to make the score 31-13.
Sophomore fullback Noah Copeland led the Mids in rushing with 70 yards on 15 carries, while Christian tacked on 64 yards on 13 carries.
The Navy defense was sensational all night, playing perhaps its best game of the year against the high-powered Chippewa attack.
Navy held Central Michigan to 221 yards of total offense, including just 70 on the ground. CMU managed just 12 first downs against the Mids.
Sophomore corner Parrish Gaines led Navy with seven tackles and a tackle for a loss, while senior safety Tra'ves Bush recorded six tackles. Senior outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel was in on five tackles, two tackles for a loss, a sack and a pass break-up, while senior defensive end Wes Henderson recorded four tackles, two tackles for a loss, a sack and a pass break-up.
Looking For Three-Straight Wins
Navy will be looking to win its third consecutive game for the first time since the end of the 2010 season when the Midshipmen won four in a row to end the regular season (76-35 over East Carolina, 38-37 over Central Michigan, 35-19 over Arkansas State and 31-17 over Army) .
Keeping The Opponents Off The Scoreboard
The Navy defense has given up just 49 points over the last four games (16 quarters plus one overtime), allowing three points to VMI, 12 to San Jose State, 21 to Air Force and 13 to Central Michigan.
It is the fewest points Navy has allowed over a four-game stretch since 1981 when the Mids surrendered a combined 46 points to Yale (23), Air Force (13), Boston College (10) and William & Mary (0).