2008 CFN Navy Preview |
2008 Navy Offense
2008 Navy Defense |
2008 Navy Depth Chart
2007 CFN Navy Preview |
2006 CFN Navy Preview
Don't ... touch ...
What Paul Johnson was able to do at Navy was nothing short of
miraculous. This was a program that did a whole bunch of nothing for
a long, long time, and then it became a regular on the bowl circuit.
Now it's up to new head man Ken Niumatalolo to keep the train
Head coach: Ken Niumatalolo
1st year: 0-1
Off. 11, Def. 17, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 21
Best Navy Players
1. QB Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, Sr.
2. CB Rashawn King, Sr.
3. FB Eric Kettani, Sr.
4. QB/RB Jarod Bryant, Sr.
5. FS Wyatt Middleton, Soph.
6. NG Nate Frazier, Jr.
7. RB Shun White, Sr.
8. OG Anthony Gaskins, Sr.
9. LB Clint Sovie, Jr.
10. S Jeff Deliz, Sr.
2008 Record: 0-0
Sept. 5 at Ball State
Sept. 13 at Duke
Sept. 20 Rutgers
Sept. 27 at Wake Forest
Oct. 4 at Air Force
Oct. 11 OPEN DATE
Oct. 18 Pitt
Oct. 25 SMU
Nov. 1 Temple
Nov. 8 OPEN DATE
Nov. 15 Notre Dame (Balt.)
Nov. 25 at Northern Illinois
Dec. 6 Army (Philadelphia)
CFN Prediction: 8-4
2007 Record: 8-5
Sept. 7 at
Rutgers L 41-24
L 34-31 OT
Pitt W 48-45 2OT
Forest L 44-24
N. Dame W 46-44 3OT
at North Texas
Dec. 20 Utah L 35-32
like the program can get any better. There are always
going to be limitations when it comes to recruiting and
the type of athletes who'll come into Annapolis, it's
not like Terrelle Pryor had Navy on his short list, and
the team will never have the talent to get to a BCS
game. Even so, winning consistently, beating Army, and
going to a bowl makes everyone happy, and if a win
against Notre Dame is thrown into the mix every
generation or so, all the better.
So now it's up to
Niumatalolo to make sure the nation's best running
attack three years going continues to be its dominant
self. Everyone knows the fastball is coming, but can
anyone hit it? Not on a regular basis, and it has been
that type of precision, military-like, that has allowed
Navy to run this attack over and over again and succeed
despite having marginal athletes with most not good
enough to play at any other D-I school.
So while every new coach wants to change things up a
Niumatalolo will stick with the basics. First down: run.
Down 30: run. Two-minute drill: run. In a shootout with
a high-octane passing team: run. Run, run, run, and run
some more, hope the defense full of undersized try-hards
can hold things together just long enough to not get
blasted, and then run it again.
This year's team should be worse on offense but better
on defense. That's not to say the ground game won't be
effective, it should be almost as good as ever with
several good parts to the backfield returning, but it
isn't as deep and it isn't as talented. The defense
suffered some major injuries early last year, and now
all the returning experience should make for a more
consistent, more productive year.
Everything is in place to go to a sixth straight bowl
game, beat Army for a seventh straight season, and keep
intact what Johnson had put in place. However, it's
Niumatalolo's team now, and he has prove it. Anything
less than a bowl season will be a major problem going
What to watch to watch for on offense: Jarod
Bryant. Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada
is the best and most experienced quarterback option, but
Bryant isn't far behind, if at all, and could still push
for the starting job this fall. Even though he probably
won't get it, Bryant is too good to keep off the field
with the type of speed and athleticism that could've
landed him in the SEC. He'll line up as a slot back, a
quarterback, and wherever needed to get him involved.
What to watch to watch for on defense:
Improvement in the back eight. The last thing last
year's defense needed was a few key injuries early on,
and that's exactly what happened when Clint Sovie,
arguably the team's most athletic and productive
linebacker, got knocked out for the year in game two
with a broken ankle. Add to that the loss of
tackling-machine safety Jeff Deliz with a foot problem,
and a defense that could ill-afford to lose playmakers
was without two key ones. Now they're back, and with CB
Rashawn King, FS Wyatt Middleton, and decent players
everywhere else, the back eight should be far better.
The team will be far better if … there's
some semblance of a pass rush. There was no pass rush
whatsoever, quarterbacks like Joe Flacco of Delaware and
Giovanni Vizza of North Texas went ballistic, and the
pass efficiency defense was the worst in America. Navy's
defense has to get off the field as soon as possible,
and that'll mean more third down stops from its good,
but beleaguered secondary.
The Schedule: Starting out against Towson is a
nice preseason game, but what might appear on paper to
be an easy early victory at Ball State isn't going to be
a plus, while going to Duke and Northern Illinois won't
be layups. The biggest problem will be the dates with
Ball State, Rutgers, Pitt, and SMU, with good receivers
and potentially top passing games that could light up
the Midshipmen like a Christmas tree. A run of four road
trips in a five game stretch will be tough early on
meaning there can't be slips against SMU or Temple over
the second half.
He'll have to battle with Jarod Bryant to keep the job,
but he improved his passing from his sophomore to junior
seasons and ran the ground game more efficiently. He's a
big-play runner who's great around the goal line, and
while he'll never be a great passer, he's efficient and
he'll hit the big play here and there.
Best Defensive Player: Senior CB Rashawn King. A
good-sized corner who tackles like a safety,
he has the speed, the size, and the skills to be a
lock-down No. 1 coverman, but he has to do far more when
the ball is in the air. He's a great tackler, but he
only picked off one pass and broke up two.
player to a successful season: Senior DE Michael
Walsh. If there's no pass rush, the secondary is going
to struggle again. There wasn't any pressure into the
backfield last year, and the secondary got picked apart
to death. Now it'll be up to Walsh, a speedy veteran at
one end, to start hitting quarterbacks. Junior Matt
Nechack is a big, promising option on the other side.
season will be a success if
... the Midshipmen get to a bowl. The teams that had
down years last season, like Notre Dame, Northern
Illinois, and Pitt, will all be better and can't be
counted on as wins again. However, the running game
should still be good enough to beat Towson, SMU, Temple
and Army, meaning there will need to be just two other
wins to get back to a bowl. Anything less than a 13th
game will be a major disappointment with the new regime
trying to get off the ground.
Sept. 5 at Ball State. Ball State, with its high-octane
offense led by QB Nate Davis, is more than good enough
to put up huge numbers on the board if the Midshipmen
secondary isn't better. This will be a great early test
for the Navy defense, and if it comes away with the win,
it'll mean things have changed from last year and this
should be another good season.
- Rushing yards per game: Navy 348.8 yards – Opponents
- Passing yards per game: Opponents 263.4 yards – Navy
- Passing TDs: Opponents 32 – Navy 9; Rushing TDs: Navy
53 – Opponents 28