Navy Travels to Troy in Search of Its Sixth Straight Win
Nov. 5, 2012
Setting the Stage
• Navy and Troy will meet on the gridiron for the second time in as many years when they square off Saturday afternoon at Larry Blakeney Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 pm Eastern.
• Navy enters the weekend having won five consecutive games. The last time Navy won six games in a row came at the start of the 1979 season when the Mids defeated The Citadel, Connecticut, Illinois, Air Force, William & Mary and Virginia.
• Saturday's game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN3 with Dave Weekley and Forrest Conoly calling the action.
• The Navy Football Tailgate Show on WNAV 1430 AM / 99.9 FM will air at 1:30 pm in Annapolis with Pete Medhurst live from Troy and Joe Miller in Annapolis..
• 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.
• Troy owns a 4-5 record this fall, but has close losses to Mississippi State (30-24) and Tennessee (55-48).
• The Trojans are ranked 50th in the country in rushing offense (173.7 yards per game), 15th in passing offense (315.0 yards per game), 15th in total offense (488.7 yards per game) and 53rd in scoring offense (30.11).
• Quarterback Corey Robinson has completed 184 of his 290 passes for 2,199 yards with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions. His backup, Deon Anthony, has completed 59 of his 86 passes for 635 yards with seven touchdowns and just one interception.
• The leading receiver for the Owls is Chip Reeves, who has 47 catches for 804 yards and five touchdowns, while Eric Thomas has 44 catches for 521 yards and six touchdowns.
• Running back Shawn Southward is the leading rusher with 793 yards and nine touchdowns on 153 carries.
• The defense is ranked 72nd against the run (168.4 yards per game), 103rd against the pass (266.3 yards per game), 90th in total defense (434.8) and 81st in scoring defense (30.0).
• The defense is led by Brynden Trawick, who has 68 tackles and 4.5 tackles for a loss, while Brannon Bryan has recorded 56 tackles and a pick.
The Last Time ...
Navy 42, Troy 14 Oct. 5, 2011 | ANNAPOLIS, MD.
• Senior quarterback Kriss Proctor, playing with a dislocated left (throwing) elbow, completed four of his six pass attempts for 127 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 37 yards and two touchdowns to lead Navy to a 42-14 rout of Troy in front of a Senior Day crowd of 33,359 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The victory broke a six-game losing streak for the Mids.
• Proctor, who only played in the first half, directed Navy to five touchdown drives in seven possessions as the Mids built a 35-0 halftime lead.
• The Navy defense, which had been much maligned during the Mids' losing skid, was superb, holding Troy to just 99 yards of total offense in the first half and forcing two turnovers.
• Nose guard Jared Marks recorded the first big play of the day on Troy's first possession when he recovered a Corey Robinson fumble on the Navy 24-yard line.
• Six plays later, Navy converted the turnover into points as Proctor scored from the one. Earlier in the drive, Proctor hit Brandon Turner for 25 yards on a screen pass on third-and-12 and hit slot back John Howell on the next play for 42 yards down to the Troy 11.
• Navy's second touchdown was also set up by the defense as freshman Parrish Gaines stripped Shawn Southward and Collin Sturdivant recovered at the Navy 35-yard line. It was the first-career caused fumble for Gaines and the first-career recovery for Sturdivant.
• It took Navy just two plays to move the 65 yards to paydirt with Proctor hitting Gee Gee Greene for 48 yards and a touchdown to cap the drive and the rout was on.
• The Mids would score three more times in the second quarter as fullback Alexander Teich scored on a five-yard run off an option pitch from Proctor, Greene scored on a 10-yard run and Proctor scored from five yards out.
• Senior slot back Mike Stukel capped the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
• Senior slot back Aaron Santiago, who returned from a broken arm earlier than anybody expected including the doctors, showed no rust in his first game since Sept. 10, leading the Mids with 80 yards rushing on six carries.
Navy Vs. The Sun Belt
• Navy is 6-0 all-time against the Sun Belt with victories over Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Troy and Western Kentucky (twice).
• The Mids defeated Florida Atlantic, 24-17, last week.
• Navy has seven players on its roster from the state of Alabama: freshman slot back Bradley Bostick (Birmingham), sophomore slot back Reuben Carson (Birmingham), senior linebacker Brye French (Deatsville), junior corner Eric Graham (Eight Mile), junior wide receiver Shawn Lynch (Pelham), freshman center Ben Tamburello (Hoover) and sophomore slot back Ryan Williams-Jenkins (Helena).
Navy Rallies To Beat Florida Atlantic
• Freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds piled up 306 yards of total offense and three touchdowns to lead Navy to a 24-17 victory over Florida Atlantic in front of 29,326 fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The win was Navy's sixth of the year and clinched a berth to play in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. It is Navy's ninth bowl game in the last 10 years.
• The Mids trailed 10-0 with 8:57 left in the second quarter, before Reynolds got Navy going with a 48-yard run down to the FAU 33.
• On the next play, Reynolds hit sophomore slot back Ryan Williams-Jenkins with a 22-yard pass down to the 11-yard line and three plays later, on third-and-13, Reynolds hit senior wide receiver Brandon Turner with a 14-yard touchdown pass to cut the FAU lead to 10-7.
• Florida Atlantic drove down to the Navy 15 on its next possession, but on third down Jonathan Wallace threw incomplete out of the wildcat formation and then on fourth down Wallace was stopped for no gain by sophomore nose guard Danny Ring on a screen pass from quarterback Graham Wilbert.
• The Mids took over at their own 15 with 2:10 left in the half and quickly drove down the field. Reynolds hit junior wide receiver Shawn Lynch, who made a spectacular over the shoulder catch, for 28 yards to move the ball down to the FAU 43. Reynolds then threw a screen pass to sophomore fullback Noah Copeland for 25 yards to get the ball to the FAU five-yard line. Two plays later Reynolds scored from the one to give Navy the 14-10 halftime lead.
• Navy took the second half kickoff and methodically moved down the field, but bogged down at the FAU 31-yard line. Facing a fourth-and-eight, Niumatalolo elected to go for it instead of kicking a 48-yard field goal into the wind. The gamble paid off as Reynolds hit senior wide receiver Brandon Turner with a 31-yard touchdown pass to make the score 21-10.
• Freshman kicker Nick Sloan made a 20-yard field goal with 2:08 left in the third quarter and it appeared that Navy was in command. However, the Mids allowed Florida Atlantic back in the game thanks to a costly turnover.
• Reynolds left the game in the fourth quarter with a hyperextended elbow and on the next play, junior quarterback Trey Miller and senior fullback Prentice Christian fumbled the mesh (the fumble was credited to Christian) and FAU's Andrae Kirk recovered the ball at the Navy 39.
• Seven plays later FAU scored on a three-yard touchdown run by Wallace and the Navy lead was cut to 24-17.
• The Mids took the ball and moved to the FAU 30-yard line, but on third-and-one sophomore slot Geoffrey Whiteside lost four yards on an errant pitch by Reynolds and Sloan missed wide left on a 51-yard field goal.
• With a chance to tie Florida Atlantic moved the ball down to the Navy 17-yard line, but Wilbert threw three straight incompletions, the last one forced by sophomore defensive end Paul Quessenberry, and the Mids got the ball back with 4:10 remaining at their own 22.
• Navy ran out the clock as Reynolds carried the ball five consecutive times for 24 yards and two first downs.
• Reynolds finished the day with a career-high 159 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries, while he threw for a career-high 147 yards and two touchdowns (8-15).
• Turner had the two touchdown catches for 45 yards, while Lynch had two catches for 32 yards.
• Sophomore corner Parrish Gaines, senior linebacker Brye French, senior outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel and senior safety Tra'ves Bush paced Navy with seven tackles apiece. Freshman corner Kwazel Bertrand had his first career fumble recovery to go along with his six tackles.
Navy Quick Hitters
• The Midshipmen punched their ticket to the Dec. 29 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park in San Francisco last Saturday with a 24-17 victory over Florida Atlantic. It will be Navy's 18th bowl appearance all-time, including its ninth in the last 10 years.
• 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 nine bowl games in the last 10 years.
• Navy will join the BIG EAST for football only starting in 2015.
• 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 22-5 (.815) on the year. Notre Dame (9-0) is currently ranked fourth in the country, while Penn State (6-3) is receiving votes. San Jose State (7-2) has received votes in the polls this year, as well.
• Over the last seven games (6-1), Navy has outscored the opposition 122-57 in the second half. The defense has allowed just six touchdowns in the second half of those contests.
• The Mids turned the ball over 12 times in the first four games (nine lost fumbles and three interceptions) and went 1-3 in those four games. Over the last five games, Navy has turned it over just twice and are 5-0.
• Ken Niumatalolo has led the Midshipmen to a 38-24 (.613) record in his fifth season as head coach. He is tied for fourth all-time at Navy in career wins with Wayne Hardin. Niumatalolo holds Navy coaching records for most wins in the first two (18), three (27), four (32) and five seasons (38) of a career.
• 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. Wetzel has also been a force on the field for the Midshipmen, recording 52 tackles (fourth most on the team), a team-high 11 tackles for a loss and a team-high six sacks. He is just two sacks from third on Navy's single-season sack list.
• Keenan Reynolds is the first freshman to start at quarterback for Navy since Jim Kubiak started five games in 1991 and is just the third freshman in school history to start at quarterback (the other was Alton Grizzard in 1987). Reynolds is 4-0 as a starting quarterback with wins over Central Michigan, Indiana, East Carolina and Florida Atlantic. Kubiak won just one game as a freshman starter and Grizzard won two. Reynolds is the first Navy quarterback to win his first four starts since senior Bob Powers, who won his first six career starts in 1979. The Mids started 6-0 that year and finished 7-4 with a victory over Army.
• Sophomore punter and Ray Guy candidate Pablo Beltran is averaging 44.7 yards per punt (27 punts) this season. He would stand 11th in the country in punting if he qualified (must average 3.6 punts per game).
• Freshman Nick Sloan is one of just 12 true freshman kickers starting in the FBS this year. He is 8-for-10 on field goals and 28-for-28 on extra-points.
• Navy was 4-0 during the month of October after going 0-5 last year in October. It is the first time Navy went undefeated in the month of October since 1996. That team finished 9-3 and defeated California in the Aloha Bowl.
• Navy owns a 6-3 record all-time in overtime games, winning six of its last seven.
• Navy owns an 81-43 (.653) record over the last 10 years after posting a 3-30 (.091) mark from 2000-02. The 81 wins are the 21st most in the country over the last decade.
• Navy is trying to finish first in fewest penalties and fewest penalty yards per game for the second consecutive year and for the third time in the last four seasons. The Mids are currently tied for first with Kansas State in fewest penalties per game (3.44) and fewest penalty yards per game (26.44).
• Navy is 29-4 (.879) under Ken Niumatalolo when scoring first and 9-20 (.310) when the opponent scores first.
• Under Niumatalolo, the Mids are 23-3 (.885) when leading after the first quarter and 15-21 (.417) when trailing or tied after the first stanza.
• Navy owns a 18-7 (.720) record in games played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium under Niumatalolo and is 20-17 (.541) away from home.