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at Navy 40 … Delaware 17

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Posted Sep 3, 2011


Week 1 CFN Fearless Prediction & Breakdown - Delaware at Navy

2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 1 - Delaware at Navy

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Sept. 3 at Navy 40 … Delaware 17
CFN Analysis: Delaware is a good FCS team and Navy ripped through it without a problem. Kriss Proctor was terrific with the offense all his, running for 176 yards and three touchdowns while completing 4-of-7 passes for 46 yards and a touchdown and an interception, hitting on third down plays to keep the chains moving while spreading the wealth around for the ground game with ten players combining for 391 yards and four scores. The run defense had problems, allowing 220 yards and two scores, but the secondary did a solid job with Kwesi Mitchell making six tackles and a pick; he was all over the field. Against WKU next week, the passing game will have to tune up a bit more before the fun showdowns against South Carolina and Air Force. If Proctor plays like this again, Navy will have a chance in both games.

(AP) ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Kriss Proctor's debut as Navy quarterback went as well as could have been planned.

The senior rushed for three touchdowns and threw his first career TD pass on Saturday to lead Navy in a 40-17 blowout of Delaware.

Proctor, a senior starting only his fourth game, quickly made his presence felt. On the third play of the game he weaved his way through the Blue Hens' defense on a 75-yard touchdown run.

"It was good because we wanted to have some good momentum and the run accomplished that," said Proctor, who spent the last two seasons backing up Ricky Dobbs. "We practiced that play 100 times this summer."

Jon Teague kicked a school-record 54-yard field goal for Navy and Aaron Santiago added two touchdowns on a 13-yard run and 12-yard pass from Proctor.

Delaware, of the Colonial Athletic Conference, came into the game ranked fifth in the Football Championship Subdivision preseason poll after playing in last year's subdivision title game.

He scored twice more on runs of 27 and 1 yards and added his first career touchdown pass.

"With it being my first game as the go-to guy, it was nice to get the monkey off my back," said Proctor, who also scored on runs of 27 and 1 yards and finished his day with a 12-yard pass to Aaron Santiago for his first collegiate scoring pass.

He finished the game with 176 yards rushing and 46 passing, completing 4-of-7 passes.

The Mids finished with 437 yards total offense, 391 on the ground.

"I am proud of this team. Coming in we didn't really know what we had," coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "We had a new quarterback and a young defense going against a talented Delaware team. Our defense played well, our offense played well and we had some good things from our special teams."

Delaware, which played the final quarter without starting quarterback Trevor Sasek, finished with 363 yards, but that included a 78-yard scoring drive against Navy's reserves.

Andrew Pierce ran for 119 yards on 20 rushes. It was Pierce's eighth career 100-yard game.

Sasek, who was injured late in the third quarter when he was tackled hard at the end of a flea-flicker play where he caught a pass, completed 9 of 19 passes for 82 yards and scored on a 21-yard run. His replacement Tim Donnelly completed 7 of 9 passes for 60 yards.

"Without the dropped balls, he could have been something like 12-for-15. Early indications look like there is no structural damage to the knee," Delaware coach K.C. Keeler said.

Santiago's 13-yard run capped a 61-yard drive, following a fumble recovery by Mason Graham. Teague added a field goal from 36 yards after a Navy drive lasting 8 minutes, 23 seconds.

Sasek's 21-yard run got the Hens on the scoreboard, but Teague's 54-yard kick with the wind at his back gave Navy a 19-7 halftime lead. The old record was 52 yards by Todd Solomon in 1984.

Navy scored on its first possession of the second half on Proctor's 27-yard run for a 26-7 lead.

"That was the Kriss Proctor we have seen for three and a half years. He is a talented kid," Niumatolo said. "His opening run helped us from the standpoint that we wanted to get out ahead of them and dictate the pace.'

Delaware added a 25-yard field goal by Sean Baner to make it 26-10, but Sasek injured his knee when he was hit hard after catching a pass on a trick play. Sasek returned to quarterback on the next series, but lasted one play before leaving for good.

"He got jammed twice in the same spot. The pain was excruciating," Keeler said. "The first time, he was able to suck it up and go back in. The second time, I said 'You are not even going to try to go back in."

Navy added two scores on a 1-yard run by Proctor and a 12-yard pass to Santiago for his first career passing touchdown. Kwesi Mitchell's interception set up the score.

Delaware's final score came on a 1-yard run by Pierce with 2:54 to play.

Delaware (0-0) vs. Navy (0-0) Sept. 3 3:30 
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Here’s The Deal … Navy doesn’t quite have the talent or the schedule to roll like normal without winning games like this, and it’s going to be a major battle. Delaware had the FCS national title in its pocket before gagging away a 19-0 lead late against Eastern Washington, and now it comes back with a team good enough to not only battle with William & Mary in what should be a whale of a Colonial race, but should be in the mix for the national title.

No. 1 in the FCS last year in total defense, and 12th against the run, the Blue Hens were great on both sides of the ball and they’re looking to pull off a big upset and come up with a big win to show that all the success of 2010 will continue. After losing its three games by a total of eight points, with the six-point loss to Villanova in overtime, Delaware is a big-time program that’ll provide a big challenge.

Navy has to go to Western Kentucky next week, and then it gets really, really rough starting with a trip to South Carolina and with battles at Notre Dame, Rutgers, and SMU down the road. If it can’t get out of this game without a victory, it’ll be panic time.

Why Delaware Might Win: The run defense is strong enough to handle the Navy ground game. The Midshipmen aren’t going to throw as much as it did last year when Ricky Dobbs was under center – and the offense wasn’t exactly Hawaii’s – and now the focus will really be all about working on the ground. The Blue Hens might have lost several key players on the line, and there’s some reshuffling being done in the linebacking corps, but the front seven should be sound enough and athletic enough to not get blown over by the option. Offensively, the passing game should be strong, but the ground game will barrel away with Andrew Pierce thumping away on a decent, but not great, Navy defensive front.

Why Navy Might Win: Delaware might be good, and it might have talent ready to fill in the gaps, but it has some work to do on offense after losing quarterback Pat Devlin to graduation. The offense is going to likely be one-dimensional to start out with the running game trying to control the game, and while Navy might not have the strongest of defensive fronts, it should be able to sell out to stop the run. On the other side of the ball, yes, the Blue Hens are going to be terrific at stopping the run, but as good as they’ll be, they’re not exactly Alabama defensively. The Navy running game is going to work, and with the talent and the experience in the backfield, it should be business as usual.

What To Watch Out For: It's time to get past the Ricky Dobbs era. The longtime star quarterback set records and added another dimension to the Navy offense, but it's not like the offense is starting from scratch. Kriss Proctor has been waiting his turn, and now he should be a threat to run for 1,000 yards and he should be tremendous at leading the attack and making the right pitch. He filled in for an injured Dobbs against Central Michigan and ran 20 times for 201 yards, and he finished the year with 304 yards and four scores, averaging 9.5 yards per dash. At 6-1 and 200 pounds, he has decent size and he’s extremely quick, but the problem is his mediocre passing ability. He’s not Dobbs when it comes to throwing the ball, but he’ll still get his chances to push the ball deep from time to time.

For Delaware, the focal point will be Pierce, a true sophomore who ripped off four 100-yard games to start out last season and rolled for 186 yards against Georgia Southern and 142 yards against Eastern Washington in the playoffs. He's a workhorse who finished with 1,655 yards and 14 touchdowns, and he'll be fed the ball at least 25 times as the leader of the Blue Hen attack.

What Will Happen: This should be fantastic. Delaware is more than good enough to pull off the win, and it could do it if the passing game is efficient on third downs and the offense controls the clock, but Navy will be Navy. The running game will hang on to the ball for close to 35 minutes, the offense will work, and Proctor will lead the way on a time-killing late drive to put the game away.

CFN Prediction: Navy 23 ... Delaware 21
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