Navy Football Three Keys to Victory vs Wagner

Navy Football had a tough draw in their season opener taking on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Ireland. Unfortunately for the Mids Ireland embraced the school from South Bend. The game essentially turned out to be a hostile road environment 3,300 miles from home.

Luckily for the Midshipmen they got an extra week off to regroup and prepare for an FCS opponent who on paper they should beat. However, if Navy wants to pull back to .500 on the year and give first year head coach Brian Newberry his first FBS win as a head coach there are a few things they are going to have to get right. Here are three keys to a Navy Football victory this Saturday.

1. Play Disciplined

It goes without saying that any triple option attack isn’t build for playing behind schedule. Penalties, missed blocks, and wrong decisions on the option are killers for this Navy Offense. If Navy gets into too many second and long or third and long situations they are going to consistently stall out on drives. This will put a ton of pressure on their defense to keep them in the game.

Last week against Notre Dame we saw a few wrong decisions running the option. This along with penalties crushed any momentum the Midshipmen were gaining at times. The margin for error is small but this is a talented team and if executed well the Mids should have a big day on offense.

2. Strong Play in the Secondary

Much of the preseason hype for this defense was the secondary where they return four starters. That hype didn’t show up so much on August 26th. However we’ll cut the Midshipmen a break as they were taking on an elite top 10 team with the second most experienced starting QB in college football this season.

Wagner will want to move the ball through the air after passing for over 340 yards last week against Fordham. This will undoubtedly be a test for the Navy secondary but it is a matchup they can absolutely win as they should be more talented than the Seahawk passing attack.

3. Generate Pressure without Blitzing

Building off of the secondary play, the best way to stop any passing attack in football is getting pressure on the quarterback. Two weeks ago Navy struggled to get to Sam Hartman without sending extra pressure. The result was big holes opening up in coverage that Hartman was able to exploit.

This week Navy will have to get to Seahawk senior quarterback Steven Krajewski without sending blitzes. If Navy is able to generate some level of consistent pressure with just four rushers they are going to wreck havoc on the Wagner passing attack and give their offense plenty of time to settle in and find their rhythm.

Final Thoughts

The key to a successful season for Navy this year is winning the games that they can win. This is a winnable game for Navy and one that they have to take if they want to get this season rolling. Navy has an advantage both in terms of talent and matchups. If the Midshipmen can execute well look for them to win this game comfortably. If not, we could be in for an extremely close back and forth game.

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