Who Should Start at QB this Saturday for Navy

Navy comes into their game this weekend with a bit of drama at the quarterback position. Senior Tai Lavatai was the starter to open the season. He was replaced by Blake Horvath who is out for the foreseeable future with an injury. Talented Freshman Braxton Woodson took over the starting job two weeks ago against Air Force but struggled. To be fair he didn’t get much help around him.

Lavatai came into the game late though and seemed to ignite the Navy Offense. It was just a case of too little too late. Lavatai is dealing with a rib injury, but seemed healthy enough to compete going forward.

Head Coach Brian Newberry said in his weekly press conference that they were going to let Lavatai and Woodson compete this week in practice and make a decision later in the week as to who would start.

I think that getting Woodson as much experience as possible is crucial to Navy moving forward. I also want to preface this with I trust the Navy coaching staff to make a better decision than me on the starting quarterback. They’re the ones who are around those guys every day in practice so this is a strictly outside looking in perspective.

However, based on what we’ve seen the last few weeks, it seems clear that Lavatai is the better option for this offense. He’s shown a level of confidence and consistency that we haven’t seen out of Woodson just yet. It seems like Lavatai has demonstrated himself as a win now option, while Woodson is the longterm play. Temple is also going to leave some opportunities to make some throws that we saw Lavatai execute on two weeks ago against Air Force.

This is a huge chance for Navy to strengthen their chances of making a bowl game. The value of experience by extending the season by a month can’t be understated for Woodson. The extra bowl practices and game experience would be huge for the young quarterback.

I think the best course of action for Navy right now is to let Lavatai start the games, and carve out a manageable role for Woodson to allow him to get some experience in a more controlled setting as he builds up his confidence.

We’ll see what happens this Saturday, but I think that Navy has a chance to reach six wins under a first year head coach which would be quite the accomplishment for this program.

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