Navy Football Returns Home to Battle Hawai'i
Nov. 4, 2013
Setting the Stage
Navy and Hawai'i will meet for the third time on the gridiron when the two square off on Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (34,000) in Annapolis, Md. at 3:30 pm. Saturday's game is presented by Navy Mutual Aid Association.
Saturday's game will be televised by CBS Sports Network with Brad Johansen (play-by-play), Randy Cross (color) and Sheehan Stanwick-Burch (sideline) on the call.
The Navy Football Tailgate Show on WNAV 1430 AM / 99.9 FM will air at 1:30 pm with Graham Whaples, Chloe Gunther and Joe Miller.
The Navy Football Pregame Show with Pete Medhurst, Omar Nelson and Joe Miller will get underway at 2:30 pm, followed by game action at 3:30 pm on the Navy Radio Network.
Following the contest, Miller, Medhurst and Whaples will recap the day's events in a 60-minute postgame show live on WNAV 1430 AM / 99.9 FM and WFED 1500 AM.
The tailgate show, the pregame show, the game and the postgame show are also available over the internet to Navy All-Access subscribers.
Game Day Festivities
Pregame festivities will get underway at approximately 1:15 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 3:10 pm.
Between the first and second quarters the Navy men's indoor track & field team will be honored for winning the 2012 Patriot League Championship.
At halftime, the 2003 Houston Bowl team will be recognized, followed by a performance by the Drum & Bugle corps.
Following the game, Navy's alma mater, the Navy Blue & Gold, will be played as the team will stand at attention in front of the Brigade of Midshipmen. It is one of the best traditions in college sports.
Hawai'i is 0-8 on the year and is coming off a 47-10 loss to Utah State. The Rainbow Warriors were put at a significant disadvantage in that game when the team did not get to Logan, Utah until 12 hours before kickoff due to the shooting at LAX, which grounded their flight from Los Angeles to Logan.
Prior to the Utah State game, Hawai'i had been playing its best football losing close encounters with Colorado State (35-28), UNLV (39-37), San Jose State (37-27) and to undefeated Fresno State (42-37). Hawai'i has also lost to Nevada (31-9), Oregon State (33-14) and USC (30-13).
Hawai'i's strength is its passing game led by senior quarterback Sean Schroeder, who has completed 126 of his 224 pass attempts for 1,699 yards with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Hawai'i is averaging 294.4 passing yards per game, which is the 22nd-best passing attack in the country.
Junior Scott Harding is the team's leading receiver, with 41 catches for 429 yards, while senior Chris Gant has caught 32 passes for 610 yards and five touchdowns.
The Hawai'i running game is led by freshman Steven Lakalaka, who has rushed for 349 yards and three touchdowns on 90 carries.
The Hawai'i defense is led by senior linebackers Art Laurel (58 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss and four pass break-ups) and Brenden Daley (57 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss). Freshman safety Trayvon Henderson has intercepted three passes. Hawai'i is averaging 9.3 tackles for a loss per game, which is the second most in the country. Laurel is 18th in the country in tackles for a loss per game, averaging 1.4.
Navy vs. The Mountain West
Navy is 21-34 (.382) all-time against teams currently residing in the Mountain West Conference.
The Mids have played six - Air Force, Colorado State, Hawai'i, New Mexico, San Diego State, San Jose State - of the 12 teams that make up the Mountain West.
Mids Lose A Heartbreaker At Notre Dame
(AP) - Navy's triple-option offense had Notre Dame flummoxed and flailing for most of the game.
In need of one stop with 68 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Jaylon Smith and Eilar Hardy combined to snuff out a reverse by Navy's Shawn Lynch on fourth-and-4 in Irish territory, and Notre Dame held on, 38-34.
The Midshipmen ran for 331 yards, 207 in the first half. On Navy's final drive, it ran the ball four straight plays for 18 yards and had it second-and-5 from the Notre Dame 32.
Keenan Reynolds, who had run for three touchdowns and thrown for another, tossed a pitch just out of reach of DeBrandon Sanders on the Mids' final drive. Sanders fell on the ball at the 41 for a 9-yard loss. Reynolds completed a 10-yard pass to Casey Bolena to set up a fourth down.
Reynolds pitched the ball to Lynch on a reverse and for a moment it appeared he had room, but Smith quickly closed the gap and with the help from Hardy tackled Lynch for no gain.
Navy had no turnovers, no penalties and held the ball for 37:36 while the Irish had it just 22:24.
Notre Dame improved to 11-1 in November in four seasons under Kelly and clinched its fourth consecutive winning season, the first time that's happened since 1995-98.
The bright spot for Notre Dame was the play of freshman running back Tarean Folston, who scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard plunge and rushed for 144 yards on 18 carries, with 116 yards in the second half. He had rushed for only 116 yards on 22 carries before Saturday.
Notre Dame finished with 506 yards total offense, averaging 9 yards per play, the most for the Irish since 1998. Tommy Rees threw touchdown passes to TJ Jones and Ben Koyack, George Atkinson III scored on a 41-yard run and Cam McDaniel added a TD. Rees was 12-of-20 passing for 242 yards with two interceptions.
Reynolds completed six of nine passes for 88 yards, including two key passes that gave Navy its final lead. First he threw an 18-yard pass to Marcus Thomas to the Notre Dame 49. After three running plays, Reynolds then found a wide open Matt Aiken for a 34-yard score.
The Midshipmen finished with 419 yards total offense and had 27 first downs, the most ever by a Navy team against Notre dame.
Chris Swain led Navy with 85 yards and Quinton Singleton had 77 yards.
Coaching Against The Alma Mater
Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo and offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper will be facing their alma mater on Saturday. It's the second time the pair will face their alma while coaching at the Academy, as the Mids lost at Hawai'i, 24-17, in 2009.
Niumatalolo is a 1989 graduate of Hawai'i where he lettered for three years as a quarterback and was part of the Rainbow Warriors' first bowl team in 1989. He was hired as a full time assistant by his alma mater in 1992 and spent three seasons coaching on the offensive side of the ball before leaving with then Hawai'i offensive coordinator Paul Johnson took the offensive coordinator job at Navy under Charlie Weatherbie.
Jasper is a 1994 graduate of Hawai'i where he was a three-year letterwinner for the Rainbow Warriors (1991-93) at slot back and quarterback. He helped lead Hawai'i to its first Western Athletic Conference title in 1992 as the Rainbow Warriors compiled an 11-2 record under head coach Bob Wagner, who ironically is now a resident of Annapolis. Jasper came to Navy as a graduate assistant with Johnson and Niumatalolo in the spring of 2004.
Navy has four players from the state of Hawai'i on its football roster.
The brother tandem of senior safety Wave and sophomore center Blaze Ryder are from Kaneohe (Kamehameha High School), sophomore outside linebacker Kikau Pescaia hails from Honolulu (Kamehameha High School) and freshman kicker D.J. Grant-Johnson is from Hilo (Kamehameha-Hawai'i).
Honoring The Houston Bowl Team
At halftime of Saturday's game, Navy will honor the 2003 Houston Bowl team. It is the team that jump-started Navy's unprecendented run of nine bowl games in 10 years and eight Commander-In-Chief's Trophies in 10 years.
Entering the 2003 season, the Mids had not been to a bowl game since 1996, had not had a winning record since 1997 and had not won the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy since 1981. The Mids were coming off a 2-10 campaign and had recorded a combined 3-30 mark over the previous three years.
Navy posted an 8-5 record in 2003, including a memorable 28-25 victory over Air Force in Washington, D.C. The Mids went on to win the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy with a 34-6 shellacking of Army. The MIds also owned victories over VMI (37-10), Eastern Michigan (39-7), Vanderbilt (37-27), Rice (38-6), Tulane (35-17) and Central Michigan, 63-34. The Mids lost to Texas Tech, 38-14, in the Houston Bowl.
The team captains were Craig Candeto and Eddie Carthan.
Inside Linebackers Cleaning Up On Tackles
Navy senior inside linebackers DJ Sargenti and Cody Peterson have been all over the field for the Navy defense this season.
Peterson, the Mids' defensive captain, is No. 2 in the country in solo tackles per game, averaging 7.3 per contest, and is tied for 12th in the country in total tackles, averaging 10.5 per game.
Sargenti, who had never even recorded a tackle prior to this year and wasn't moved to inside linebacker (was a QB as a freshman and OLB as a sophomore and junior) until the start of fall practice, is 57th in the country in solo tackles, averaging 5.0 per game, and is 130th in total tackles averaging 7.4 per contest.
Navy is No. 1 in the country in fewest penalties per game (2.75) and in fewest penalty yards per game (23.13 yds/gm). Since 2008, Navy has never finished lower than second in either category.
Navy has had zero penalties in a game seven times since 2002, including twice this year (Delaware and Notre Dame).