Mids Close Out 2011 with Annual Army-Navy Gridiron Classic
Navy slot back John Howell caught a 77-yard TD pass in last year's win over Army.
Nov. 28, 2011
Setting the Stage
Army and Navy will meet for the 112th time and for the first time inside the Capital Beltway when they square off on Saturday, Dec. 10 at FedExField (82,000) in the annual Army-Navy Game Presented by USAA. Kickoff is set for 2:40 pm (ET).
CBS Sports will broadcast the game around the world on the American Forces Network with Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson calling the action.
CBS Radio/Westwood One will also broadcast the game around the world on American Forces Network with John Tautges on the play-by-play and Eddie George handling the color commentary.
The Navy Football Tailgate Show on WNAV 1430 AM / 99.9 FM will air at 12:30 pm with Pete Medhurst, Joe Miller and Wylie Baker live from FedExField.
The Navy Football Pregame Show with Bob Socci, Omar Nelson and Pete Medhurst will get underway at 1:30 pm (ET), followed by game action at 2:30 pm on the Navy Radio Network and Sirius Satellite Radio (Ch. TBA).
Army's Corps of Cadets will march-on at 11:24 am, while Navy's Brigade of Midshipmen will march-on at 12:04 pm.
The Navy Leap Frogs and the Army Golden Knights will jump at 2:19 pm.
Navy's fly-by will take place at 2:36 pm, followed by Army's at 2:37 pm.
Navy enters the game having won nine-straight and 11 of the last 12 contests against the Black Knights. The nine-consecutive wins marks the longest streak in series history by either team.
The Mids have won nine in a row in dominant fashion, outscoring the Black Knights, 322-91 (35.8-10.1). The closest game was in 2006 when Navy defeated Army, 26-14, in Philadelphia. The Mids have won the last two games by 14 points.
Five of Navy's seven losses this year have come by a combined total of 11 points. Navy is just 1-5 in games decided by eight points or less. The five losses in close games are tied for the third most in the country.
Four of Navy's opponents are either ranked (South Carolina and Southern Miss) or receiving votes (Notre Dame and Rutgers) in the top 25 polls.
The Mids have played the nations' 26th-toughest schedule based on the cumulative records of their opponents to date (57-45, does not include Delaware or Army).
Eight of Navy's 12 opponents have winning records and seven are bowl eligible. Two of Navy's four opponents that are not bowl eligible, East Carolina and San Jose State, finished with a 5-7 record.
Navy has missed or fumbled the snap on at least one kick (PAT or field goal) in eight of its 11 games this year, including five-straight contests in the month of October.
Senior defensive end Jabaree Tuani has produced 42-career tackles for a loss, which is tied with David Mahoney (2003-06) for the second most in school history. He is just two behind record-holder Andy Person (1992-95).
Tuani has recorded 16 sacks over his four-year career, which is tied with Tyler Tidwell (2004-06) for third on the Mids' career list.
Navy is just 16-15 (.516) away from the friendly confines of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium under Niumatalolo, including a 2-4 (.333) mark this year.
The Mids are just 7-9 (.438) under Niumatalolo with more than one week to prepare, but 3-0 (1.000) against Army.
Navy has played five games this year where it has rushed for less than 300 yards and lost all five. It is 4-2 (.667) when rushing for more than 300 yards.
An opposing running back has rushed for over 100 yards in a game against the Mids in eight of 11 contests this year. In the previous three years, Navy surrendered only nine 100-yard rushing games to opposing running backs.
Navy is 4-2 (.667) in 2011 and 26-4 (.867) over the last four years when scoring first. The Mids are 0-5 in 2011 and 5-17 (.227) over the last four years when the opponents score first.
The Mids are 4-0 this season when leading after the first quarter and 0-7 when tied or trailing after the first quarter. Under Niumatalolo, the Mids are 20-3 (.870) when leading after the first quarter and 11-18 (.379) when trailing or tied after the first stanza.
Navy is 4-3 (.571) when leading after three quarters. Entering this season, the Mids were 22-0 under Niumatalolo when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.
Navy is 1-5 (.167) in games decided by eight points or less this year and 13-13 (.500) over the last four years.
In Navy's four wins this year, it has outscored the opposition 91-17 in the first half (36-0 in the first quarter, 55-17 in the second quarter).
In the Mids' seven losses this year, they have been outscored, 152-66, in the first half (59-10 in the first quarter, 93-56 in the second quarter).
Navy has made 43 trips inside the red zone in its 11 games this season, scoring 33 times (.767), including 27 touchdowns (.628). The Mids are tied for 86th in the country in red zone offense (Army is also tied for 86th).
Navy is No. 1 in the country in fewest penalties per game (2.4) and penalty yards per game (20.9). Army is fourth in the country in fewest penalties (4.0).
A win on Dec. 10 against Army would make Ken Niumatalolo just the fourth coach in school history to start his career 4-0 against Army. Paul Johnson went 6-0 against West Point (2002-07), Wayne Hardin won his first-five games (1959-63) against Army and George Welsh won his first-four contests (1973-76).
Close Games In The Army-Navy Series
53 of the previous 111 Army-Navy games (.477) have been decided by eight points or less. Of those close contests, Army has won 24, while Navy has scored 22 victories and seven have ended in a tie.
The last time a game was decided by eight points or less was in 2000 when Navy beat Army, 30-28.
Army is 3-8 on the year with victories over Northwestern (21-14), Tulane (45-6) and Fordham (55-0).
The Black Knights have losses against Northern Illinois (49-26), San Diego State (23-20), Ball State (48-21), Miami of Ohio (35-28), Vanderbilt (44-21), Air Force (24-14), Rutgers (27-12) and Temple (42-14).
Army comes to Landover with the nation's top-ranked rushing offense (350.9 yds/gm). The Black Knights last won the rushing title in 1998 (293.8). Army's average of 350.9 yards per game would be the most by a team since Nebraska in 1997 (392.6).
The Black Knights are 13th in the country in pass defense (178.1).
The Last Time ...
Navy 31, Army 17 Dec. 11, 2010 | Philadelphia, Pa.
Senior safety Wyatt Middleton's 98-yard fumble return for a touchdown with 1:03 remaining in the second quarter turned what was shaping up to be a close game into a rout as Navy rolled to its ninth win of the year and ninth-straight win over Army, 31-17, at a sold out (69,223) Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The 98-yard fumble return was the longest in school history and longest in an Army-Navy game.
Navy had jumped out to a 17-0 lead as Joe Buckley nailed a 36-yard field goal and quarterback Ricky Dobbs threw touchdown passes of 77 yards to John Howell and 32 yards to Brandon Turner. The touchdown pass to Howell was the longest pass play in series history.
The Mids were in total control of the game midway through the second quarter until a pair of Dobbs turnovers gave Army life.
Dobbs fumbled the ball on first down from his own 23 and it was recovered by Army's Josh McNary. Six plays later, Army quarterback Trent Steelman hit Malcolm Brown with a five-yard touchdown pass to cut the Navy lead to 17-7. It was Army's first touchdown against the Midshipmen since the fourth quarter of the 2006 game.
Three plays later, Dobbs gave the ball back to Army again as he was stripped by McNary and Stephen Anderson recovered the loose ball at the Army 48.
The Black Knights methodically moved the ball down the field, taking it 49 yards in 11 plays. On first and goal from the Navy three, Steelman tried to power his way into the end zone, but senior linebacker Tyler Simmons and senior outside linebacker Jerry Hauburger met Steelman at the two-yard line and Simmons' knocked the ball from Steelman's hands. The ball popped up in the air and flew right to Middleton who raced 98 yards for the back-breaking touchdown.
Army took the opening kickoff of the third quarter and drove 47 yards on 12 plays with Alex Carlton capping the drive with a 42-yard field goal to make the score 24-10.
Navy put the game away with a 13-play, 87-yard, 9:03 scoring drive to start the fourth quarter with slot back Gee Gee Greene waltzing in from the 25 to make it 31-10.
Service Academy Dominance
Navy has amassed a 74-40 (.649) overall record in the last nine years, while Air Force is 62-48 (.564) and Army is 30-77 (.280).
Dominant Era in Army-Navy History
Navy's 31-17 victory over Army was its ninth-consecutive win over the Black Knights, the longest streak in series history by either team.
The Mids have won those nine in a row against Army in dominant fashion, outscoring the Black Knights, 322-91 (35.8-10.1).
Navy Partners with Nike for Army-Navy Game Uniform
Before their fight songs ring throughout the stadiums and they storm the fields, nine of the top college football programs will lace their cleats and buckle their chin straps while donning uniquely designed, highly advanced Nike uniforms for at least one game during the 2011-12 season.
The fully integrated uniform system, which the University of Oregon debuted during the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, incorporates the latest in performance innovation and design from the world's most renowned athletic outfitter. The redesigned base layer facilitates the uniform's overall innovation, delivering the ultimate in lightweight protection for maximum speed. Strategically placed seams, pads and cooling zones also help minimize distraction and optimize protective coverage.
The teams selected to sport the 2011 Nike Pro Combat system of dress uniforms include Army, Boise State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan State, Navy, Ohio State, Oregon, and Stanford.
While each school's uniform delivers the same superior lightweight performance and protection, each will tell a different story through its design. Nike worked closely with each university to bring relevant elements of the school's rich heritage into a distinguished, modern uniform design. The uniforms capture each team's unique character.
"The support and positive relationship that Navy athletics has enjoyed over the years with Nike is extraordinary." Navy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk said. "Being a part of this exciting initiative further illustrates the mutual respect that is so much a part of the way we present our product. The Midshipmen are inspired by the technical innovations and appearance that Nike puts forth through the presentation of their equipment and apparel. Nike continues to motivate all of our teams to compete at the highest level with great success. This year, the Army-Navy Game will be a showcase for the direction that our partnership will be heading in the future."
The integrated uniform system provides enhanced durability and innovation from the inside out. Robust padding without the bulk offers optimal low-profile impact protection specifically throughout the crucial "hit zone" between the knees and shoulders. Nike Pro Combat Deflex padding has also been integrated in the hip and knee areas of the pant for crucial impact protection that stays in place. The base layer now features customizable protection, incorporating a thin, incredibly strong carbon fiber plate that can be placed on the thigh padding where needed.
The uniform system design also emphasizes improved thermoregulation, including the Nike Pro Combat Deflex padding layer, which is constructed with fabric selected for its ability to help keep the body cool and wick away sweat - making the uniform, and player, lighter and dryer. The jerseys are made of four-way stretch woven twill that sheds moisture. A Flywire collar eliminates two layers of fabric for improved breathability, providing a more stable anchor to keep the jersey in place.
Navy has been involved in six games decided by eight points or less, which is tied for the eighth most in the country. The Mids are 1-5 in those games.
Kansas State has been the best in close games, going 7-1, while UCF has had the worst luck, going 0-6.
Navy has lost five games this year by a total of 11 points. The five losses by eight points or less are tied for the third most in the country.
The Mids are 13-13 (.500) under head coach Ken Niumatalolo in games decided by eight points or less (0-1 in 2007, 4-1 in 2008, 4-3 in 2009, 4-3 in 2010 and 1-5 in 2011).
Tuani One Of Navy's All-Time Best Defensive Linemen
Defensive end Jabaree Tuani had a huge junior campaign, recording a team-high 15.5 tackles for a loss and finishing second on the team with five sacks.
Tuani has recorded a team-high 12 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks this season. In the last two games, he has produced 6.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks and two forced fumbles.
Tuani's 15.5 tackles for a loss in 2010 were the ninth most in a season.
His 42-career tackles for a loss are tied with David Mahoney (2003-06) for the second most in school history. He needs two tackles for a loss to tie and three to break Andy Person's (92-95) school record.
Tuani has recorded 16 sacks in his career, which is tied with Tyler Tidwell (2004-06) for third on the list.
In Navy's season-opener against Delaware, Tuani was disruptive where he came up with five tackles and two pass deflections.
He had three tackles and a tackle for a loss in Navy's win over Western Kentucky.
Tuani recorded three tackles and a sack against 10th-ranked South Carolina despite the fact the Gamecocks consistenly ran plays to his opposite side.
He had four tackles, including a fumble recovery, against Air Force.
He had a big game against Rutgers, recording six tackles, a sack, 2.5 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble.
He recorded a 1/2 sack against East Carolina and had a 1/2 tackle for a loss against Troy.
Tuani recorded four tackles, three tackles for a loss, a sack and broke up a pass in Navy's win at SMU.
He came back the next week against San Jose State and recorded six tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks and forced two fumbles.
Mids A Different Team With Santiago
Navy is 4-1 this year when senior slot back Aaron Santiago plays and 0-6 when he doesn't. Santiago broke his arm in the second quarter of the Western Kentucky contest on Sept. 10 and was thought to be lost for the year. Instead, he made it back for Senior Day on Nov. 5 against Troy.
In his five games of action, Santiago has rushed for 230 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries (8.5 yards per carry), while catching three passes for 55 yards and one touchdown (18.3 yards per catch). He is also Navy's top blocking slot back.
The Mids are averaging 34 points per game (170 points in five games) when he plays and 25.8 points (155 points in six games) when he doesn't.
Navy is averaging 428.6 yards of total offense in games in which Santiago plays (2,143 yards in five games) and 387.3 yards per game when he doesn't (2,324 yards in six games).