Navy Seniors Play Final Home Game at NMC Memorial Stadium on Saturday
Nov. 9, 2009
Setting the Stage
Meeting for the 15th time in series history, Navy (7-3) and Delaware (6-3) are set to square off on Saturday afternoon in Annapolis in a contest that will be televised by CBS College Sports.
Tom McCarthy (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 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 and cheer on the team.
The march-on of the Brigade of Midshipmen will take place at 3:03 pm.
Navy will honor its 32 seniors on Saturday (3:19 pm) in what will be their final game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
The senior class has ...
compiled a 32-17 (.653) record
won three-straight Commander-In-Chief's Trophies and can win a fourth by beating Army on Dec. 12
qualified for a fourth-straight bowl game, as Navy is headed to the Texas Bowl on Dec. 31
become the first class since the Class of 1964 to beat Notre Dame twice in their careers
the opportunity to win a school-record 11 games by winning its final four games of the year.
Navy has won six-straight games on Senior Day, last losing in 2002 to Connecticut, 38-0.
Saturday's fly-over features two F/A-18 Hornets from the "Gladiators" of VFA-106 based out of Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach. Piloting the lead aircraft is Cmdr. (Sel) Dave "Snuffy" Bassett, Class of 1995. The wing aircraft is piloted by, Lt. Rob "Bonesaw" Stimis, Class of 2002.
Members of the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial All-Stadium specialists and head coaches will be honored at halftime. The four players and three coaches 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.
Despite missing all the Wake Forest game and playing just seven plays against Temple, junior quarterback Ricky Dobbs is No. 1 in the nation in touchdowns scored (17) and points per game (11.3). He is tied for 15th in the country in points responsible for (14.0 pts/gm). His 17 rushing touchdowns are the second most in school history, just three 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 by Tim Tebow of Florida in 2007.
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 (286.6 yds/gm).
Navy and Penn State are the only two teams in the country that rank in the top 15 in third down efficiency on both offense and defense.
Navy's Going To The Texas Bowl
Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk announced after Saturday's victory over Notre Dame that the Naval Academy has formally accepted an invitation to play in the Texas Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 31 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas against a projected opponent from the Big 12. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN and the game time is set for 3:30 pm ET, 2:30 pm in Houston.
The bowl bid is a landmark achievement for the football program as it marks the first time in school history that Navy has gone to seven-straight bowl games. Navy can achieve another first by winning the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy for a school-record seventh-consecutive year on Dec. 12 when the Mids play Army in Philadelphia (2:30 pm, CBS).
Tickets for the Texas Bowl are on sale now at www.navysports.com, by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY or stopping by the Ricketts Hall Ticket Office.
Tickets range from $25-$65.
Fans are also asked to purchase tickets to sponsor midshipmen and enlisted personnel and their families. The Naval Academy Athletic Association (NAAA) will discount tickets to support this initiative from $40 to $25 in an effort to encourage support and attendance of the midshipmen and our enlisted.
Navy fans unable to make the trip to Houston are encouraged to sponsor four midshipmen for $100 or two enlisted for $50. The tax deductible donation will be administered through the NAAA ticket office.
"We strongly encourage Navy fans to buy their bowl tickets directly from the Naval Academy Athletic Association," said Gladchuk. "Our goal is to bring a large contingent of the Brigade of Midshipmen and we expect more than 20,000 Navy fans in the stands. It is very important for this game and for future Navy bowl considerations for our fans to purchase tickets through the NAAA. If you can't make it to the game we ask that Navy fans buy tickets for our midshipmen and enlisted personnel, which will allow us to create the usual pageantry of Navy football. Ticket donations through the NAAA ticket office are 100 percent tax deductible."
Scouting The Blue Hens
Led by Penn State transfer Pat Devlin at quarterback, Delaware enters Saturday's game with a 6-3 record.
Delaware lost to No. 1-ranked Richmond, 16-15, on Sept. 12.
The Blue Hens' roster features FBS transfers from Connecticut, Michigan State, Navy, Penn State, Syracuse, Temple, Washington State, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The Delaware offense is tied for 25th in passing offense (230.7 yds/gm), 35th in scoring offense (28.0 pts/gm), 56th in total offense (342.6 yds/gm) and 91st in rushing offense (111.9 yds/gm) in the FCS.
The Delaware defense ranks 24th in total defense (19.1 yds/gm), 27th in rushing defense (110.8 yds/gm), 55th in total defense (336.1 yds/gm) and 96th in pass defense (225.3 yds/gm) in the FCS.
Devlin ranks 22nd in the FCS in passing efficiency (143.0).
The Last Time ...
Delaware 59, Navy 52 Nov. 14, 2007 | Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium | Annapolis, Md.
Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco completed 30 of his 41 pass attempts for 434 yards and four touchdowns, while running back Omar Cuff rushed for 141 yards and four touchdowns on 28 carries to lead Delaware to a 59-52 victory over Navy in front of 35,213 fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Mids lost their second-straight game despite compiling 506 yards of total offense (342 rushing, 164 passing).
Navy Stuns No. 19 Notre Dame
Navy fullbacks Vince Murray (14 carries, 158 yards, 1 TD) and Alexander Teich (five carries, 52 yards) combined for 210 yards rushing and one touchdown on just 19 carries, quarterback Ricky Dobbs rushed for 102 yards and one touchdown and threw for 56 yards and a score, while the Navy defense forced three critical turnovers to help lead Navy to a 23-21 upset of No. 19 Notre Dame in front of 80,795 fans at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.
The win marked the first time an unranked Navy team beat a ranked Notre Dame team since 1936, which was the first year of the polls.
Navy dominated the first half, jumping out to a 14-0 lead. Senior corner Blake Carter got Navy off to a good start when he caused a fumble on the third play of the game that was recovered by Ram Vela. The Mids took advantage of the turnover, methodically marching 51 yards on 12 plays with Dobbs scoring from the one on fourth down to give Navy a 7-0 lead.
Navy made it 14-0 on the first play of the second quarter, when Murray burst up the middle for a 25-yard touchdown run to put the Mids up 14-0.
The Mids had a chance to go up 17-0 at the half, but Joe Buckley missed a 30-yard field goal wide right.
Notre Dame got on the board on its first possession of the second half on a one-yard touchdown run by Robert Hughes, but Navy answered three plays later when Dobbs hit Greg Jones with a 52-yard touchdown pass.
It looked like Notre Dame would cut the lead back to seven on its next possession, but on first-and-goal from the nine, Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen was forced to scramble and was met at the goal line by Navy corner Kevin Edwards, who blasted Clausen and forced him to fumble. The ball was recovered by safety Wyatt Middleton at the one-yard line.
On Notre Dame's next possession, the Irish drove to the Navy 12-yard line, but on first down he was picked off by Ram Vela at the five-yard line.
The Irish cut Navy's lead to 21-14 with 4:46 remaining when Clausen threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Michael Floyd.
On Navy's next possession, the Mids managed to get a critical first down when freshman slot back Gee Gee Greene picked up nine yards on a third-and-six play. After the drive stalled, punter Kyle Delahooke nailed a 55-yard punt that was downed at the Notre Dame 13-yard line with 1:48 remaining.
After two Clausen incompletions, defensive end Jabaree Tuani sacked Clausen for a loss of 10 yards back to the Navy three-yard line and on fourth down, outside linebacker Craig Schaefer sacked Clausen in the end zone for a safety and a 23-14 Navy lead.
Those two points turned out to be critical when Notre Dame recovered the on-side kick and moved 66 yards on three plays with Golden Tate catching a 31-yard touchdown pass from Clausen to make the score 23-21.
The Mids, however, clinched the win when the onside kick went out of bounds, giving the Mids the well deserved win.
Carter, Vela and Schaefer all had big days on defense for the Mids. Carter had nine tackles, a forced fumble and two passes broken up; Vela had nine stops, a tackle for a loss, a fumble recovery, an interception and a pass break-up and Schaefer was in on nine tackles, a sack, two tackles for a loss and recorded a safety. Middleton added eight tackles and a fumble recovery, while Tony Haberer had eight tackles.
The Navy defense was sensational in the red zone. Notre Dame ran 22 plays in the red zone and came away with just two scores.
Converting In The Red Zone
Navy has scored on 32 of its 38 attempts (.842) inside the red zone, with 29 of those scores resulting in touchdowns (.763).
Meanwhile, the defense has been phenomenal in the red zone giving up just 24 scores on the opposition's 33 attempts inside the red zone (.727), which is tied for the 14th best average in the country. Only 18 of those trips resulted in a touchdown (.545).
In Navy's 23-21 upset of No. 19 Notre Dame, the Mids allowed just two touchdowns on Notre Dame's six trips inside the red zone. Notre Dame ran 22 plays inside Navy's 20-yard line and scored on just two of them.
Navy Versus The BCS/Non-BCS
Since 2003, Navy owns a 15-19 (.441) record against schools from a BCS conference and an impressive 43-9 record (.827) against non-BCS foes. Navy's 15 BCS wins since 2003 are the most during that time span by a non-BCS school.
Head coach Ken Niumatalolo is 11-3 (.786) against non-BCS squads and 4-6 (.400) against teams from a BCS Conference.
Navy's 15 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), Wake Forest (`09) and Notre Dame (`09).