East Carolina Travels to Navy for Homecoming Matchup
Oct. 17, 2011
Setting the Stage
• Navy and East Carolina will meet for the third time in series history when they square off on Homecoming on Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000). Kickoff is set for 3:30 pm.
• Standing room-only tickets still remain for $20 by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY, by logging on to navysports.com or by visiting the Ricketts Hall Box Office.
• The presenting sponsor for the East Carolina game is Verizon.
• CBS Sports Network will air the national broadcast with Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Randy Cross (analyst) and Kaylee Hartung (sideline) calling the action.
• The Navy Football Tailgate Show on WNAV 1430 AM / 99.9 FM will air at 1:30 pm with Pete Medhurst, Joe Miller and Wylie Baker live from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• The Navy Football Pregame Show with Bob Socci, Omar Nelson and Medhurst will get underway at 2:30 pm, followed by game action at 3:30 pm on the Navy
Radio Network and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 134).
• 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.
• 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 by the Brigade of Midshipmen will take place at 3:07 pm. Two Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornets from the "Gunslingers" of Strike Fighter Squadron 105, NAS Oceana will conduct the fly-by at 3:28 pm.
• The Navy women's lacrosse team, the two-time defending Patriot League Tournament Champions, will be honored between the first and second quarter.
• The Mids enter Saturday's contest on a four-game losing streak, its longest losing streak since 2002, when the Mids lost 10 straight. The losing streak has come at the hands of South Carolina (6-1), Air Force (3-3), Southern Miss (5-1) and Rutgers (5-1), who have a combined record of 19-6 (.760).
• South Carolina is ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press poll and No. 12 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll. Meanwhile, Southern Miss and Rutgers are receiving votes in both polls.
• Three of the four losses have come by a combined five points (South Carolina by three, Air Force by one in overtime and Rutgers by one).
• East Carolina has played an equally-tough schedule with losses to South Carolina (6-1), Virginia Tech (6-1), North Carolina (5-2) and Houston (6-0). Those four teams have a combined record of 23-4 (.852). South Carolina, Virginia Tech (16th in AP, 14th in coaches) and Houston (21st in AP, 20th in coaches) are all ranked in the top 25. The Pirates lost by just seven to the Hokies.
• Navy is 34-22 all-time in Homecoming games, but has lost four of the last five - lost to Duke in 2010, defeated Wake Forest in 2009, lost to Pitt in 2008, lost to Wake Forest in 2007 and lost to Rutgers in 2006.
• Navy enters Saturday with the country's fourth-ranked rushing offense, averaging 332.0 yards per game. The Mids also rank in the top 25 in turnover margin (17th, +0.83) and punt returns (19th, 12.75).
• The Pirates are 18th nationally in passing offense, averaging 299.2 yards per game. Wide receivers Lance Lewis (16th, 7.5) and Justin Hardy (T21st, 6.8) are both in the top 25 for catches per game, while Jeremy Grove is third nationally in tackles per game (13.2).
• Last year, the Mids scored a modern-day school-record 76 points against the Pirates in a 76-35 victory in Greenville.
• 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 5-15 when the opponent scores first.
• The Mids need to go at least 4-2 over the final six games to go to a bowl game for the ninth-consecutive year.
• Navy has missed at least one kick (PAT or field goal) in five of its six games this year, including three-straight contests. Over the last three weeks, the Mids had an extra-point blocked in overtime against Air Force, a field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown against Southern Miss and a field goal attempt blocked at Rutgers.
Scouting East Carolina
• The Pirates are 2-4 on the year and coming off a 35-17 victory over Memphis. East Carolina also owns a victory over UAB and have lost to South Carolina, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Houston.
• Turnovers have been East Carolina's biggest problem as it ranks 120th in the country in turnover margin (-2.0 per game).
• The Pirates feature a prolific passing attack with Dominique Davis, a transfer from Boston College, at quarterback and Lance Lewis and Justin Hardy at wide receiver.
• Davis has completed 174 of his 254 passes for 1,641 yards with 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Lewis has 45 catches for 481 yards and six touchdowns, while Hardy has made 41 catches for 436 yards and three touchdowns.
• Freshman Jeremy Grove leads the Pirate defense with 66 tackles. His 13.2 tackles are the third most in the country.
The Last Time ...
Navy 76, East Carolina 35 Nov. 6, 2010 | Greenville, N.C.
• Navy outscored East Carolina, 48-14, in the second half thanks to four Pirate fumbles and an unstoppable ground attack as the Mids rolled over ECU, 76-35, in front of 50,191 fans at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville. The 76 points are the most by a Navy team since 1919.
• The Mids took a 28-21 lead at the half thanks to a five-yard touchdown run by quarterback Ricky Dobbs with just 14 seconds remaining in the second quarter. The touchdown was the 45th of his career, which broke the school record previously held by Chris McCoy (1995-97).
• The floodgates opened in the third quarter when East Carolina turned the ball over on three-straight possessions to start the second half.
• The first turnover happened on the second play of the third quarter when ECU running back Jon Williams had the ball knocked out of his hands by defensive end Jabaree Tuani and Navy nose guard Chase Burge recovered it.
• The Mids converted that fumble when Jon Teague nailed a career-long 38-yard field goal to make the score 31-21.
• The Navy defense came up with another fumble on ECU's next drive when Williams fumbled again and safety Tra'ves Bush came up with the ball at the ECU 29-yard line.
• This time it took Navy just one play to put points on the board as Dobbs hit a wide open Aaron Santiago with a 29-yard touchdown pass to make the score 38-21.
• Remarkably, ECU fumbled again, this time on the very next play from scrimmage, when quarterback Dominique Davis had his pass batted back to him by Billy Yarborough and when Davis caught his own pass he was hit by Tuani, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Tyler Simmons at the ECU 21-yard line.
• Four plays later, Navy slot back Gee Gee Greene scored on a fourth-and-one play from the 12 to make the score 45-21.
The Tar Heel State
• Navy has 14 players from the state of North Carolina, which is tied with California for the third most on the team.
• Junior tackle Andrew Barker (High Point), senior safety Brian Blick (Greenville), freshman quarterback Greg Bryant (Fayetteville), freshman safety Chris Ferguson (Angier), sophomore guard Adam Guess (Charlotte), sophomore wide receiver Brantley Horton (Cleveland), freshman slot back Eric Johnson (Fayetteville), junior defensive end Joshua Jones (Greensboro), sophomore quarterback Hayden Maples (Raleigh), senior nose guard Jared Marks (Fayetteville), junior wide receiver John O'Boyle (Charlotte), junior defensive end Collin Sturdivant (High Point), senior kicker Jon Teague (Hickory) and freshman fullback Obi Uzona (Wake Forest) all hail from North Carolina.
Mids Lose Another Heartbreaker
• Brandon Jones blocked Jon Teague's 34-yard field goal with 4:43 left in the fourth quarter to give Rutgers a 21-20 victory over Navy in front of 47,138 fans at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, N.J. It was the third-consecutive game that Navy had a kick blocked.
• Navy led 14-7 at the half thanks to the play of freshman safety Chris Ferguson, who was making his first-career start. Ferguson caused Savon Huggins to fumble on the Navy goal line on the second series of the game and then picked off Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter to tie the score at seven.
• Navy made it 14-7 when the defense held Rutgers on fourth-and-four from the Navy 32 and two plays later senior quarterback Kriss Proctor ran 54 yards for a touchdown.
• The Mids had a golden opportunity to go up 21-7 on the first drive of the third quarter as Navy drove to the Rutgers 12-yard line, but on second-and-five slot back Mike Stukel dropped a pass in the end zone from Proctor and then Proctor was sacked on third down. Teague did come on to make a 31-yard field goal to make the score 17-7.
• After the defense forced a punt, the Mids were back on the move picking up a quick first down. But on second-and-10 from its own 35, Proctor's pass was picked off when Brandon Turner bobbled the catch and was hit when trying to catch it a second time. The ball bounced in the air, bounced off Turner's arm and leg before winding up in the arms of Patrick Kivlehan of Rutgers at the Scarlet Knights 48-yard line.
• Six plays later, Nova hit Quron Pratt with a 10-yard touchdown pass to cut the Navy lead to 17-14.
• After the Navy offense went three-and-out, Rutgers came right back down the field and took the lead as Nova threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Tim Wright on third-and-nine.
• The Mids would counter with a drive of their own, kickstarted by a perfect 37-yard pass from fullback Alexander Teich to Proctor. The Mids drove to the Rutgers 15-yard line where they had the ball first-and-10, but Proctor would gain just three yards on first down, would throw incomplete to Matt Aiken on second down and was sacked on third down. Teague came on to drill a 41-yard field goal into a stiff wind to make the score 21-20.
• The defense then stepped up as Caleb King picked off a third-down pass by Nova at the Rutgers 29-yard line and returned it six yards to the 21.
• The offense, however, could go nowhere against the stout Rutgers defense as Gee Gee Greene was dropped for no gain on first down and Teich picked up three yards on successive carries.
• Teague came on to kick a 34-yard field goal, but his kick was blocked by Jones sending Navy to a fourth-consecutive defeat, three of which have come by a total of five points.
• Navy was held to 305 yards of total offense, including just 162 on the ground.
• Teich led the way with 18 carries for 69 yards, while Proctor has 15 carries for 39 yards and a touchdown.
• Proctor had his third-straight game over 100 yards passing, comleting five of 12 passes for 106 yards.
• Matt Warrick led the defense with 12 tackles, while Jarred Shannon had eight and King six. Jabaree Tuani had 2.5 tackles for a loss, a sack and a forced fumble.
• Navy is one of seven teams in the country that has lost at least three games by eight points or less.
• Indiana leads the way with four losses by a total of 19 points.
• Navy has lost three games by a total of five points (including one in overtime), while Utah State has lost three games by a total of eight points (including one in overtime).
First Half Woes
• Navy has been outscored 63-24 in the first half of its last three games (losses to Air Force, Southern Miss and Rutgers) and has scored just three first-half offensive touchdowns in those games.
• On the year, Navy has been outscored 94-84 in the first half.
• Meanwhile, the Mids have outscored the opposition 106-80 in the second half (including overtime).
• Navy's best quarter has been the third quarter (51-31), while the second quarter has been the Mids' worst (outscored 59-48).
• Special teams has been a major problem for the Mids this year.
• Navy has missed seven kicks in its six games (four extra-points and three field goals), which are the most missed kicks in a season since 2007 when the Mids missed 12 kicks (10 field goals and two extra-points).
• Navy has missed at least one kick in five of its six games. The Mids have had at least one kick blocked in three-straight games and in four of the six games overall.
• 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 on an extra-point and Teague missed an extra-point against Western Kentucky, he missed a field goal and had an extra-point blocked against Air Force in a 35-34 overtime loss, he had a field goal blocked that was returned for a touchdown on the first drive of the game against Southern Miss and had a field goal blocked with a little over four minutes remaining in the game in a 21-20 loss at Rutgers.
• The Mids are ranked 72nd in net punting (36.4), 114th on kickoff returns (17.6) and tied for 111th on kickoff return defense (26.0).
• Navy is tied for 19th in punt returns (12.8).
The Red Zone
• Navy has made 25 trips inside the red zone in its six games this season, scoring 18 times (.720), including 13 touchdowns (.520).
• The Mids have struggled mightily in the red zone the last three games, scoring on just 11 of 17 trips (.647) including seven touchdowns in those 17 trips (.412).
• Navy is 105th in the country in red zone offense.
• The Navy defense has allowed 21 red zone scores in 26 opportunities (.808), with 20 of the scores resulting in touchdowns (.769).
• The Mids are 47th in the country in red zone defense.