Is Navy Football The Best College Team In Maryland?

When you think of college football in the state of Maryland, who comes to mind as the most dominant team in the state?

Most probably answered that question very easily … the Maryland Terrapins.  But if you look just in the past two years, you’ll see there is a team in the FBS that has been making it’s presence known nationwide.  I’m talking about the Navy Midshipmen.

Up until 2015, Navy was an Independent team.  They didn’t belong to any conference, so they were free to play whomever they want.  We know about their historic rivalries with Notre Dame & Army.  For most, that’s about all they knew about Navy football.

That year, Navy joined the American Conference in the FBS and now some are probably wishing they stayed an Independent school.

The Midshipmen are beginning their third season in the conference but if it’s anything like their first two, it’s a safe bet they are going to another bowl game this year!

For 2015 & 2016, they’ve won 14 of 16 conference games (going 7-1 each year), while going 19-6 overall.  With a run-heavy offense (4247 yds/53 TDs in ’15 & 4342/61 in ’16), it’s easy to say that the Midshipmen “ran” through it’s opponents.  But when you are averaging more than 318 yards of rushing offense and nearly five touchdowns per game, you can easily come to that conclusion.

You still need to have a solid passing game and defense to build a successful team.  Navy has seen a pick-up in its passing offense (64 for 122 and 1280 yards with 9 TDs/2 INTs in ’15 vs 93 for 158 and 1794 with 9/7 in ’16).  Navy’s defense was stellar in ’15 and had a slight drop-off in ’16, when they gave up an average of 31 points per game.

Through two games in the ’17 season, Navy finds itself 2-0 (1-0) and alone in first place in the American Conference West standings.

But if you were to ask any player which game they are looking forward to this year, that’s easy.  On December 9th, will be the 118th meeting of Army vs. Navy to be played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

Navy will be looking for revenge after Army ended Navy’s 14-game winning streak last year in Baltimore, 21-17.  Overall, Navy holds a 60-50-7 lead in the series.  No matter how many conference and/or bowl games Navy wins, this is the one that the Midshipmen wait all year to play.

As the title of Navy’s fight song says, “Anchors Aweigh!” I’m sure they are hoping to sink Army, but only on the field.

 

Erick Seltzer

Former US Navy journalist. Was responsible for bringing the first-ever sports page/section to the base newspaper at Naval Submarine Base, Bangor in Silverdale, Washington. When it comes to sports, I either play it, watch it and/or write about it.

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