2008 Navy Midshipmen Season
Navy Midshipmen
Posted Feb 8, 2009

2008 Navy Midshipmen Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 Navy Midshipmen

Dec. 20
2008 EagleBank Bowl
Wake Forest 29 ... Navy 19

Wake Forest overcame a 13-0 deficit as Josh Adams ran for scores from four and five yards and and Riley Skinner, who hit all 11 of his passes, connected with Ben Wooster on an eight-yard touchdown pass halfway through the fourth quarter for the lead. Navy failed to get the offense moving again, and Rich Belton was able to put the game away for the Demon Deacons with a 35-yard scoring dash with 54 seconds to play. Navy opened up the early lead on Matt Harmon field goals from 40 and 47 yards out and a 50-yard fumble recovery for a score from Rashawn King. The Navy offense finally got into the end zone in the fourth quarter on a two-yard run from Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, but the defense failed to hold. Late in the game, down 10, Navy tried a 48-yard field goal with 33 seconds to play with the hope of having time left to get an onside kick and then score a touchdown, but Harmon missed.
Player of the game: Wake Forest QB Riley Skinner completed all 11 of his passes for 166 yards and a touchdown, and he ran seven times for 29 yards.
Stat Leaders: Navy - Passing: Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, 2-7, 32 yds, 1 INT
Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, 15-83, 1 TD. Receiving: Tyree Barnes, 2-32
Wake Forest - Passing: Riley Skinner, 11-11, 166 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Kevin Harris, 24-136. Receiving: D.J. Boldin, 4-66
Inside The Boxscore ...
5 Thoughts on the EagleBank Bowl | Wake Forest outgained Navy 239 yards to 221 on the ground. ... Navy LB Ross Pospisil led all tacklers with 13, and he forced a fumble. Butkus Award winner Aaron Curry led Wake Forest with eight stops. ... Alphonso Smith picked off a Navy pass in the first half. It was the 21st of his career, an ACC record. ... Total offense: Wake Forest 405 yards - Navy 253. - 2008 CFN EagleBank Bowl Preview | EagleBank Bowl Player Profiles, Histories, & More

- 2008 Navy Preview
- 2007 Navy Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2008 Record:

Aug. 30 Towson W 41-13
Sept. 5 at Ball State L 35-23
Sept. 13 at Duke L 41-31
Sept. 20 Rutgers W 23-21
Sept. 27 at W Forest W 24-117
Oct. 4 at Air Force W 33-27
Oct. 18 Pitt L 42-21
Oct. 25 SMU W 34-7
Nov. 1 Temple W 33-27 OT
Nov. 15 Notre Dame L 27-21
Nov. 25 at No. Illinois W 16-0
Dec. 6 Army (Phil) W 34-0
EagleBank Bowl
Dec. 20 Wake Forest L 29-19

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2007 Record: 8-

Aug. 31 at Temple W 30-19
Sept. 7 at Rutgers L 41-24
Sept. 15
Ball State L 34-31 OT
Sept. 22 Duke W 46-43
Sept. 29 Air Force W 31-20
Oct. 10 at Pitt W 48-45 2OT
Oct. 20 Wake Forest L 44-24
Oct. 27
Delaware L 59-42
Nov. 3 at N. Dame W 46-44 3OT
Nov. 10
at North Texas W 74-62
Nov. 17 Northern Illinois W 35-24
Dec. 1 Army W 38-3
Poinsettia Bowl
Dec. 20 Utah L 35-32

Dec. 6
Navy 34 … Army 0
Navy ran for 368 yards with Shun White tearing off a 65-yard scoring run on the offense's first drive of the game and Eric Kettani adding a five-yard scoring dash in the third. White took a pass 18 yards for a score in the second, and the defense ended things in the final minute with a 68-yard interception return for a touchdown from Ram Vela. Army managed just 154 yards of total offense and seven first downs. Frank Scappaticci made 15 tackles for Army.
Player of the game: Navy RB Shun White ran 13 times for 148 yards and a touchdown, and he caught a pass for 18 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: Army - Passing: Chip Bowden, 9-16, 52 yds
Rushing: Collin Mooney, 17-54. Receiving: Jamison Maehler, 3-20
Navy - Passing: Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, 3-10, 62 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Shun White, 13-148, 1 TD. Receiving: Tyree Barnes, 1-34
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Navy keeps the hits coming with yet another win over Army. The return of Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada from his hamstring injury certainly helped, but it was the thunder of Eric Kettani and the lightning of Shun White that gave Navy yet another win. After the shutout over Northern Illinois, all of a sudden, everything's coming together for the EagleBank Bowl bound team. With four wins in the last five games, and seven in the last nine, this has been a special transition year.

Nov. 25
Navy 16 … Northern Illinois 0
Navy ran for 262 yards and got all the points it needed on a 27-yard Matt Harmon field goal in the second quarter. Ricky Dobbs ran for a one-yard score in the second, and Eric Kettani added one in the third. The NIU offense was held to 251 yards and turned the ball over twice. Navy only completed one pass for 32 yards.
Player of the game: Navy QB Ricky Dobbs completed one pass for 32 yards and ran 25 times for 124 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: Northern Illinois - Passing: Chandler Harnish, 14-24, 116, 2 INT
Rushing: Chandler Harnish, 14-64. Receiving: Marcus Perez, 4-36
Navy - Passing: Ricky Dobbs, 1-1, 32 yds
Rushing: Ricky Dobbs, 25-124, 1 TD. Receiving: Greg Shinego, 1-32
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... It might not have been a perfect performance from the offense against Northern Illinois, but considering Ricky Dobbs is still learning his way, it was a great game and a nice win on the road. The defense came up with its best game of the year by far, keeping the NIU offense under wraps from the start and not allowing any long drives. The running game controlled the game from the start, and the defense benefitted. Next up is Army in two weeks.

Nov. 15
Notre Dame 27 … Navy 21
Despite turning the ball over five times, Notre Dame was cruising late as Robert Hughes ran for a seven-yard touchdown and Armando Allen ran for an 11-yard score. And Navy made things very interesting. Shun White ran for a 24-yard score with 1:39 to play, the Midshipmen recovered the onside kick, and two plays later got a one-yard Ricky Dobbs touchdown run. Navy recovered another onside kick, but the final drive, with a Hail Mary, didn't click. In the first quarter, Toyran Smith returned a blocked punt for a 14-yard Irish touchdown. Navy's Jeff Deliz made 17 tackles.
Player of the game: Notre Dame LB Toryan Smith made 10 tackles and returned a blocked punt for a score
Stat Leaders: Navy - Passing: Ricky Dobbs, 2-8, 54 yds
Rushing: Eric Kettani, 11-42. Receiving: Tyree Barnes, 2-54
Notre Dame - Passing: Jimmy Clausen, 15-18, 110 yds, 2 INT
Rushing: James Aldrige, 16-80. Receiving: Armando Allen, 7-60
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Navy needs to control the clock to be effective, but it wasn't able to do that against the Irish and it proved costly as the game went on. The running game was held to 178 yards with three touchdowns, and while Ricky Dobbs threw a big pass to Tyree Barnes in the final moments, the passing attack didn't do anything to scare the Irish safeties. The defense did a good job of forcing turnovers, with five takeaways, but the offense didn't take advantage. In a game like this, Navy needed to do something with every opportunity.  

Nov. 1
Navy 33 … Temple 27 OT
In an improbable win, Navy rallied from 20 points down in the fourth quarter with Ricky Dobbs throwing a 22-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Thiel, Eric Kettani running for a one-yard score, and as Temple tried to run out the clock, Clint Sovie picked up a Kee-ayre Griffin fumble and returned it 42 yards for a score with 37 seconds remaining. In overtime, Dobbs ran for a one-yard score, and Temple couldn't answer as tight end Steve Maneri dropped a pass in the end zone. On the day, Temple's Adam DiMichele was terrific with three touchdown passes including two 49-yarders to Bruce Francis and a four-yarder to Maneri before Navy came up with its rally.
Player of the game: Navy RB Eric Kettani ran 22 times for 118 yards and a touchdown, and he caught two passes for eight yards
Stat Leaders: Temple - Passing: Adam DiMichele, 21-28, 340 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Kee-ayre Griffin, 29-87, 1 TD. Receiving: Bruce Francis, 5-151, 2 TD
Navy - Passing: Ricky Dobbs, 5-6, 87 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Eric Kettani, 22-118, 1 TD. Receiving: Tyree Barnes, 2-34
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Navy is going bowling yet again. The improbable, impossible comeback win over Temple, highlighted by the last minute fumble return for a score from Clint Sovie to force overtime. This is still Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada's team, but he just isn't healthy and Ricky Dobbs is doing a great job in his place. The running game did its job against the Owls, but the secondary continues to be erratic and ineffective. Now there's a week off to prepare for Jimmy Clausen and the Notre Dame passing game, but it's all gravy at this point on. The team survived the loss of head coach Paul Johnson and is going back to a bowl game to show that the success really can continue with the right coaching in place.

Oct. 25
Navy 34 … SMU 7
Navy didn't attempt a pass as Ricky Dobbs, the third string quarterback, ran the ball 42 times in a driving rainstorm and led the way to a 404-yard rushing day from the Midshipmen. Dobbs scored from 2, 5, 1 and 7 yards out and Shun White tore off a 23-yard touchdown dash as Navy controlled the game from the start and kept SMU's passing game off the field. The Mustangs had the ball for just 17:28 and managed a four-yard Aldrick Robinson touchdown catch in the third. SMU finished with just 144 yards of total offense and -13 rushing yards.
Player of the game: Navy QB Ricky Dobbs ran 42 times for 224 yards and four touchdowns
Stat Leaders: SMU - Passing: Bo Levi Mitchell, 16-28, 157 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Bryce Lunday, 5-24. Receiving: Aldrick Robinson, 7-94, 1 TD
Navy - Passing: None
Rushing: Ricky Dobbs, 42-224, 4 TD. Receiving: None
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... With Kaipo-Noa Keheaku-Enhada down with a hamstring injury, and Jarod Bryant struggling through a shoulder problem, in comes Ricky Dobbs to save the day against SMU by doing what Navy does best. The Navy defensive front did its job by getting into the backfield and holding the Mustangs to -13 yards on the ground, but the day belonged to Dobbs. He ran the option as well as could be expected, with just one turnover in the sloppy conditions. Now the team just needs one more win to be bowl eligible with Temple, Notre Dame, Northern Illinois and Army left to go.

Oct. 18
Pitt 42 … Navy 21
LeSean McCoy ran for three scores including dashes from 11 and 58 yards out in the second quarter, and LaRod Stephens-Howling ran for two short first quarter scores, on the way to a 35-14 Panther halftime lead. The offense kept rolling to start the second half as Jonathan Baldwin took a pass 60 yards for a score on the opening drive, and Navy couldn't answer. The Midshipmen got a 40-yard Shun White touchdown run and short scoring runs from Jarod Bryant and Ricky Dobbs, but even with three Pitt turnovers helping the cause, the offense couldn't keep up the pace.
Player of the game: Pitt RB LeSean McCoy ran 18 times for 156 yards and three touchdowns, and he caught two passes for 46 yards
Stat Leaders: Navy - Passing: Ricky Dobbs, 1-1, 39 yds
Rushing: Jarod Bryant, 21-81, 1 TD. Receiving: Mario Washington, 2-46
Pitt - Passing: Bill Stull, 15-23, 255 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: LeSean McCoy, 18-156, 3 TD. Receiving: Jonathan Baldwin, 3-101, 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The offense continues to miss Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada. Jarod Bryant wasn't bad against Pitt, but he wasn't special and he wasn't able to keep the offense going against Pitt once the game started to become a shootout. The running game became way too reliant on Bryant when Eric Kettani wasn't able to establish much of anything up the middle early on. Pitt's playing well, so there's no reason to be too down about the loss, but beating SMU and Temple over the next two weeks will be a must to become bowl eligible and allow everyone to breathe a sigh of relief.

Oct. 4
Navy 33 … Air Force 27
Air Force outgunned Navy 411 yards to 244, but special teams won it for the Midshipmen. Matt Harmon nailed four field goals, including shots from 48 and 44 yards out, and there were two blocked punt returns for touchdowns with Blake Carter returning the first one 25 yards in the first quarter, and Bobby Doyle recovering one in the end zone in the fourth. Air Force got two-yard touchdown runs from Shea Smith and Asher Clark, and a 19-yard Kyle Halderman touchdown catch, but after Clark's run with 2:32 to play. Navy recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.
Player of the game: Navy PK Matt Harmon nailed field goals from 35, 48, 44 and 32 yards out.
Stat Leaders: Navy - Passing: Shea Smith, 8-12, 128 yds, 1 TD
Todd Newell, 15-50. Receiving: Kyle Halderman, 3-62, 1 TD
Air Force
- Passing: Jarod Bryant, 1-2, 38 yds
Jarod Bryant, 24-101, 1 TD. Receiving: Shun White, 1-38
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Navy is finding ways to win. Last week it kept forcing turnovers against Wake Forest, and this week it was the special teams that got it done in the win over Air Force. The coaching has been fantastic. The Midshipmen don't have the offense to keep up with the top teams, but they're getting the job done by always being in the right position. Again, give credit to the coaching. There are three straight home games ahead with a huge test coming against Pitt.

Sept. 27
Navy 24 … Wake Forest 17
Navy forced six Wake Forest turnovers including four interceptions of Riley Skinner to pull off the upset. The Midshipmen capitalized off the mistakes for a 17-0 lad as Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada ran for two short scores, and then Wake Forest got the offense in gear scoring ten points in the third quarter with the touchdown coming on a one-yard Josh Adams run, but Navy came through again with a big defensive play to lead to a four-yard Jarod Bryant touchdown run. Navy ended up outrushing Wake Forest 292 yards to 43.
Player of the game: Navy RB Eric Kettani ran for 175 yards on 19 carries.
Stat Leaders: Navy
- Passing: Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, 2-3, 58 yds
Rushing: Eric Kettani, 19-175. Receiving: Tyree Barnes, 2-32
Wake Forest
- Passing: Riley Skinner, 26-40, 270 yds, 1 TD, 4 INTs
Rushing: Brandon Pendergrass, 7-19. Receiving: D.J. Boldin, 8-116
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
There have been some great wins for Navy in its current run of success, but nothing like this victory over Wake Forest. The much-maligned defense came up with a fantastic game taking advantage of all the opportunities, while the offense was its typical effective self with 343 rushing yards and 3-of-4 completed passes. Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada runs the offense far better than Jarod Bryant, but he suffered a hamstring injury. This is going to be a problem the rest of the year.

Sept. 20
Navy 23 … Rutgers 21
Matt Harmon nailed a 24-yard field goal with just over two minutes to play, and Rutgers' final drive was stopped by a Ross Pospisil interception as Navy pulled out the comeback win. Rutgers was up 14-6 at halftime on two short touchdown runs from Joe Martinek and Jourdan Brooks, but the Navy offense took over in the second half as Eric Kettani, who ran for a career-high 133 yards, ran for a two-yard score and Tyree Barnes caught a 22-yard touchdown pass. Brooks gave the Scarlet Knights a fourth quarter lead on a 12-yard touchdown run, but Kettani and the Navy ground game marched back for the winning score.
Player of the game:
Navy RB Eric Kettani rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
Stat Leaders: Rutgers
- Passing: Mike Teel, 13-20, 131 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Jourdan Brooks, 22-134, 2 TDs. Receiving: Kenny Britt, 7-64
- Passing: Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, 5-8, 89 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Eric Kettani, 20-133, 1 TD. Receiving: Tyree Barnes, 2-63, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Navy isn't going to have one of those teams that can line up and blow out a team like Rutgers, but in coming up with the big win, the Midshipmen proved to be physical and effective. The offense runs far better with Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada at the helm. He's decent enough with the passing game to keep defenses honest, and he always seems to make the right decisions in key moments. Defensively, against a good Rutgers receiving corps, Navy allowed just 131 passing yards.

Sept. 13
Duke 41 … Navy 31
Duke got three touchdown catches from Eron Riley, including a 49-yarder in the fourth quarter to provide some breathing room, and Vincent Rey took a fumble 37 yards for a touchdown in the see-saw battle. Navy was held to 207 rushing yards, but it got a 73-yard scoring dash from Shun White and a 68-yard touchdown catch from Tyree Barnes to stay alive. Kaipo-Noa Keheaku-Enhada played for the first time whit year for Navy and completed all three of his passes for 45 yards and a score.
Player of the game:
Duke QB Thaddeus Lewis went 25-of-35 for 317 yards and three touchdown passes, adding 41 yards on 12 carries.
Stat Leaders: Navy
- Passing: Jarod Bryant, 5-7, 105 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Shun White, 15-112, 1 TD. Receiving: Tyree Barnes, 4-113, 1 TD
- Passing: Thaddeus Lewis, 25-35, 317 yds, 3 TDs
Rushing: Thaddeus Lewis, 12-41. Receiving: Eron Riley, 8-137, 3 TDs

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Navy has to be happy that it was in the game against Duke even though the running game wasn't working, but it was a disappointing loss. The run defense was great, Shun White tore off a big scoring run, and the quarterbacks combined to complete 8-of-10 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Getting Kaipo-Noa Keheaku-Enhada back, even in a limited role, is a plus, but now the running game has to start taking control of games again when he's at the helm.

Sept. 5
Ball State 35 ... Navy 23
Nate Davis and Dante Love hooked up for three touchdown passes from 61, 6, and 8 yards out, and Darius Hill caught a 35-yard fourth quarter touchdown pass, as Ball State threw its way past Navy. The Midshipmen got three first half field goals from Matt Harmon before Jarod Bryant ran for two touchdowns, but the Cardinal defense pitched a shutout over the final 28 minutes. Navy ran for 346 yards and Ball State threw for 326.
Player of the game: Ball State QB Nate Davis completed 21 of 28 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions
Stat Leaders: Navy - Passing: Jarod Bryant, 6-11, 67 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Shun White, 13-128. Receiving: Tyree Barnes, 3-27
Ball State - Passing: Nate Davis, 21-28, 326 yds, 4 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: MiQuale Lewis, 21-114. Receiving: Dante Love, 9-165, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
The offense needs Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada back. It's not like Jarod Bryant wasn't decent against Ball State, he threw well, but the offense wasn't as crisp or effective, especially early on with drives ending with field goals instead of touchdowns. The biggest problem was in comeback mode. Navy usually can run its way back into games, but it couldn't do it against the Cardinals. The running game has to be more consistent. 346 yards are nice, but there was 71 came on one Shun White run.

Aug. 30
Navy 41 ... Towson 13
Shun White ripped off 348 yards and three touchdowns with scores from 33, 87 and 73 yards away as Navy ran past Towson. It was a bit of a battle for a half with Sean Schaefer throwing two touchdown passes for TU, but the Navy ground game never let the game go finishing with 558 yards. Towson managed just 1.2 yards per carry.
Player of the game: Navy RB Shun White ran 19 times for 348 yards and three touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Towson - Passing: Sean Schaefer, 29-47, 330 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Matt Castor, 10-22. Receiving: David Newsom, 7-84
Navy - Passing: Jarod Bryant, 2-4, 44 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Shun White, 19-348, 3 TD. Receiving: Bobby Doyle, 1-38, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Yeeeesh. Talk about making your mark right off the bat, the Ken
Niumatalolo era got off to an amazing start with his ground game ripping off 588 yards against Towson with Shun White getting into space for huge run after huge run. As a team, Navy averaged 9.6 yards per carry with White averaging 18.3 yards per dash. Yeah, it was only Towson, but it was still an impressive performance. That's what Navy was supposed to do. To nitpick in a blowout like this, the pass rush was merely average and the pass defense didn't do nearly enough early on.

Recap: In what would turn out to be his final season in Annapolis, head coach Paul Johnson delivered what he always has for the Middies, a victory over Army, a Commander-in-Chief's trophy, and a December bowl game.  As an added bonus in 2007, Navy finally stopped the bleeding against Notre Dame, beating the Irish for the first time in 44 tries.  The Midshipmen needed every yard from its top-ranked triple-option ground game in order to offset a broken defense that yielded more than 40 points in seven of 13 games.

Offensive Player of the Year:
QB Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada

Defensive Player of the Year: LB Irv Spencer

Biggest Surprise: No matter how feeble Notre Dame was last season, you still pinched yourself after Navy walked out of South Bend with a thrilling triple-overtime victory on Nov. 3.  Not since 1963 had the Middies gotten the best of the Irish, the longest streak of futility in the nation.      

Biggest Disappointment: Did the Midshipmen get caught looking ahead to their much-anticipated showdown with the Irish?  You bet.  On Oct. 27, the same Navy squad that had beaten Pittsburgh and Air Force earlier in the year lost 59-52 to Delaware of the FCS, making Blue Hen QB Joe Flacco look as if he belonged in the Heisman race.   

Looking Ahead: Naturally, Johnson will be missed at the academy, but don't expect wholesale changes from Ken Niumatalolo, a long-time assistant at the school, who ensures a pretty smooth transition.  The triple-option will stay, as will Kaheaku-Enhada and FB Eric Kettani, two of the key components of last year's prolific running attack.


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