2011 Record: (5-7)
Head Coach: Ken Niumatalolo (32-21 All-Time)
Last Bowl Game: 2010 Poinsettia Bowl: lost to San Diego State 35-14
Big Name Opponents: 9/1 vs Notre Dame, 9/15 at Penn State
Revenge: 9/29 vs San Jose State, 10/6 at Air Force, 10/27 at East Carolina
Stat to Cheer: lost only 15 turnovers (tied for 7th in the Nation)
Stat to Fear: allowed opponnents to convert 51.35% of third down attempts (ranked 117th in Nation)
Phil Steele’s Returning Starters (Offense: 4; Defense: 8; Specialists: 1)
Key Defensive Returnees: LB Matt Warrick (103 tackles), CB David Sperry (70 tackles, 2 INT), S Tra’ves Bush (93 tackles, 2 INT), LB Brye French (55 tackles)
Key Offensive Returnees: RB Gee Gee Greene (501 yds, 3 TD), RB John Howell (340 yds, 5 TD), OG Josh Cabral, OT Andrew Barker
Ken Niumatalolo has been on the job for Navy for four years posting a record of 32-21 as head coach. In the first three years, the Midshipmen won at least eight games every year and went to a bowl in each of the first three years.
One trend to note over the last three years is that the defense has gone from allowing 19.4 points per game in 2009 to 23.3 in 2010 to 28.9 in 2011. Those numbers were a bit skewed last year by blowout losses to Southern Miss (63-35) and Notre Dame (56-14) but it’s interesting to note. Another thing to note was the amount of close losses that the Midshipmen had last season. They lost five games by seven points or less. Basically, if they weren’t getting blown out they were losing a heart-breaker.
Navy is one of the hardest teams to predict because they don’t fit the mold of the standard schools. The concerns for Navy this year will be the offensive line and the defense. I would look for a slight upward trend from Navy based on last year. It’s not likely they will lose five close games again this season. I like the way the schedule plays out with some very winnable games at home (VMI, San Jose State, Indiana, FAU, Texas State). I think Navy goes bowling again this year.
2012 Prediction: 7-5
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