NAVY 33, TEMPLE 27

Unreal.

A week ago, I wrote about the origins of Navy’s offense in the run and shoot. There was no better demonstration of that than the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game. Ricky Dobbs completed 5 of 6 passes for 87 yards and a touchdown in the final period to lead Navy to an improbable 33-27 overtime victory over Temple. Eric Kettani ran for 118 yards and a touchdown, while Temple was led by a career performance from quarterback Adam DiMichele with 340 passing yards and 3 TDs. The win was Navy’s sixth of the season, clinching a berth for the Mids in the Eaglebank Bowl.

Of course, that doesn’t even come close to telling the story of this game. My father is a Redskins fan. The Skins beat the Broncos 42-10 in Super Bowl XXII, and we recorded the game. At least we thought we did. When we went back to look at the tape, the only thing that showed up was the second quarter. My father wasn’t upset: “That was all that mattered anyway.” That’s because Washington overcame a 10-0 first quarter deficit and scored 5 touchdowns in the second. I get the same kind of feeling when watching the fourth quarter of the Temple game. The Owls took a 27-7 lead when running back Kee-ayre Griffin scored with 13:41 to play. After that, it was all Navy, with an assist from Temple coach Al Golden. Ricky Dobbs led two scoring drives in eight minutes, and the Mids pulled within a touchdown with 2:52 to play. After Navy failed to convert on its quasi-onside pooch kick, Temple got the ball with a chance to run out the clock. After converting on 3rd & 5 with less than two minutes left, it appeared that they’d be able to do just that. But rather than take a knee and punt the ball back to Navy with about 10 seconds left and forcing them to go 80-90 yards, Golden decided to keep running the ball. On 3rd & 11, Kee-ayre Griffin fumbled the ball, and Navy’s fastest linebacker, Clint Sovie, recovered and ran 42 yards for a touchdown.

It was a tough break for Golden. It’s easy to rip him for his decision to keep running the ball, and it probably was the wrong decision. But it’s a decision coaches make all the time. Towards the end of the Air Force game, Ken Niumatalolo was faced with a similar situation. Facing 4th & 1 with 57 seconds left to play, Coach Niumat chose to go for it rather than punting or attempting a long field goal. Eric Kettani got the yard he needed, and Navy ran out the clock. When asked about the decision after the game, Niumat said that he didn’t want to put the defense back on the field; he wanted to end the game right there. For him, it worked. For Golden, not so much. Yes, there’s a huge difference between 10 seconds and 50 seconds, so the situations aren’t exactly the same. But the underlying attitude is. If the other team doesn’t get the ball, they can’t score. So let’s try to get a first down and not put the game in their hands. If I was coaching Temple, I probably would’ve taken a knee. But I can still sympathize. Unfortnately for Golden, Navy’s defense has perfected the art of stinking until the end of a game, where they make a huge play that makes all the difference. For all the trite commentary you hear every week about how Navy players never quit, Saturday proved that there’s some truth behind the cliche.

But let’s not let Al Golden off the hook too much. Far more inexcusable, in my opinion, was his decision in overtime to go for it on 4th & goal from the one. Remember when Marty Mornhinweg was head coach of the Detroit Lions and chose to kick off in overtime against Chicago? This was just as bad. I’m not sure if Golden had no respect for Navy’s defense or no faith in his own, but not taking the sure points in overtime is a monumental blunder. You might think that it’s a moot point since Navy scored a touchdown on its possession, but knowing that he only needed a field goal to win affected Ivin Jasper’s playcalling; he could afford to keep things conservative. If Coach Jasper was playing for a TD instead of a field goal, maybe he would’ve thrown a pass or something else that might have been a little more risky. Fourth & goal from the one, open pass play that just didn’t get executed well… *SHUDDER* It brings on flashbacks of the ’95 Army game.

Of course, Navy was fortunate to have been in a position where Al Golden’s decision-making in crucial situations was even a factor. For three quarters, the Mids were horrible. It was really, really depressing to watch the Army-Air Force game and see how well two service academy defenses could play, only to change channels afterwards to watch Temple throw the ball all over the place. Coach Niumat, wearing a microphone on the sideline, said it best: “Come on guys, you’re better than that! These guys haven’t scored on anybody!” And he’s right. Temple’s offense is bad. Hell, they were bad on Saturday too if you only count first and second down. In regulation, Temple was 8 of 14 on third down conversions (not including DiMichele’s fumble in the second quarter after he picked up a first down). The average distance Temple needed on those third downs was 8 yards. The average distance they got? 13 yards! Somehow, the defense has regressed. Against Duke, Rutgers, and Wake Forest, even when the Mids weren’t able to stop the passing game they at least had someone near the ball. That’s just not the case anymore. On 3rd & long, the middle of the field has been ripe for the picking. There has to be an answer.

On the bright side for the defense, the line had their second straight good game. This time it was Matt Nechak who stood out, making six tackles (including two for a loss), a sack, and also being generally disruptive. Nechak was also the victim of the worst non-call for holding that I’ve seen in a really long time. Ross Pospisil and Corey Johnson also combined for 21 tackles and 2 forced fumbles, helping the Mids do a pretty good job against the run with the exception of a drive or two.

I have lots to say about the offense, but I’m going to make that a separate post. It’s a bye week, so it’s not like we don’t have the time. I will say that I don’t think it was as bad as I originally thought, but there are still some significant issues.

But like I said after the Air Force game, an ugly win is still a win. And it was a pretty important win too. With uncertainty about Kaipo’s health and the defense struggling, plus Notre Dame, a midweek game on the road at an improved Northern Illinois team, and a legitimate Army defense left on the schedule, gaining bowl eligibility was no guarantee had the Mids not pulled a rabbit out of their hat. That’s one more team goal accomplished. The big winner in all this is CBS College Sports, who couldn’t have picked a more perfect game to have Niumat carry a microphone. When Wired: Navy Football airs, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be entertaining.

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111 Responses

  1. Did it seem like Temple always had Francis on the side Buffin was on? Or was it just that every time he caught a ball Buffin was trying to cover him? Perhaps we could try King man on the other teams top threat. Hard to believe we don’t have someone on the bench that can play corner better than #11. And you would think that, when 4 defenders who have had trouble getting to the QB all day find themselves firing right in on the QB, soemone might read “screen.”

  2. TBD, what are your thoughts about KN’s decision to punt on 4th and short in the 3rd quarter?

  3. I was going to talk about that when I post on the offense. I don’t want to steal my own thunder, but I think there was a good reason fir it, and I don’t think it’s the reason everyone figures.

  4. Mike,

    I was at the game and still don’t believe it. They didn’t quit, but boy were they out of snych after their first TD drive and until Dobbs settled down in 4th quarter. By the way, the pitch Dobbs made to Kettani for TD in 4th was incredibly athletic. The Temple guy was all over him. Still don’t know how he got it off. AND, yes I was way up on Navy side and heard same whistle that Golden heard.

    Since you’re talking defense and watched Army-Air Force, am I right to be more than a little concerned about Army? AF was extremely effective attacking the edges against Navy. Unless I missed something, AF wasn’t nearly so successful against Army. Your take.

  5. no video replays? you’re slipping on us Mike!

    I will finally be making an appearance at a Navy bowl game this year! Just going home to Annapolis for the holidays a little early.

    You need a poast this week breaking down the merits of the different seating sections at RFK – hah!

  6. Don’t worry, GL…. this is only half the review.

  7. Nechak is a stud. He seemed to be everywhere on Saturday.

    Our Defense looks very nice for the ’09 season, with Nechak, Nate, and Tuani all returning as the anchors up front.

    Deliz will be very tough to replace.

  8. 72– As bad as their offense is (and it’s BAD), we should beat Army. But their defense is legitimate enough that it’s far from a foregone conclusion.

    But seriously, Army’s offense makes our “scaled down” offense look like the A-11 videos floating around the internet.

  9. Pete-Is this the first game you’ve watched? Buffin has been pretty good this year, has made a bunch of plays. It is the nature of the position. If you screw up everybody notices it. Buffin has had a great career. We will miss him when he graduates.

  10. Mike: Agree 100% on the OT play call by Golden. When you have already blocked both a FG and EP, you take the 3 and put your D on the field. ARMY’s O is 1 dimensional and that’s Mooney. Stop him like AF did in the 2nd and there’s no doubt we win.

  11. Navy defense has to figure out a way to stop being so susceptible to the simple screen. They have been burned numerous times with the linebackers dropping too far into zone coverage being unable to disrupt the passing lane and allowing the pulling offensive linemen to go one on one with the cornerbacks and safeties 8- 10 yards down the field.

  12. Not a fan of coach Green, his bend but don’t break defense, allows way to many long plays. IF your corners are going to play 10 yards off and your safeties 20 yards off the line, you should not get beat long. Get some other DB’s in thier who can play the system, or change the system. 1st and 2nd string on service academy teams are all athletes, get guys in who can make plays!!!

  13. Good analysis of the defensive effort.
    My only comment about the defense had to do with the TV announcers. . . During the 3rd and early 4th quarters, as the game appeared to be getting out of hand, they blamed the Navy defense and credited the Temple offense. I felt that the criticism was only partially true. Yes, the Temple QB had some great 3rd down passes . . . but he had way too many opportunities. . . .
    After the first Navy drive in Q1, the Navy offense was so ineffective that we were giving the ball and game away. Time of possession after Navy’s first drive, until the 4th quarter was horrible. . .
    From another perspective . . the Navy D kept us in the game as best they could. Temple could have easily had a couple of more touchdowns, with all of the opportunities they had.
    I was thrilled to see the Navy D-line so strong . . . the whole game! We will need it in the upcoming weeks. Hopefully the D-backs can improve their coverage.

  14. Pete- I have to loudly second NavyFan. Buffin did struggle Saturday, but he has been pretty good his entire career. The last two seasons he was the only DB with a prayer of covering anyone. (King and Middleton are great but not M2M coverage guys)

  15. I am probably in the minority here, but I didn’t think the defense played THAT bad. They were terrible on 3rd down, but the run defense was stout and the line was getting pressure all day. Temple scored 2 long TD’s on coverage breakdown and another after the offense gave them great field position. After 3 quarters, I was more upset with the offense than the defense.

    Golden is taking a lot of heat, but I thought the play call on 3rd and short with the fake sneak and bomb was genius. Navy was selling out to stop the run and the play was executed perfectly.

  16. The fact that Navy felt like it had to sell out just to finally stop Temple on third down was bad.

    We did play pretty well against the run overall, with the exception of Temple’s first couple of drives in the second half.

  17. Buffin was nowhere close this past Saturday, and he was burnt deep twice against Pitt. He wasn’t to blame for the second deep ball since he was firing, and Middleton got duped by the WR. Don’t get me wrong, I think Buffin plays tough and recognize he had a number of INTs early last year, but he isn’t getting it done right now. Temple’s first TD was thrown right at him, too. I think opposing QBs look at him and lick their chops. Maybe you guys are right about King, but it has not been him watching the backs of guys jerseys this year as they glide into the end zone.

  18. When I think of our problems on defense, I don’t think of Ketric Buffin.

  19. King covers better; Buffin tackles better.

  20. Re: Defense

    I didn’t count, but my impression, particularly on T’s 3rd down conversions, was that T receiver would catch pass underneath and would elude multiple defenders and make first down. That seemed to happen way too many times.

    I have no idea if this was due to where N positioned defensive players. But it was extremely frustrating to watch. I got the feeling that T was didn’t care what they did on downs 1& 2 because they knew they were going to convert on 3rd.

  21. Humorous story as a result of this game.
    This was the first time that my wife heard the “stick it in” chant and, I would say, the first time I heard it so clearly on TV. She looked at me and said, “Did they just say what I think they said?”
    “Yep.”
    “The double entendre is intentional, I suppose.”
    “Probably.”
    “So…if I use that chant in the bedroom…?”
    “I will probably stick it in, stick it in, stick it in.”

  22. dude.

  23. That last touchdown when Buffin bit on the run. From the angle I was watching, he telegraphed what he was going to do, and Temple could see it, too. Up came the audible, and it ended up butt ugly for the Good Guys.

    King has been burned this year, too, so Buffin is not alone. It goes with the territory. But Temple looked like they wanted to pick on Buffin for sure.

    I have always thought that Buffin playing at safety and Carter on the corner was a better combo. Buffin is a sure tackler and plays a good ball-hawking centerfield – I remember his late-game heroics in the 2007 Duke game. Buffin is also the D back who ran down the SMU receiver who was off to the races two weeks ago. I think he is better in those scenarios than the one-on-one scenarios.

    My “lineup” would displace Merchant from the lineup. I am sure that the coaching staff has a good reason to bench Carter in favor of Buffin at the corner, but I am not smart enough to know why.

    And I have not seen what is so special about what Merchant has been doing this season.

  24. Mike,

    In your 2nd half review would you dissect the 4th & goal play? On the Navy board there was (limited) debate about whether it was designed or impromptu and I would like to see your take on the blocking on the play as well.

    I think it was a designed option, poorly executed, and Dobbs salvaged it via a near miraculous play. That and I don’t agree that the Refs should have blown the play dead before the pitch as some of the Temple faithful are contending.

    thanks

  25. Merchant is one of the best DBs we have. Middleton is the best. King and Buffin are both solid. This is Navy people, not Alabama. The third down conversions were from a lack of tackling, not guys being in the wrong spots. Buddy can’t make the tackles.

  26. Other than the two broken coverage plays, our D woes this past weekend just looked like more poor tackling to me (can we please stop ONE slip screen this year for God’s sake!). I like our DBs and when they are in position, they make plays.

    I don’t think all of our D problems can be pinned on our players. The success of the program has attracted much more althletic kids to Annapolis than in years past and this year’s D is certainly filled with some pretty good athletes. The problem I see is that our players are out of postion regularly and have been over the past two years. That makes me wonder about the effectiveness of our defensive game planning. Our defensive packages and game time adjustments have been inconsistant and as a fan, it has been frustrating to watch the D do so well against some teams while sucking so badly against others.

    We have had the same players suit up for the good, bad and the ugly this season as injuries on the D side of the ball haven’t been too much of a factor this year.

    It makes me wonder if our D coaching staff is doing a good job preparing the players week in and week out. Hate to be negative and I wish I could see another reason for our defensive inconsistancy, but I just can’t. What do y’all think?

  27. EKW– Ketric didn’t “bite” on the run. It was a designed corner blitz. Temple wasn’t picking on him as much as they were just trying to get the ball to their best receiver.

    73Goat– You are correct. It was a fullback option. It was also a blown play, with the guard looking like he thought it was supposed to be the midline and not blocking the DT who ended up on Ricky’s back. And no way it should have been blown dead.

  28. It certainly was telegraphed.

    I take it that it was a run blitz? The Temple QB had nobody near him when he let loose of that pass.

  29. Yes, it was a run blitz.

  30. Different but related question.

    Do we have someone smart enough to compare/contrast D schemes and approaches among the three SAs?

    We do not have inferior athletes to Army and Air Force – at least I don’t think we do. Why the different results? Or are the results not all that different?

    Anyway, a request for some future blog.

  31. EKW JR, I think it would less a matter of intelligence and more a matter of watching a lot of film. Though, of course, a moron would have a very difficult time.
    And, since Mike is far from a moron, he probably has already done just that.

  32. “It was really, really depressing to watch the Army-Air Force game and see how well two service academy defenses could play”

    That might be the most moronic statement of the year. Navy’s defense played better defense than Air Force when the two teams played each other, and have done so many times over the past few years. The same can be said about the last ten meetings with Air Force and Army. This was quite evident in the fact that the Air Force/Army defenses gave up more points than the Navy D, hence the 11-1 record since 2002! Also, how about the fumble return for touchdown two years ago against Air Force, the INT return and safety against Army in the same year. You can take Air Force and Army’s defense all you want, I’ll stick with Navy’s big play defense any day of the week. Also, have you not noticed that Navy’s strength of schedule is 34, compared to Air Force (49) and Army (96)?

  33. I’m only talking about this year. Or maybe this year and last year, since we’re having the same problems. I have no idea what you’re watching.

  34. The defense is still pulling it all together. They are better than they were last year and will be even better next year. I will gladly take a defense that comes up with crucial big plays at the right time.
    I watched the Air Force-Army game and Air Force looked like a different team. They looked slower and sloppier. I doubt that the Army defense had much to do with that but I could be wrong.

  35. You are.

    And I will gladly take a defense that doesn’t give up 59 points to Delaware.

  36. The first three quarters demonstrate again the very fine line we have between 8-4 and 4-8. If we don’t show up, we get hammered. We’ve come back twice against Rutgers and Temple, two games we probably should have lost. A tribute to the character and resilience of the team and the coaches.

  37. Mike, fair enough. I have not seen enough of either of those two teams this year to pick out what was skill and what was luck.
    As for the defense you mentioned, I agree. However, given the choice between a defense that has no strong points and a defense that at least can pull out big plays at the right time. I will take the latter.
    Ideally, I would like to have a defense akin to God on Earth. But that is not in the cards at this time so I will take what we have and be optimistic for improvements.

  38. I’m in favor of one that doesn’t require Divine Intervention, including rain/wind storms and out-of-body-experience fumble recoveries and doesn’t frequently provide average QBs with career passing days…

  39. I’ve watched a defense that has improved a great deal since last year. Last year they had one of the youngest, and most injured, defenses in the country. They stopped Air Force this year enough to win. They did to Wake Forest what many ACC teams, and SEC’s Ole Miss have not done, intercepted Riley Skinner multiple times. They are also in the top 25 in takeaways, that’s total INT’s and fumbles, and that is what makes a big-play defense. They take risks that sometimes prove fatal, as evidenced by the touchdown passes, but they often prove gamechanging, as evidenced by the fumble return against Temple. I like a defense that gambles. They play hard, and they have made some huge plays this year.

  40. “However, given the choice between a defense that has no strong points and a defense that at least can pull out big plays at the right time. I will take the latter.”

    Well yeah, and given a choice between a heart attack and a headache, I too will choose the latter. But that’s not the choice here.

  41. i know about the videos…i was just busting your stones

  42. Are you sure you’re watching the right defense, tim? Takes risks? Really? What risks?

    The fumble against Temple wasn’t a “risk,” it was a desperate play in a desperate situation.

  43. I’ve seen Army and AF play twice apiece, plus the AF Navy game. They may or may not have better athletes – debatable. They may not be playing teams as good as we have, this year anyway. But what is not disputable is that they anticipate and react, and move to the ball faster than we do. Look at the yards allowed and first downs allowed by them. To me, that smacks of the way each unit is coached and prepares. Our guys are pretty smart I’d think. Let’s assume they are as athletic as AF and Army, which is conservative since one would think with all our success we would have a recruiting edge. Then it comes down to wanting it and coaching. I’m starting to think it is the latter.

  44. Good analysis as usual Mike.

    It kills me how people kill our D. They are undersized. We blitz. Combine the two, and, we are VERY susceptible to the screen.

    Yes, it’s frustrating. However, unless you can get some 245lb OLB’s to cover it, it’s going to stay that way.

  45. Mike – I bow to your skills in analizing football. I don’t pretend to see the detail that you see – and that most of the contributors see as well. I’m learning from all of you. Although my ability is somewhat limited, I’ll still continue to add my 2 cents worth.
    At times we have seen the offence and the defense lacking. (Occasionally it happens to both during the same game.) But what has stood out for me over the last 6 1/2 years is the chant that Paul Johnson started when he first came on board, “I believe that we will win!” It permiates the entire team – offence and defense – as well as the brigade AND the alumni. Even when we lose a close one, even when we lose a runaway, the team comes back believing they will win the next one. Most of all, they believe they will BEAT Air Force and BEAT Army no matter the preceived skill level. That’s why I will take our offence and our defense (even though it may give up 59 points to Delaware) over AF or Army every day of the week. And that attitude is not limited to service academy games. It applies to every game. I believe we will BEAT NOTRE DAME on Nov 15th. This upcoming weekend is going to be very boring.

  46. You might have forgotten the winless season, and regularly giving up 70+ points per game, but I have not. We are in the midst of the most successful Navy Football stretch in its history, and I would not change a single thing. How dare you criticize anything about this program. You obviously don’t have a clue about the game of football. You can love up on Army and Air Force all you want, you traitor.

  47. Birdog, you must be sniffing some mushrooms that make you hallucinate. Did you forget that our defense won us the Air Force Game this year, and the Smu Game and the Last two years completely shut down your beloved Army! Did you also forget that Navy has enjoyed a run unlike any Service Academy in the History of service academy football and alot of that is thanks to Coach Buddy Green and his stable defense that has won us more than our fair share of games over the past 7 years. To say that you saw a real service academy defense when you watched the Air Force and Army games shows your complete incompetence in reporting the facts. I think we have beaten both Army and Air Force the past 5 years in a row and many of those games were won on the backs of our defense. So please do some research before you put anything in print or else you will just be another pinhead making a false statement.

  48. Birddog, Did you forget our 38-3 shellacking of Army just last year in which our defense totally dominated the hapless Cadets or what about 2006 26-14 in which the defense dominated. Or what this year against SMU holding the guru June Jones and his beloved run and shoot to just 144 yards passing in the game when they were averaging 302 yards and holding them to a to -13 yards rushing, which are the fewest rushing yards in a game against Navy since 1978 when Navy held Pitt to -28 yards rushing in a 21-11 Navy victory.
    • SMU managed just 144 yards of total offense, which are the fewest yards allowed by Navy since 1997 when the Mids held Army to 87 yards of total offense in a 39-7 rout.

    Please before you bash do your homework, this is one of the best Naval Academy and Service Academy defenses in history according the numbers unless you forget most service academies struggle to win. So please do be a pinhead.

  49. Mike, your statement have no factual evidence to back them up. They are empty statements made by a person who probably has never played a snap of football and nothing better in life than to complain about anything. Our defense has been solid every year under Coach Green and his staff! They have performed some miracles if you forget like beating Notre Dame last year on a goal line stand on 5 downs. Tell me when was the last time Navy beat Notre Dame.

    You owe the defensive staff at Navy an apology but i doubt they will get it from a pinhead like you!

  50. Tim, Lazarus,
    You guys think that fans that are critical of our D – which seems to sit back and let the O attack – don’t know who has beaten who the past 6 years? Or haven’t seen enough crappy Navy football to know when we have a good thing? That doesn’t mean that there can’t be discussion, criticism, or things to improve on. And the D did not win this years AF game – special teams did. The 06 D is not in question – several magnitudes ahead of this one, even moreso than last year. And, for those counting, we have beaten AF and Army both six times in a row.

  51. I”ll give some credit to the navy d vs smu, however let’s not forget about the weather. it wasn’t exactly great conditions to run that offense.

  52. Hohoho – pretty funny stuff.

  53. Well, it looks like some of the GoMids.com denizens have found your blog, Mike. :rolleyes

  54. I would rather have a poor defense and a good team than a decent defense and a terrible team (Army). Why even compare ourselves to those teams? Neither one has beaten us in almost a decade.

  55. Navy D vs Temple:
    I go back to my previous comment . . . If the Navy offense had been able to move the ball even reasonably well after its first score, through the end of Q3, we would be praising the Navy D without qualification today!
    Rarely is there such good example that the best defense is a good offense.

  56. Mike-

    on the temple fumble, as soon as they got the first down, i looked at the clock and immediately figured out that if the qb just took a few steps back and waited until the defense got close, then dropped to the ground three times, the game was over. they needed to kill four seconds per play.

    Also- if they had intentionally false started on 4th down, would that be a 10 second run off, ending the game?

  57. How about the big game winning INT against Rutgers? This defense is improving. The bottom line is that the team is winning games. They have another bowl game secured, the CIC stays in Annapolis, I mean, what more do you want, a BCS bowl? Stop being such a negative nancy!

  58. I hope Tim and Lazarus are just Birddog alter-egos, and he’s having a bit of fun. Otherwise you two are the biggest clowns on the intertubes.

  59. Crap. If this keeps up, I’ll need to start posting under an alias to avoid being confused with the noob.

    Congrats on your new popularity, BD – NOT

  60. Well now I’ve seen everything.

  61. Man, I need some popcorn for this stuff.

  62. “Navy’s defense has perfected the art of stinking until the end of a game, where they make a huge play that makes all the difference. ”

    “…and then you go and do something like THIS, and totally redeem yourself!!”

    Quote from Dumb and Dumber, or Navy fan relationship with the D?

    Funny movie, Dumb and Dumber…interesting posts, laz and tim.

  63. I would have to question the masculinity of anyone that would call someone a “noob”.

  64. On second thought, I probably couldn’t be confused with such football ignorance and general douchebaggery if you put a book of meaningless stats in my hand and called me “Nabber”

  65. hahahaha

  66. Now you just confirmed that you have never played a sport in your life.

  67. I for one welcome our new douchebag overlords.

  68. Ok! If any of you are real Navy Fans, take a moment to read and reflect on this story:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,446140,00.html

    I had the privilege of walking on the same Yard as Col Ripley, while he was The Senior Marine at the Academy. After all football takes several seats behind, when compared to this loss.

  69. “Phatboy, if you had any balls, you’d meet me in the AFA Boxing Gym and we’d have Coach Weichers put gloves on us”

    – tim sanders

  70. Enough bickering! If any of you are real Navy fans, take a moment reflect on the life of Col John Ripley, USMC (ret) ’62.
    Col Ripley apparently died in his sleep, on Saturday. This is a tremendous loss for the Naval Academy Family.

    Semper Fi Colonel
    BEAT ARMY!

  71. I guess you have nothing left to say about football, and must resort to petty internet geek insults. That’s fine if you want to play it like that. But be warned Tim, it won’t be pretty.

  72. The lesson to be learned here, kids, is that when you beat a team, it means that EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT YOUR PROGRAM IS BETTER TOO!!!!

    If there’s a joke here, someone fill me in!

  73. Oh noes!! It won’t be pretty for my masculinity-challenged, non-sport playing, internet geek self!!!! What am I gonna DO?!!!?!?11!!!

    This is gold, Jerry. GOLD!

  74. Tim, cool it, man.

  75. Why?

  76. I think that one thing that needs to be considered is that Navy has played a much tougher schedule than Air Force or Army.

  77. Or, if you had any sense at all, you would realize that anytime Navy wins a game against anybody that they play, except for Air Force and Army, it is an upset. How many players from Navy’s team are starting in the NFL this year? None, yet Delaware produced a starting quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens. You sound ridiculous by criticizing a team that has the talent level of a mid-level 1aa team. It is miraculous when they win, and yet, they keep doing it over and over. I guess they should be recruiting better athletes to get them over the hump and start going to BCS games. Guess what, BCS athletes don’t want to play in the military. The kids who go to play football at Navy go there with the purpose of serving their country. The fact that they can consistently beat people that go to schools just to play football is amazing, and it never gets old.

  78. I look forward to your assessment of the offense. Your comment “A week ago, I wrote about the origins of Navy’s offense in the run and shoot. There was no better demonstration of that than the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game” is the most exciting part of what RD showed us on Saturday. His arm strength and accuracy, plus his poise under pressure, add a fundamental threat that has been missing for most of this year. If he plays a lot more this year (as now appears likely), he will really allow us to spread out the defense and open up the running game. Hopefully, we will get more Tyree in the last 4 games…

    It is our equivalent to what we saw Sat from Texas Tech. Their modest but much improved running game forced Texas to defend the run and their bread and butter passing o was pretty much unstoppable because of it.

  79. Tim, are you carrotop?

  80. I’ve watched a defense that has improved a great deal since last year. Last year they had one of the youngest, and most injured, defenses in the country. They stopped Air Force this year enough to win. They did to Wake Forest what many ACC teams, and SEC’s Ole Miss have not done, intercepted Riley Skinner multiple times. They are also in the top 25 in takeaways, that’s total INT’s and fumbles, and that is what makes a big-play defense. They take risks that sometimes prove fatal, as evidenced by the touchdown passes, but they often prove gamechanging, as evidenced by the fumble return against Temple. I like a defense that gambles. They play hard, and they have made some huge plays this year.

    Exactly right dead on. Also the idiot that said 2006 was a better coached defense must not do any homework before speaking either. It is the same defensive staff. THE SAME STAFF for all those that are listening.

    Please stop with the Pinhead statements and please do not be a BLOOTER!

  81. Seriously? That’s “it won’t be pretty”? Your football analysis [sic] was better.

  82. I assume that this is (lowercase) tim’s first day reading this blog.

  83. Let me reiterate the fact than anytime Navy beats a team not named Air Force Army The Citadel or VMI it is a monumental upset and should be viewed that way especially in this war time era. Not many High Schoolers are signing on to fight a war for all the geniuses out there on this blog. Therefore Navy is severely outmanned each and every game. Lets not forget the 5 interceptions against a bowl bound Wake Forest team who could have won the ACC. Please do not be a bunch of looser blooters on this blog. Support your team wholeheartedly and do not bash the coaches.

  84. Tim, you still haven’t said anything about football. It shows how much of a mental midget you are.

  85. lazarus, did your father invent the CIC Trophy?

  86. [dog rolling in stinky things]

  87. Lets all unite under Col John Ripley, USMC (ret) ‘62. may he rest in peace.

  88. I’ll bet Tim’s a big fan of the blumpkin

  89. Mike not only did he invent it he owns the dang trophy. The facts are plain and simple in black and white without Coach Green and his Great Defensive Staff Navy would not be where it is today at the top of the Service Academy World and Heading to another Bowl Game. It is unpatriotic for a jerk like you to patronize such a great staff and bash them like an uninformed blooter. So please retract your statement and lets get on to supporting our troops and our coaches everytime they step on the field and off the field. And be grateful the days of Charlie Weatherbie are gone.

  90. OK, I’ll admit I’m entertained, and I generally prefer a free-for-all, but there are limits.

  91. What limits you crossed them when you bashed a great staff that has done nothing to deserve criticism from some uninformed mental midget.

  92. what lazarus said

  93. “Mental midget” being used by two people posting basically the exact same thing at the same time? That’s unpossible!

  94. Just so everyone knows, our “two” friends aren’t banned. They’re just sort of in limbo.

  95. Guess this wasn’t a joke. My bad!

  96. The Birddog hates America, tell your friends.

  97. I guess this is what the world will be like when Nobama wins

  98. No, this is what the world is like when people try to shout down opinions. I don’t usually moderate this blog because I am confident enough in what I say that I feel it can stand up to scrutiny. That’s why I haven’t erased your clack up to this point. I actually like different (educated) opinions because they generate discussion, and maybe if we’re all lucky, learning. There comes a point, though, where it’s counterproductive. You’ve long since crossed that point.

  99. And I am not going to hold my tongue when someone tries to pass themself off as an expert, while making ridiculous statements. If you can’t handle that, ban me, silence me, do whatever you have to do.

  100. I never claimed to be an expert. I just offer my opinion. People can take it or leave it as they please. Frankly, with the things you’ve said on this thread I don’t think you should be complaining about ridiculous statements. Unlike some people, I don’t think being a fan means I should check my objectivity at the door.

    You clearly haven’t read a thing here before today. You might want to look around a bit before you start proclaiming yourself the voice of reason.

  101. Laz and TS – is there someone we can talk to so you can get back on your meds?

  102. Regarding Buffin I would give him some slack. He had a tough game but he wasn’t being taken to school by a total stiff. Bruce Francis has scored 8 Tds this year and has a chance to play on Sundays.
    As far as defenses go anyone who says we have a better defense the last two years than Army isn’t watching what I’m watching. Navy’s D has improved but struggles a lot more than Army. I root for both teams and was at Michie Sat .Army’s defense also has to deal with an offense that struggles to score and move the ball which puts in under a lot more pressure than Navy.

  103. Man, with all of this stuff going on in this first half of analysis I am interested in seeing what will happen when part two comes out.

  104. Mike, actually, from what I have read here and over the years at gomids, you are an expert. A bit cantakerous, maybe, but definitely an expert ;)

    Look forward to part 2 and your honest and straight-forward (that’s what we expect, right or wrong) assessment of the Navy O.

  105. There sure are some very loyal and emotional Buddy Green fans that have popped up here. I do think that there has never been a Navy coach at any level who bleeds Blue & Gold any more than Coach Green does. He gets tremendous effort out of his players. That is unquestioned I think by anyone participating in this “discussion”. I just wish the results on the field were better. I think that they can be.

    Some are going to argue apples versus oranges, but I think that the 95-96-97 Navy defenses were statistically better than what we are seeing now, for example. And as several have stated above, AF and Army are both currently getting more productivity out of their defenses than Navy is.

    Granted Navy has had unprecedented success head-to-head with the SAs. That is a substantial positive argument and mitigator, but my read is that if we had defenses on par with AF and Army, we would be even more dominant and some of these nail-biters against AF in particular would not have happened.

    Someone who understands the technicalities of collegiate defensive football needs to step up and rationally /logically and not emotionally explain why this is the case. I am not saying that I can. I just see the results on the field.

  106. Lazarus, am I missing something here? I read EKW’s latest post and I don’t see any language that suggests he is not a supporter of his team. It looks like a well thought out argument that involved some research to back up his argument with data. I’m not saying I agree 100% with what was said, but certainly it sparks a good discussion and debate about a team I so passionately love and support. I think we CAN be critical of our team and coaching staff and still love and support our team. The facts can’t be denied on defense. Although our defense is improved over what I witnessed last season, they are still very inconsistent in performance game to game, and I believe that is a reflection of the coaching. Some games, Coach Green has a good defensive game plan, and some games he doesn’t. What I’ve gleaned as a common theme throughout many of these posts is that when Coach Green finds himself in a scheme that doesn’t seem to be working, he is slow to or incapbable of making the adjustment, and the players are left only with “Heart” as a game plan. Fortunately for us, they have a lot of it.

  107. I am not sure I have seen a better arm on a Navy quarterback in a long while. Did anyone see those spirals? This could prove a dangerous threat in the future…

  108. The D’s problem is:

  109. The D’s problem is very poor pursuit angles and poor tackling, leaving their feet instead of running through the ball carrier. They do play with heart so let’s stay behind them.

  110. LM hit the nail on the head. Example: in the Pitt game, Deliz numerous times took away McCoy’s cut-back lane and he was held to a loss, however, this didn’t happen enough, especially when it was Middleton’s job to do this. I see other examples where our angles are off and a lot of “arm waving” (disclaimer: I see this in almost all levels of football, nice just Navy) as ball carriers go by. The maddening thing from the defense is lack of consistency from game to game or even half to half. I almost root for 3rd and less than 5 because I always feel we have a better shot at stopping the offense than if it is 3rd and long.

  111. i was at game!!!!

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