Navy Football Back In Action Saturday at Hawai'i
Junior safety Emmett Merchant
Nov. 23, 2009
Setting the Stage
Meeting for just the second time in series history, Navy (8-3) and Hawai'i (5-6) are set to square off on Saturday, Nov. 28 in Honolulu in a contest that will be televised by ESPNU.
Carter Blackburn (play-by-play) and Charles Arbuckle (analyst) will call the action from Aloha Stadium (50,000) beginning at 10:30 pm ET / 5:30 pm in Hawai'i.
The Navy Football Tailgate Show on 1430 WNAV (Annapolis) hosted by Pete Medhurst, Joe Miller and Wiley Baker will start immediately after the conclusion of Navy's men's basketball game against Mount St. Mary's.
The Navy Football Pregame Show will get underway at 9:30 pm with Bob Socci and Omar Nelson setting the scene from Honolulu, followed by game action beginning at 10:30 pm on the Navy Radio Network. Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. TBA) will also 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.
Niumatalolo Returns Home
Naval Academy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo will return home on Saturday when the Mids travel to Honolulu to take on the Warriors.
Niumatalolo is a native of Laie', Hawai'i and a 1989 graduate of Hawai'i.
Niumatalolo earned three varsity letters at Hawai'i as a quarterback and was a member of their first bowl team in 1989.
He spent two seasons as a graduate assistant on the Hawai'i football staff (1990 and `91) and was a full-time assistant for three years (1992-94). Niumatalolo left Hawai'i after the `94 season with then-offensive coordinator Paul Johnson to coach at Navy.
Niumatalolo Makes History
In his first season as head coach at the Naval Academy, Ken Niumatalolo not only directed the Midshipmen to an 8-5 record, he became the first coach in program history to lead Navy to a bowl game in his first campaign, as the Mids qualified for the 2008 EagleBank Bowl.
He is just the third coach since World War II to lead Navy to a winning record in his first year at the helm. He joins Wayne Hardin (5-4-1 in 1959) and Gary Tranquill (6-5 in 1982) on the exclusive list.
Niumatalolo's eight wins in his first year are tied for the fourth most by a first-year coach in school history.
Meanwhile, his 16 wins are the second-most wins in school history by a Navy head coach in his first two seasons.
Niumatalolo became the first Navy coach to lead an unranked Navy squad over a ranked Notre Dame squad since 1936 (which was the first year of the polls) when Tom Hamilton led Navy to a 3-0 victory over Notre Dame.
Niumatalolo is the first Samoan head football coach on the collegiate level and the second Polynesian head coach in Division IA history (Larry Price, who was the head coach at Hawai'i from 1974-76 was the first).
Niumatalolo Wins CIC Trophy in First Year; Looking To Become First In Service Academy History To Win The Trophy In His First Two Years
Ken Niumatalolo became just the second Service Academy coach to win the CIC Trophy in his first year as a head coach by beating Air Force, 33-27 and Army, 34-0, last season.
He joins George Welsh, who, in 1973, led the Midshipmen to wins over Air Force (42-6) and Army (51-0).
No Service Academy coach has ever won the CIC Trophy in each of his first two years.
Navy's Going To The Texas Bowl
Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk announced after the Mids' 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 the Midshipmen have 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."
Thanks to its 23-21 win over Notre Dame, Navy is headed to the Texas Bowl which will be played on Dec. 31 at Reliant Stadium in Houston against a Big 12 opponent.
The game will be televised by ESPN at 3:30 pm Eastern, 2:30 pm Central.
Navy has future bowl agreements with the Poinsettia Bowl in 2010, EagleBank Bowl in 2011, Emerald Bowl in 2012 and Armed Forces Bowl in 2013.
Navy has made 16 bowl appearances, including a school-record seven-straight.
Prior to Navy's current seven-game run of bowl appearances, the Mids played in back-to-back bowl games just once in school history (1980-81).
Navy's current streak of seven-consecutive bowl appearances is tied for the 17th-longest current streak in the nation.
Navy owns a 6-8-1 bowl game record, dropping the last three bowls by a combined 14 points.
The Last Time ...
Hawai'i 48, Navy 41 Nov. 20, 1999 | Aloha Stadium | Honolulu, Hawai'i
Hawai'i outscored Navy, 48-41, in front of 41,895 fans at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The game was a see-saw affair with no team leading by more than 14 points. The Mids played without starting quarterback Brian Madden for the entire third quarter and the first five minutes of the fourth quarter because of severe cramping. Madden carried the ball 29 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns and completed four of his 11 pass attempts for 65 yards and a touchdown. Fullback Raheem Lambert rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.
Scouting The Warriors
Owning a 5-6 record, Hawai'i needs to beat both Navy and Wisconsin to become bowl eligible.
The Hawai'i offense ranks third in passing offense (347.1 yds/gm), eighth in total offense (458.6 yds/gm), 83rd in scoring offense (23.8 pts/gm) and 102nd in rushing offense (111.6 yds/gm).
The Hawai'i defense ranks 46th in passing defense (208.6 yds/gm), 85th in total defense (397.2 yds/gm), 86th in scoring defense (28.6 pts/gm) and 103rd in rushing defense (188.6 yds/gm).
Wide receiver Greg Salas ranks No. 2 in the country in receiving yards per game (128.4 yds/gm) and in receptions per game (8.5).
Mana Silva is tied for sixth in the country in interceptions per game (+0.6).
Navy vs. the WAC
Navy is 1-1 all-time against current members of the Western Athletic Conference.
The Mids defeated Louisiana Tech, 32-14, in their home-opener on Sept. 12.
Navy's lone loss was at the hands of Hawai'i, who edged out the Mids, 48-41, in 1999.
Dobbs Five Touchdowns Leads Navy To Senior Day Victory Over Delaware
Junior quarterback Ricky Dobbs rushed for 100 yards and a Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium record five touchdowns on 26 carries to lead Navy to a 35-18 victory over Delaware in front of 34,223 fans on Senior Day.
The five touchdowns by Dobbs are the second most in school history and gives him a school-record 22 touchdowns on the year (the previous record was 21 set by Bill Ingram in 1917). He is just one touchdown away from tying Tim Tebow and Chance Harridge for the NCAA record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.
Navy trailed 9-7 at the half thanks to three field goals by Jon Striefsky.
Dobbs' one-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the third quarter gave Navy the lead for good at 14-9, but the Blue Hens crawled to within two on a 21-yard field goal by Striefsky to make it 14-12 after three quarters.
Navy put the game away early in the fourth quarter. Dobbs ran 46 yards down to the Delaware four on an option keeper and then scored two plays later on a three-yard run to make it 21-12.
Delaware got the ball back and on second down, sophomore defensive end Jabaree Tuani sacked Devlin and knocked the ball out of his hand for a fumble, which Tuani recovered on the Delaware 37-yard line.
Four plays later, Dobbs scored his fourth touchdown of the day on a two-yard run to make the score 28-12.
Dobbs would score his fifth touchdown on a three-yard run to make the final score, 35-18.
Navy rushed for 242 yards against the Blue Hens, including 123 yards in the fourth quarter.
Senior linebacker Ross Pospisil led the Navy defense with 11 tackles, while senior linebacker Tony Haberer and senior outside linebacker Craig Schaefer had nine stops each. Tuani was in on eight tackles, while junior safety Wyatt Middleton had seven tackles and broke up three passes, all on third down.
Senior Class Can Tie Wins Record
If Navy can win its final three games of the year - Hawai'i, Army and a Big 12 opponent in the Texas Bowl - the Mids' senior class will tie the all-time wins record for a class with 36.
The record of 36 is currently held by the Class of 1909.
Navy's senior class has ...
- compiled a 33-17 (.660) 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
- has the opportunity to win a school-record 11 games by winning its final three games of the year.
Navy Wins Eight Or More Games For The Seventh Straight Season
Navy has won at least eight games in seven-consecutive seasons, the longest streak in school history and tied for the nation's ninth-longest active streak.
Navy is 30-18 (.625) in games played away from Annapolis over the last seven years, the country's 11th-best mark over that time period.
Navy's Magic Man
Quarterback Ricky Dobbs has worked magic at quarterback for the Mids dating back to last season.
He has an 8-2 (.800) career record as a starter. His wins have come against Northern Illinois, Louisiana Tech, Western Kentucky, Air Force, Rice, SMU, Notre Dame and Delaware. His only two losses have come on the road to No. 8 Pitt and No. 9 Ohio State.
Despite missing the entire Wake Forest game and playing just seven plays against Temple, his 22 touchdowns this year are the second most in the country, the most in school history and just one off the NCAA record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.
His 22 rushing touchdowns are more rushing touchdowns than 88 of the 120 schools in the FBS have rushed for as a TEAM.
Dobbs ranks third in NCAA history for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a single-season. The NCAA record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback is 23 set by Chance Harridge of Air Force in 2002 and later tied in 2007 by Florida's Tim Tebow who went on to win the Heisman Trophy.
He is No. 1 in the country in points per game, averaging 13.2 points per contest.
He is tied for 10th in the country in points responsible for per game (rushing and passing touchdowns), averaging 15.6 points per game.
Prior to the Temple game, he had scored at least one rushing touchdown in seven-consecutive games, which tied Napoleon McCallum for the fourth-best streak in school history. He has scored at least one rushing touchdown in all 10 of his career starts.
He has played a role in 26 of the Mids' 41 touchdowns this year (22 rushing, four passing).
He has scored four or more rushing touchdowns on four different occasions during his career, including three times this year. No other Navy player has more than one-career four-rushing touchdown day.
With 132 points, he stands second all-time on the Mids' single-season points scored list, trailing Bill Ingram who scored 174 points in 1917. Dobbs is one of only four different players (Chris McCoy twice) in program history to reach 100 points in a season and one of only two to score more than 120.
His 30-career rushing touchdowns rank fourth on the Navy all-time list.
Has six-career 100-yard rushing days, which is tied for the fourth most by a quarterback in school history.
Junior fullback Vince Murray rushed for 158 yards and one touchdown on just 14 carries in his fifth-career start, a 23-21 upset of No. 19 Notre Dame. It was his fourth-straight game of over 100-yards rushing.
He is the first Navy player to record four or more consecutive games over 100 yards since quarterback Brian Madden, who rushed for over 100 yards in the final five games of the 1999 season and the first two games of the 2001 season (he missed all of 2000 with a knee injury suffered in the spring game the year before).
He is the first running back to rush for more than 100 yards in four consecutive games since Napoleon McCallum, who had six-straight games of over 100 yards in 1983.
Murray rushed for 115 yards and one touchdown on a career-high 33 carries against Temple in just his fourth-career start. It was the most carries by a Navy player since Ricky Dobbs' remarkable 42 rushes against SMU a year ago.
Murray rushed for a career-high 175 yard on a 27 carries against Wake Forest in just his third-career start. His 175 yards rushing are the most by a Navy fullback since Eric Kettani rushed for 175 yards on 19 carries in Navy's 24-17 upset of Wake Forest in 2008.
Murray rushed for a then career-high 141 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries against SMU in his second-career start.
He has rushed for 651 yards and five touchdowns on 102 carries in his first-five career starts (6.4).
Murray missed the Delaware game with a bruised shoulder, but is expected to play this week against Hawai'i.