Mids Go For Five in a Row Saturday Against Florida Atlantic
Special teams performer Vinnie Mauro hails from the Sunshine State.
Oct. 29, 2012
Setting the Stage
• Navy and Florida Atlantic will meet on the gridiron for the first time when they square off Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:34 pm and the presenting sponsor for Saturday's game is Navy Mutual.
• Navy enters the weekend having won four consecutive games. The last time Navy won five in a row came in 2009 when the Mids defeated Western Kentucky, Air Force (OT), Rice, SMU (OT) and Wake Forest. That Navy team went on to post a 10-4 record and defeat Missouri in the Texas Bowl, 35-13.
• A win on Saturday would send Navy to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco on Dec. 29 against an opponent from the Pac-12. It would be Navy's ninth bowl game in the last 10 seasons.
• In honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11 (Navy is on the road next weekend), the Naval Academy and Naval Academy Athletic Association will recognize all veterans in attendance during a first quarter timeout by asking them to stand and rise to be thanked for their service.
• 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.
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 (3:31 pm) will be two F-18's piloted by Lt. John Pegues (`03) and Lt. Diana Beauford (`05) out of Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
• Navy women's lacrosse coach Cindy Timchal will be recognized in the second quarter for her induction into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Timchal recently completed her 30th season as a Division I head coach and owns a career record of 412-108 (.792). She became the first college lacrosse coach to win 400 games this past season and she is the sport's all-time leader in wins. In five seasons at Navy, Timchal is 76-22 (.776) and has led the Midshipmen to three straight Patriot League titles. She is Navy's only coach in its five-year history and the program has competed in the NCAA Tournament in each of the past three years. Timchal won eight national championships while coaching at Maryland (1991-2006), including seven in a row, and she also had a nine-year stint at Northwestern (1982-90). Timchal is the only women's lacrosse coach to take three different programs to the NCAA Division I Tournament.
• Other recognitions taking place on Saturday include the first Naval Academy Rugby Hall of Fame class and the 2012 Patriot League Champion men's golf team.
Scouting Florida Atlantic
• The Owls are 2-6 on the year, but are coming off a 34-27 upset win over Troy last Saturday.
• FAU also defeated Wagner, 7-3, in the opener and has lost to Middle Tennessee State (31-17), Georgia (56-20), Alabama (40-7), North Texas (20-14), Louisiana-Monroe (35-14) and South Alabama (37-34, OT).
• Florida Atlantic is ranked 96th in the country in rushing offense (124.3), 92nd in passing offense (200.9), 103rd in total offense (325.1) and 111th in scoring offense (18.4). Defensively, the Owls are ranked 98th in rushing defense (201.1), T41st in pass defense (211.9), 74th in total defense (413.0) and 89th in scoring defense (31.1).
• Running back Jonathan Wallace leads the Owls' rushing attack with 382 yards and two touchdowns on 96 carries. Quarterback Graham Wilbert has completed 160 of his 245 pass attempts for 1,570 yards with 12 touchdowns and three interceptions. Wilbert's favorite target is William Dukes, who has 34 catches for 480 yards and two touchdowns. Nexon Dorvilus has four touchdown catches on the year.
• The defense is led by Brent Harstad, who has recorded 71 tackles, two tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles. David Hinds has been in on 68 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles.
Navy Vs. The Sun Belt
• Navy is 5-0 all-time against the Sun Belt with victories over Arkansas State, North Texas, Troy and Western Kentucky (twice).
• The Mids travel to Troy next Saturday for a 3:30 pm contest.
The Sunshine State
• Navy has 18 players from the state of Florida on its roster: freshman defensive end Will Anthony (Jacksonville), sophomore nose guard A.J. Barnaby (Deltona), freshman guard E.K. Binns (Cape Coral), junior nose guard Travis Bridges (Hollywood), junior corner Albrey Felder (Orange Park), sophomore center Tanner Fleming (Deltona), freshman wide receiver David Frechette (Orange Park), sophomore quarterback John Hendrick (Tampa), sophomore outside linebacker Chris Johnson (Cape Coral), freshman guard Zach Laniewski (Englewood), sophomore slot back Marcus Lewis (Cape Coral), junior linebacker Vinnie Mauro (Ft. Lauderdale), sophomore defensive end Ike McElrath (Milton), freshman tackle Bradford Mills (Ft. Lauderdale), freshman quarterback Ralph Montalvo (Miami), sophomore defensive end Danny Ring (Lighthouse Point), junior guard Thomas Stone (Melbourne) and sophomore linebacker Joe Worth (Valrico).
Looking For Five-Straight Wins
• Navy enters the weekend having won four consecutive games.
• The last time Navy won five in a row was in 2009 when the Mids defeated Western Kentucky, Air Force in overtime, won at Rice, won at SMU in overtime and defeated Wake Forest. That Navy team went on to post a 10-4 record and defeat Missouri in the Texas Bowl, 35-13.
Second Half Dominance
• Over the last six games (5-1), Navy has outscored the opposition 112-50 in the second half.
• The defense has given up just five touchdowns in the second half of the last six games.
Wetzel A Star In And Out Of The Classroom
• Outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel has enjoyed a spectacular senior campaign, recording 45 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, six sacks, a pass break-up and a fumble recovery this season.
• He leads the Mids in sacks and tackles for a loss.
• He is just two sacks away from third place on Navy's single-season sack list.
• Wetzel is also a star in the classroom, carrying a 3.89 grade point average in systems engineering (honors courses). He is an Academic All-America candidate
• Wetzel scored a perfect 1600 on his SAT test and is believed to be the only current FBS player that garnered a perfect score on his SAT.
Mids Consistently Among Nation's Top Rushing Teams
• Over the last 11 years, Navy has consistently been one of the top rushing teams in the country, never finishing lower than sixth.
• In 2002, Navy finished third in the country in rushing, averaging 270.8 yards per game.
• In 2003, Navy led the nation in rushing, averaging a then school-record 323.2 yards per game. That is the fifth-best rushing average for a team over the last 10 years.
• In 2004, Navy finished third in the country in rushing, averaging 289.5 yards per game.
• In 2005, Navy led the country in rushing for the second time in three years, averaging 318.7 yards per game. The 318.7 yards per game is the seventh-best rushing average by a team in the last 10 years.
• Navy finished the 2006 campaign averaging a nation's-best and then school-record 327.0 yards per game. That is the fourth-best rushing average by a team in the last 10 years.
• The Mids rushed for a school-record 348.8 yards per game in 2007, becoming the first team in NCAA history to lead the nation in rushing three-consecutive years. The 348.8 yards rushing is the second-best rushing average by a team in the last 10 years. Only the 2000 Nebraska team (349.3) rushed for more over that time period.
• The 348.8 yards per game are the most yards rushing by a FBS team since Nebraska averaged 349.3 yds/gm in 2000.
• In 2008, Navy led the country in rushing for an unprecedented fourth-straight year, averaging 292.4 yds/gm.
• In 2009, Navy finished fourth in the nation in rushing, averaging 280.5 yds/gm.
• In 2010, the Mids finished sixth in the country in rushing offense, averaging 284.8 yds/gm.
• In 2011, Navy finished fourth in the country in rushing, averaging 312.3 yards per game.
• The Mids are averaging 271.1 yards per game this fall, which is the sixth-best rushing mark in the country.
Navy Offense In The Red Zone
• Navy is 84th nationally in red zone offense, scoring on 24-of-31 chances (.770).
• Navy has scored 18 touchdowns (14 rushing, four passing), kicked six field goals, lost the ball once on downs and turned it over five times (three lost fumbles and two interceptions).
Navy Defense In The Red Zone
• The Mids are tied for 65th in the country in red zone defense, allowing 23 scores on 28 opportunities.
• The opposition has scored 14 touchdowns (10 rushing, four passing), kicked nine field goals, missed a field goal, turned it over on downs twice, lost a fumble and threw an interception against Navy's defense.
A's Make Plays
• Navy's slot backs (or A-Backs as they are technically called) had a monster game against East Carolina rushing for 350 yards and two touchdowns on 40 carries (8.8 yards per carry). It is the second-most yards rushing by the slots in the triple option era. In 2008 the slot backs rushed for 381 yards against Towson, thanks in large part to Shun White's school-record 348 yards rushing.
• Over the last two games, the Navy slot backs have rushed for 514 yards and three touchdowns on 65 carries (7.9 yards per carry).