The other night, I once again pointed out four keys to ensure a Navy victory today against Tulsa. Here is my report card on the Midshipmen’s (4-0; 3-0 AAC) 31-21 victory against the Golden Hurricane (1-4; 0-1 AAC).
Key #1 … Navy must continue to run effectively and efficiently (My Grade: A+)
Navy ran the ball 68 times for a total of 421 yards and four touchdowns. When you are averaging nearly six yards per carry, it sets up second and short a lot of times
Key #2 … Navy must eat up game clock and throw the ball more (My Grade: B+)
Navy did eat up A LOT of game time (39:38, which is nearly 67% of total game time) but QB Zach Abey threw the ball only one more time (four vs three last week against Cincinnati) and after the first quarter, Navy found itself trailing 14-0.
Key #3 … Navy must continue to stop the run (My Grade: C)
After the first quarter, I will admit, I was ready to give Navy an F because Tulsa was doing whatever they wanted on offense. Then the second half happened (My Grade for the 2nd Half: A) and overall, the Golden Hurricane did run the ball 39 times for 229 yards and two touchdowns. That was about 90 yards less per game then Tulsa had been running prior to Saturday
Key #4 … Navy must step up the pass defense (My Grade: B)
After Cincinnati QB Hayden Moore ripped apart the pass defense, Saturday, the Midshipmen definitely played a lot better against Tulsa QB Chad President. President was only 12 for 18, 115 yards and one touchdown. The Midshipmen were helped out in the fourth quarter when President left some air under a ball intended for the end zone and allowed three Navy defenders to surround the receiver and knock the ball down.
My Overall Grade: B+
Again, throw away the first quarter when Navy looked disorganized for the first time this season and my overall grade would have been an A+. From the start of the second quarter, the Midshipmen looked like a totally different team and then would outscore Tulsa 31-7 to win 31-21.
I predicted: Navy 41-38
It was somewhat of a track meet with both teams combining for a total of 855 yards (Navy – 511; Tulsa – 344). I did also say that the Navy defense would have a key stop (twice in the fourth quarter they stopped Tulsa on fourth down – on the very next play after one of them resulted in a 27-yd TD run from Perry)
Next Week: The first game in the 2017 Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy will be played in Annapolis when Navy hosts the Air Force Falcons (3:30 pm CBS Sports Network)