Depth Chart |
18 starters return including four on an offensive line that should
be strong, three in a hard-nosed linebacking
corps, four in the secondary, and three in a backfield that
should form a breathtaking combination of speed and power. There are
a few concerns like replacing quarterback Lamar Owens and getting
more production from the defense, but experience and good coaching
should overcome most of the problems.
So just how good is this team? Few if any of the returning
starters would find a spot in the mix on most top 25 to 50 teams, the
lines are woefully undersized, as expected considering the
recruiting restrictions, and then there's the biggest question; has
this team actually beaten anyone under Johnson's reign?
Head coach: Paul Johnson
5th year at Navy: 28-21
10th year overall: 90-31
Returning Lettermen: 38
Lettermen Lost: 18
Best Navy Players
1. LB Tyler Tidwell, Sr.
2. FB Adam Ballard, Jr.
3. LB Rob Caldwell, Sr.
4. OG Antron Harper, Jr.
5. LB David Mahoney, Jr.
FS DuJuan Price, Sr.
7. OG Zach Gallion, Sr.
8. WR/KR Jason Tomlinson, Sr.
CB Keenan Little, Sr.
CB Jeremy McGown, Sr.
at Air Force
at Eastern Michigan
2005 Record: 8-4
2005 predicted wins
Maryland L 23-20
Stanford L 41-38
at Duke W 28-21
Air Force W 27-24
at Rutgers L 31-21
at Notre Dame L 42-21
Colorado St W 51-30
Wins are wins are wins, and
there certainly can't be any complaints considering the program won a
total of three games, with two coming against Army, from 2000 to 2002,
but the best win under Johnson has been against New Mexico in the 2004
Emerald Bowl. Of the 28 wins over the last four years, only that win
over the Lobos came against a team that finished with a winning record.
You can only beat who's on your schedule, and Navy hasn't doe too much
to show what it can do against the better teams only winning two of its last 11 games
against teams that finished with winning records.
For example, last year, Navy lost to four of the decent teams it faced
(Maryland, Stanford, Rutgers and Notre Dame), so it's hard to expect
everyone to jump up and down over Navy as a growing national power. With
that said, there will be chances this year to turn the corner with
interesting games against Tulsa, Connecticut, Rutgers and Notre Dame,
and the possibility exists for a ten-win season. This team is good
enough to expect big things from, and Johnson has shown that he can
outcoach anyone. Get ready for a fun season.
Compared to most
teams going to bowls this year, it's a flat-out joke with only three
games against teams that went to bowl games last year and only one game
against a team, Notre Dame, that can dare to dream of the BCS. A team as
experienced as Navy is has to beat East Carolina, UMass, at Duke, at
Eastern Michigan, Temple and Army without blinking, and is good enough
to win at
least two of the five games against at Stanford, Tulsa, at Connecticut,
at Air Force and Rutgers. Notre Dame is the big game coming late in
October, and Navy gets two weeks off to prepare for the showdown.
Junior FB Adam Ballard. Was he really that good or was he just able to
be really, really good against three run defenses (Temple, Army and
Colorado State) that would get blown over by a light breeze? Navy fans
are hoping he's the second coming of former Midshipmen star Kyle Eckel,
but it would be good enough if he provides a steady punch up the gut to
open things up on the outside.
Defensive Player: Senior LB Tyler Tidwell. Rob Caldwell came up with a
whopping 140 tackles last year finishing second in the nation in tackles
per game, but Tidwell is the best player on the defense with speed on
the outside and tremendous pass rushing skills.
to a successful season: Senior QB Brian Hampton. Nine starters
return on a defense that wasn't horrible last year, and eight starters
return to the tremendous rushing offense. All the big dreams and all the
hopes for a huge season will quickly go down the drain if Hampton can't
be an effective ringleader.
will be a success if ... Navy wins ten games. The Notre Dame game is the only one the
Midshipmen can't win, so there's no reason not to think ten wins can't
be attainable if everything breaks right. The bar is set higher for
this year than it has been in over forty years.
Oct. 14 vs. Rutgers. Of course the Notre Dame game is big, but the
date with the Scarlet Knights coming up the game before, and right after
a two-game road stretch against UConn and Air Force, is important for
the team's confidence. Beating Rutgers would show that Navy might be for
The Last Time Navy …
- Rushing touchdowns: Navy 45 - Opponents 19
- Punt return average: Navy 8.9 yards per return - Opponents 4.9 yards
- Third down conversion percentage: Navy 70 of 157 (45%) - Opponents 76
of 170 (45%)
…played in a bowl game…2005 (Poinsettia Bowl v. Colorado State)
…missed a bowl game…2002
…pitched a shutout…2004 (Tulsa)
…was shutout…2002 (UConn)
…scored 50 points…2005 (Colorado State)
…won a conference title…Never
…had a 3,000-yard passer…Never
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2004 (Kyle Eckel)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…Never
…had a first-round draft choice…Never