2013-14 Football Previews – (Independant) – Midshipmen
2011’s 5-7 record didn’t feel right, and neither did a rough start to 2012, but Keenan Reynolds had his coming out party midway through the year, and now the Navy Midshipmen appear to be right back on course.
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2013 Preview: Navy Midshipmen
Coach: Ken Niumatalolo
2012 Record: 8-5
Navy gambling odds from BetOnline to win BCS: (Field) +20000
Navy Team Page – Player Stats – Roster – 2013 Schedule – >
There isn’t anything flashy about what Navy does, but points, and wins, have become something that’s expected from the program. With a trip to the American Athletic Conference coming up in 2015, the program would love a couple big seasons to prove that they belong.
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Expect more of the same from Navy this season as their sophomore quarterback appears to be a perfect fit for the team’s option system. Not only is he a threat to run, but he’s capable of hitting receivers deep down the field for big plays, which will keep opposing defenses guessing.
The offense looks poised for a big year with Reynolds getting a full camp as the team’s starter at quarterback. Once he took the reins of the offense last season, the offense took a major step forward. Don’t expect Reynolds to throw the ball all over the field, but he can make the throws that he needs to, while also keeping defenses on their heels in the run game, and executing the option to perfection. They do expect to throw more, even with leading receiver Brandon Turner having moved on, but guys like Casey Bolena, Shawn Lynch, and Matt Aiken should fill in nicely.
As for the defense, hustle is never an issue. They will make big hits, but getting stops when they need them has been an issue in the past, and likely will continue to be an issue this season.
Navy has some size up front on defense, but they’ll need to make better use of that size than they did a year ago if they hope to stop the run. They also weren’t able to do much in the way of pressuring opposing quarterbacks. Junior nose tackle Danny Ring will be the key to turning things around. The linebackers are good at chasing down runners, but if they’re doing no more than just cleaning up messes, the unit won’t be successful. Junior cornerback Parrish Gaines leads a solid secondary. Gaines is a big player who is built like a safety and makes a lot of tackles at the second level.
Forcing turnovers will be key for the defense, but it wasn’t an area they excelled in a year ago. The team recovered 11 fumbles last season, but their only fumble recoveries in the first seven weeks last season came against Air Force, and additionally they only forced one interception in their final five games.
2013-14 Navy Football Prediction: 9-3
They won’t be able to make a lot of noise with only four quality games, but expect the wins to flow in. Double-digit wins aren’t entirely out of the question. The middle of the schedule is tough with three road games in four weeks, capped off with a trip to South Bend. If they’re in any trouble, they have three cupcake games prior to an always tough matchup with Army.
Winning that game against Army is crucial in completing a successful season. Including their bowl games, the team has a real shot at getting to double-digit wins. Expect the team to be successful in their quest for a 10th bowl game in 11 years.
2013 Midshipmen Schedule
9/7 at Indiana
9/28 at Western Kentucky
10/5 Air Force
10/12 at Duke
10/19 at Toledo
11/2 at Notre Dame
11/16 South Alabama
11/23 at San Jose State
12/14 Army (in Phialdelphia)