Mids Look for Sixth Straight Win When They Clash With Temple on Saturday
Clint Sovie's fumble return for a TD sent last year's game into overtime in what would be one of the greatest comebacks in program history.
Oct. 26, 2009
Setting the Stage
Meeting for the 10th time in series history, Navy (6-2) and Temple (5-2) are set to square off Saturday afternoon in Annapolis in a contest that will be televised by CBS College Sports. The winner of Saturday's contest will be bowl eligible (Navy needs seven wins because it plays 13 games this fall).
Dave Ryan (play-by-play) and Randy Cross (analyst) will call the action from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000) beginning at 3:30 pm.
The Navy Football Radio Network will provide more than six hours of coverage starting at 1:30 pm with its pregame show on 1430 WNAV (Annapolis) hosted by Pete Medhurst, Joe Miller and Wiley Baker.
The Navy Football Pregame Show will get underway at 2:30 pm with Bob Socci, Omar Nelson, John Feinstein and Pete Medhurst setting the scene from Annapolis, followed by game action beginning at 3:30 pm. Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. 152) will also carry the Navy broadcast.
Following the contest, Pete Medhurst and Joe Miller will recap the day's events in a 60-minute postgame show live on 1430 WNAV and on 1050 AM in Washington, D.C.
Pregame festivities will get underway at 1:15 pm with the Navy Football Team Walk. Originating at the Blue Angel in the southwest corner of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial 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 3:03 pm.
Saturday's fly-over will feature two F/A-18 Hornets from the "Gladiators" of VFA-106 based out of Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Va. Piloting the lead aircraft will be Lt. Andrew "Puker" Bellina USNA Class of 2002. The wing aircraft will be piloted by, Lt. Pete "Das" Scheu (pronounced Shy), USNA Class of 2002. VFA-106 is the East Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron training Navy and Marine Corps aviators in all models of the F/A-18. The squadron is comprised of over 100 fighter aircraft and 150 aviators making it the largest squadron in the Navy. Former Gladiators are currently deployed in every theatre of operation providing air support for the U.S. and allied forces on the ground.
Members of the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial All-Stadium secondary will be honored at halftime. The eight players will be recognized at halftime as part of the season-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the first game played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Navy is trying to win six-straight games for the first time since 1979 when the Mids started the year 6-0 before finishing with a 7-4 record.
Navy and Temple are two of the hottest teams in the country, each having won five-consecutive games. The five-game winning streaks are tied with Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State and Troy for the 10th longest winning streak in the country.
Junior quarterback Ricky Dobbs is No. 1 in the nation in touchdowns scored (16) and points per game (13.7). He is tied for ninth in the country in points responsible for (16.3 pts/gm). His 16 rushing touchdowns are tied for the second most in school history, just four off the record set by Chris McCoy in 1997. The NCAA record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback is 23 set by Chance Harridge of Air Force in 2002 and tied in 2007 by Tim Tebow of Florida.
Navy is vying for a record fifth-straight NCAA rushing title this year. Prior to Navy's current streak of four in a row, no team had ever won the rushing title more than twice in a row. The Mids are currently No. 3 in the country (286.4 yds/gm).
Navy is the only team in the country that ranks in the top 10 in third down efficiency on both offense and defense. The Navy offense ranks ninth in the country in third down efficiency (.500), while the defense is eighth (.296).
Navy, who has played a pair of overtime games in 2009, has won five straight overtime games, which is tied for an NCAA record for consecutive overtime wins.
Scouting The Owls
Temple comes to Annapolis with one of its best teams in school history and a win over the Mids on Saturday would make the Owls bowl eligible.
The Owls are currently 5-2 on the year and like Navy, have won five-straight games. It is the first time that Temple has won five in a row since the 1979 team accomplished the feat en route to a 10-2 record. That Owl team won the Garden State Bowl to end its season - the last bowl appearance in program history.
The Owls own victories over Buffalo (37-13), Eastern Michigan (24-12), Ball State (24-19), Army (27-13) and Toledo (40-24). Meanwhile, Temple has lost games against Villanova (27-24) and Penn State (31-6).
Temple ranks 62nd in rushing offense (146.0 yds/gm), 71st in scoring offense (26.0 pts/gm), 105th in total offense (313.6 yds/gm) and 106th in passing offense (167.6 yds/gm).
Defensively, the Owls rank 15th against the run (97.3 yards per game), 33rd in total defense (319.3 yds/gm), 35th in scoring defense (19.9 pts/gm) and 70th against the pass (222.0 yds/gm).
Freshman running back Bernard Pierce is 14th in the nation in rushing, averaging 109.4 yards per game.
Kicker Brandon McManus is tied for 25th in the country in field goals per game, averaging 1.4 yards per contest.
Adrian Robinson is tied for eighth in the country in sacks, averaging 1.0 per game.
Navy vs. The MAC
The Midshipmen own an 18-13 (.581) all-time record against current members of the Mid-American Conference.
The Last Time ...
Navy 33, Temple 27 OT Nov. 1, 2008 | Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium | Annapolis, Md.
Linebacker Clint Sovie's 42-yard fumble return for a touchdown with 37 seconds left in regulation capped a 20-point rally in the final 9:16 to send the game into overtime and QB Ricky Dobbs' one-yard run in overtime gave Navy a miraculous 33-27 overtime victory over Temple.
It was the largest fourth-quarter comeback in school history and with the win the Mids clinched a berth in the Dec. 20 EagleBank Bowl at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
Navy trailed 27-7 with 13:41 remaining in the contest when Kee-ayre Griffin scored from 16-yards out. Temple, however, left the door open for a Navy comeback when kicker Jake Brownell, a transfer from Navy, missed the extra-point.
Navy won the toss and elected to go on defense to begin overtime. Temple chose to play on the end of the field away from the Brigade of the Midshipmen, however it moved to the other end of the stadium and filled the seats in the South End Zone.
The Owls moved the ball down to the Navy one-yard line, but on third down Griffin was stuffed by Pospisil for no gain and on fourth down tight end Steve Maneri dropped a touchdown pass in the end zone as the Navy defense danced off the field.
Navy's possession began with a three-yard rush by Kettani followed by three-straight runs by Dobbs and a 15-yard facemask penalty on Temple to position the Mids on the Owls' one-yard line. Dobbs was stopped for no gain on second-and-goal, but scored on the next play to give the Mids the win.
Halloween Has Not Been A Treat For Navy Football
Navy is 1-12-1 all-time on Halloween. Eight of the 12 losses have come at the hands of Notre Dame.
This is the first time that Navy has played on Halloween since 1992 when the Mids lost to Notre Dame, 38-7, at Giants Stadium.
Saturday's contest is Navy's first home game played on Halloween since 1931 when the Mids tied West Virginia Wesleyan, 0-0.
The last time the Mids won a Halloween game was in 1914, when they earned a 16-14 decision over NC State. Since that win, Navy has produced a 0-10-1 record on Halloween.
Navy Versus The BCS/Non-BCS
Since 2003, Navy owns a 14-19 (.424) record against schools from a BCS conference and an impressive 43-8 record (.843) against non-BCS foes.
Head coach Ken Niumatalolo is 11-1 (.917) against non-BCS squads.
Navy's 14 wins against BCS schools since 2003 have come against Vanderbilt (2003), Duke (`04), Vanderbilt (`04), Rutgers (`04), Duke (`05), Stanford (`06), Connecticut (`06), Duke (`06), Duke (`07), Pitt (`07), Notre Dame (`07), Rutgers (`08), Wake Forest (`08) and Wake Forest (`09).
Navy's eight losses against non-BCS schools since 2003 have come at the hands of TCU (`03), Delaware (`03), Tulane (`04), Tulsa (`06), Ball State (`07), Delaware (`07), Utah (`07) and Ball State (`08).
Mids Knock Off Wake Forest Without Attempting A Pass
Fullback Vince Murray rushed for a career-high 175 yards, while sophomore quarterback Kriss Proctor rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries in his first-career start as Navy defeated Wake Forest, 13-10, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The game was played in a torrential downpour and windy conditions for most of the day.
Navy won the game despite not attempting a pass against the Demon Deacons. It is the second time in two years that Navy has accomplished that feat. Navy defeated SMU on Oct. 25 of last year, 34-7, without attempting a pass.
The Mids played the game without their leading passer (quarterback Ricky Dobbs), top two rushers (Dobbs and slot back Marcus Curry) and second-leading receiver (Mike Schupp) due to injury or illness.
Kicker Joe Buckley continued to be money in the bank for the Midshipmen, nailing a career-long 50-yard field goal in the first quarter and hitting a 40-yard field goal into the wind in the second quarter.
Proctor's 40-yard touchdown run to start the third quarter gave Navy a 13-3 lead.
The Navy defense stifled the Wake Forest offense all day, holding the Deacs to three points for more than 53 minutes.
Senior linebacker Tony Haberer recorded eight tackles and two sacks, while senior linebacker Ross Pospisil was in on eight stops, assisted on a tackle for a loss and broke up a pass.
Sophomore defensive end Jabaree Tuani dominated the Wake Forest offensive line for the second year in a row, recording six tackles, a tackle for a loss and drawing a key holding penalty on Wake's final drive of the game.
Junior punter Kyle Delahooke also played a critical role in the Navy win, booming four punts for an average of 48.5 yards per punt including a career-long 68-yard punt and a 65-yard punt that was downed at the one-yard line.
No Pass, No Problem
Navy defeated Wake Forest 13-10 last Saturday despite not attempting a pass.
It was the second time in the last two years that Navy has won a game without attempting a pass.
Last year, Navy defeated SMU, 34-7, without attempting a pass.
Navy's current five-game winning streak is its longest since 2004 when the Mids started the year 5-0 with wins over Duke, Northeastern, Tulsa, Vanderbilt and Air Force.
Navy has not won six in a row since 1979 when the Mids started the year 6-0 before finishing with a 7-4 record.
Junior fullback Vince Murray rushed for a career-high 175 on a career-high 27 carries against Wake Forest in just his third-career start.
Murray's 175 yards rushing are the most by a Navy fullback since Eric Kettani rushed for 175 yards on 19 carries in Navy's 24-17 upset of Wake Forest last year.
Murray rushed for a then career-high 141 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries against SMU in his second-career start the week prior to Wake Forest.
Murray is the first Navy fullback to rush for over 100 yards in back-to-back starts since Kettani rushed for 113 yards against Rutgers and 175 yards against Wake Forest last year.
He has rushed for 378 yards and three touchdowns on 61 carries in his first-three career starts.
Proctor Solid In First Start
Navy sophomore quarterback Kriss Proctor was solid in his first-career start, rushing for a career-high 89 yards on a career-high 23 carries in Navy's 13-10 win over Wake Forest.
Proctor scored Navy's only TD on a 40-yard run.
It is the third-consecutive year that a Navy quarterback has led Navy to victory in his first-career start.
Proctor is the first Navy quarterback in the triple option era to beat a team from a BCS conference in his first-career start.
Navy Quarterbacks In First Career Starts
Craig Candeto at Temple in 2001 (Lost)
13 carries, 5 yards, 5-14 passing for 108 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Aaron Polanco vs Connecticut in 2002 (Lost)
11 carries, -6 yards, 3-8 passing for 47 yards and 1 INT
Lamar Owens vs. Maryland in 2005 (Lost)
19 carries, 122 yards, 5-11 passing for 97 yards
Brian Hampton vs. East Carolina in 2006 (Won)
34 carries, 149 yards, 1 TD, 2-6 passing for 6 yards
Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada vs. Notre Dame 2006 (Loss)
19 carries, 42 yards, 1 TD, 2-5 passing for 25 yards
Jarod Bryant vs. Northern Illinois in 2007 (Won) ***
27 carries, 139 yards, 1 TD, 3-6 passing for 60 yards
Ricky Dobbs vs. Northern Illinois in 2008 (Won)
25 carries 124 yards, 1 TD, 1-1 passing for 32 yards
Kriss Proctor vs. Wake Forest (Won)
23 carries, 89 yards, 1 TD
*** started and played only the first three plays of the Meineke Car Care Bowl in 2006, while normal starting QB Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada started at WR