Navy’s Report Card In 30-27 Loss To Memphis

Memphis was the first tough test for the Navy Midshipmen’s football team on Saturday.  It was the first team Navy was an underdog (Memphis was favored by 3.5 points) against.  Here is my report card on the team’s performance as Navy (5-1; 3-1 AAC) suffered it’s first loss of the season at the hands of the Tigers (5-1; 2-1 AAC), 30-27.

Offense: D-

This was the first game where the offense shot itself in the foot one too many times.  QB Zach Abey only completed one pass on seven attempts for a miserable 20 yards and had two critical interceptions, the second one coming after Navy’s defense forced a punt and had the ball at their own 10 yard line with 1:41 left in the game.

A running game that had been stellar (414.2 rushing yards per game coming into today) was for the most part silenced.  Memphis only allowed 314 rushing yards (100 less than Navy’s average).  Abey did have 146 rushing yards and three TDs, but three fumbles also attributed to the loss.

Defense: B-

I can’t blame some of the easy scoring opportunities on the defense when your offense turns the ball over constantly deep in your own territory.

Memphis QB Riley Ferguson did complete 24 of his 40 passes for 279 yards and three TDs.  But Navy’s defense did have a sack for a safety and recovered a fumble as Memphis was up 30-19 in the fourth quarter and was driving to put the game away.  They did hold the rushing attack from the Tigers to only 29 carries for 118 yards and no touchdowns.

Special Teams: B+

Almost an “A” for special teams because the star of the game for Navy was P Owen White.  He had a total of four punts for 211 yards and constantly had Memphis starting it’s offense drives inside it’s own 20 (three times including a 61 yard punt to the Memphis 1-yd line).

Why I lowered the grade down to a B+, was a costly penalty when Navy ran into the Memphis’ punter after the defense had stopped Memphis deep in their own territory to continue a drive that Memphis eventually went down and scored a FG on.

Kicking: B

Navy PK Brett Moehring connected on both of his extra point attempts and went one for two in field goals. He was good from 23 yards on Navy’s first offensive drive of the game to give Navy a 3-0 lead but missed a 50-yd FG at the end of the first half that would have given Navy a 13-10 lead instead of it ending in a 10-10 tie.

Overall Grade: C-

Way too many turnovers and penalties ended drives and put Navy’s defense in the unfavorable role of trying to defend a very short field against a solid Memphis offense.  Have to give it to Memphis for taking credit of Navy’s miscues to turn them into points.

When you lose the turnover battle (-4 Navy turnover difference) that badly, you do not deserve a victory in the least.

Unfortunately, this loss will knock Navy out of the Top 25 in both polls and more than likely will put Memphis into the Top 25, as this was their second victory against a ranked team (two weeks ago, they defeated then-ranked #25 UCLA, 48-45).

Navy looks to rebound next week with another extremely tough game when they host #22 UCF (4-0; 2-0 AAC) on 10/21 (3:30 PM CBSSN).

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Erick Seltzer

Served in the US Navy as a journalist between 2/25/1991 & 9/15/1993. My duty station was Naval Submarine Base, Bangor in Silverdale, Washington. I was one of the writers for the weekly publication, "Trident Tides." While there, I successfully started the first-ever coverage of sports on and off the base to much positive response. When it comes to sports, I either play it, watch it and/or write about it. I'm always open to suggestions and hope you enjoy what I write about. Please feel free to leave a comment here or to get in contact me with, email me @ I look forward to hearing back from the readers and teams.

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