Navy to Face Texas State on Senior Day
Nov. 12, 2012
Setting the Stage
Navy and Texas State will meet on the gridiron for the first time when they square off on Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Senior Day. Kickoff is set for 3:34 pm Eastern.
Navy enters the weekend looking to win on Senior Day for a 10th consecutive year. The last time Navy lost on Senior Day was on Nov. 16, 2002, when the Mids lost to Connecticut in a monsoon, 38-0.
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 3:04 pm. The march-on will be broadcast live for Navy All-Access subscribers.
A salute to Navy's 27 seniors will take place at 3:22 pm.
Saturday's fly-over (3:31 pm) will be two F-18's out of Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
Between the first and second quarter, the Navy men's and women's tennis teams will be recognized.
Scouting Texas State
Texas State is 3-6 on the year and coming off a 62-55 loss to No. 20 Louisiana Tech.
The Bobcats own victories over Houston (30-13), Stephen F. Austin (41-37) and Idaho (38-7). They have losses against Texas Tech (58-10), Nevada (34-21), New Mexico (35-14), San Jose State (31-20) and Utah State (38-7) along with Louisiana Tech.
Former Navy slot back Marcus Curry leads Texas State with 513 yards rushing and nine touchdowns on 84 carries. He also has 11 catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
Quarterback Shaun Rutherford has completed 129 of his 200 passes for 1,454 Yards and 11 touchdowns with just five interceptions. Rutherford is also Texas State's second-leading rusher with 388 yards and four touchdowns on 119 carries.
Andy Erickson is Rutherford's favorite target with 33 catches for 426 yards and three touchdowns, while Chase Harper has caught 20 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns.
Jason McLean leads the defense with 58 tackles and four passes broken up, while Xavier Daniels had 51 stops, four passes broken up, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.
Navy Vs. The WAC
Navy is 2-2 all-time against teams that are currently in the WAC. The Mids are 2-0 against Louisiana Tech and 0-2 against San Jose State.
The Mids lost to San Jose State earlier this year, 12-0.
Navy has 18 players on its roster from the state of Texas: Freshman corner Quincy Adams (San Antonio), freshman outside linebacker A.K.Akpunku (Arlington), sophomore punter Pablo Beltran (Humble), freshman corner Brandon Boyd (La Marque), sophomore fullback Noah Copeland (San Antonio), freshman wide receiver Devin Crayton (Helotes), sophomore defensive end Aaron Davis (Pearland), junior nose guard Alex Doolittle (Houston), senior wide receiver Jonathan Gazaille (Grand Prairie), senior wide receiver Tyler Lynch (Irving), freshman outside linebacker Nick Martinez (Elm Mott), freshman linebacker Nick McCrory (Seadrift), freshman defensive lineman Rex Montes (Grapevine), sophomore nose guard Brice Musgrove (Dallas Hill), sophomore guard Nathaniel Otto (Houston), freshman safety Roddy Reyna (San Antonio), senor slot back Bo Snelson (Pasadena) and junior slot back Darius Staten (Carrollton).
Navy Quick Hitters
The Midshipmen punched their ticket to the Dec. 29 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park in San Francisco with a 24-17 victory over Florida Atlantic on Nov. 3. 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.
Ken Niumatalolo has led the Midshipmen to a 38-25 (.603) 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.
Navy's four losses this season (Notre Dame, Penn State, San Jose State and Troy) have come at the hands of opponents that are a combined 29-11 (.725) on the year. Notre Dame (10-0) is currently ranked third in the country and San Jose State (8-2) is receiving votes.
Over the last eight games (6-2), Navy has outscored the opposition 132-70 in the second half. The defense has allowed just seven 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. Over the next five games, Navy turned it over just twice and went 5-0. Last week against Troy, Navy lost two fumbles and lost to the Trojans, 41-31. The Mids have turned the ball over 12 times in their four losses and four times in their six wins.
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 57 tackles (fourth most on the team), a team-high 11.5 tackles for a loss and a team-high six sacks, has forced a fubmle and recovered a fumble. 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. Meanwhile, he is just the third freshman in school history to start at quarterback (the other was Alton Grizzard in 1987). Reynolds is 4-1 as a starting quarterback with wins over Central Michigan, Indiana, East Carolina and Florida Atlantic and a loss to Troy. 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 Pablo Beltran is averaging 45.2 yards per punt (30 punts) this season. He would stand ninth in the country in punting if he qualified (must average 3.6 punts per game) and that average would be a school record for Navy in a single season.
Freshman Nick Sloan is one of just 13 true freshman kickers starting in the FBS this year. He is 9-for-11 on field goals and 32-for-32 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 81-44 (.648) 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 No. 1 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 second in penalties (3.4) per game and third in penalty yards per game (26.6)
Navy is 29-4 (.879) under Ken Niumatalolo when scoring first and 9-21 (.300) when the opponent scores first.
Under Niumatalolo, the Mids are 23-3 (.885) when leading after the first quarter and 15-22 (.405) 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 20-18 (.526) away from home.
Spreading The Wealth
Navy has had a remarkable 17 different players score a touchdown this year, including 14 players that have scored their first career touchdown.
The 17 different players scoring TD's are tied with Marshall for the second most in the country.
Navy has had 14 different players score their first career touchdown this year, which is the most of any team in the country.
Wetzel A Star In And Out Of The Classroom
Outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel has enjoyed a spectacular senior campaign, recording 57 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks, a pass break-up, a forced fumble 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 sacks 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 and has already been named all-district.
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.
Greene Having Standout Senior Campaign
A starter in each of the last 35 games dating back to the 2010 season, senior slot back Gee Gee Greene is having his best season yet in 2012 leading the Mids in rushing (90-679, 7.5 avg, 2 TDs) and is fourth in receiving (12 catches for 242 yards, 20.2 yards per catch, 2 TDs).
He is averaging 7.5 yards per carry this year, which is the second-best average for a single season in school history. The record is 8.3 set by Shun White in 2008.
Greene is trying to join White as the only other slot back to lead the team in rushing. White rushed for 1,092 yards in 2008.
In his career, Greene has rushed for 1,925 yards on 267 carries and scored nine touchdowns, while catching 42 passes for 697 yards and seven touchdowns. He needs 201 more yards to pass Adam Ballard for 10th on Navy's all-time rushing list and would join White as one of only two slot backs in the Top 10.
He has averaged 7.2 yards per carry over his career, which is the program's fifth-best rushing average, and 16.6 yards per reception.
Starting A Freshman At QB
Keenan Reynolds became the first freshman to start at quarterback for Navy since Jim Kubiak started five games in 1991, when he guided the Midshipmen to a 31-13 victory over Central Michigan.
Navy finished 1-10 in 1991 (1-5 with Kubiak as the starter) with its only victory coming against a 5-5 Army team in the final game of the season, 24-3.
Reynolds is just the third freshman in program history to start at quarterback, joining Kubiak and Alton Grizzard, who started seven games at quarterback in 1987 (Navy was 2-5 with Grizzard as the quarterback and 0-4 without him).
In his first-career start against Central Michigan, Reynolds completed six of his 11 passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 59 yards in leading Navy to a 31-13 victory. His three touchdowns passing are the most by a Navy quarterback since Chris McCoy threw three against Colgate in 1997.
Reynolds won his second career start, rallying Navy to a 31-30 victory over Indiana. He rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries and completed eight of 13 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown. His four-yard TD pass to junior Matt Aiken with 2:02 left gave Navy the win.
Reynolds improved to 3-0 as a starter with a nearly flawless performance against East Carolina as Navy rolled over the Pirates, 56-28. Reynolds led the Mids to touchdowns on seven of his eight drives and totaled 132 yards of total offense and five touchdowns (3 rushing, 2 passing).
Reynolds won his fourth straight start with a 24-17 win over Florida Atlantic. He rushed for a career-high 159 yards and one touchdown on 26 carries and completed eight of his 15 passes for a career-high 147 yards and two touchdowns.
Reynolds suffered his first defeat as a starting quarterback in his fifth-career start against Troy. He carried the ball 21 times for 130 yards and three touchdowns, while completing eight of his 15 pass attempts for 159 yards.
In his first five starts, Reynolds has rushed for 495 yards and eight touchdowns on 98 carries (99.0 yds/gm, 5.1 yds/carry) and has comleted 33 of his 59 pass attempts (.559) for 589 yards (117.4 yds/gm) with eight touchdowns and just one interception. He has had at least one rushing touchdown in four of his five starts and has thrown at least one touchdown pass in four of his five starts.
Reynolds was the first Navy quarterback to win his first four career starts since 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.
Reynolds is believed to be just the third TRUE freshman to win his first four career starts at quarterback. Notre Dame's Matt LoVecchio won his first seven starts as a true freshman in 2000 and USC's Matt Barkley won his first six starts in 2009.
Reynolds is far short of qualifying for the NCAA passing efficiency leaderboard (you must average 15 pass attempts per game), but if he did qualify his 177.49 efficiency rating would lead the country. Oregon freshman Marcus Mariota leads the country with a 176.96 rating.