WESTERN KENTUCKY 19, NAVY 7

You know, somewhere there’s a Navy fan that had a wedding or something to go to on Saturday, so he could only catch the beginning of the game. After watching a Navy touchdown drive and two Western Kentucky three & outs, he probably walked out the door thinking “we got this” and didn’t give the game a second thought the rest of the night. When he looked at the box score the next morning, he discovered that in the 9 minutes he watched of that game, he saw 1/3 of Navy’s total offensive production. I don’t know if he’s lucky to have missed that debacle, or unlucky to experience the shock the next day.

Either way, we all get to relive it now!

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NAVY 40, WKU 14

A quick glance at the statistics from Navy’s 40-14 frogstomping of WKU on Saturday, and it’s hard not to be impressed. 510 yards of offense, including 410 on the ground. Two passing TDs. A 21-14 edge in first downs. The numbers say that the game was a blowout, and it was. It seems a little ridiculous, then, not to join with the chorus of headlines praising the Mids for their offensive production so far.

I just can’t do it yet.

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GAME WEEK: WKU

WKU has a proud football history, from their nine Ohio Valley Conference championships to the 2002 I-AA national championship. Their move up to the I-A ranks hasn’t been quite as glorious. Part of that futility has certainly come from the schedule; WKU has made $50 million in facilities improvements to support the I-A move, and paying for them has meant hitting the road to play Florida, Indiana, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Tennessee over the last few years. It would be hard for a lot of teams to build up some winning momentum against that group, never mind a program in its I-A infancy. The Hilltoppers have gone 4-32 over the last 3 seasons, including an 0-12 campaign in 2009. They haven’t won a home game since 2008.

While the bright spots have been few and far between for WKU, last week offered a glimpse of what school administrators and supporters were probably thinking when they decided to jump to I-A. There was WKU, going toe-to-toe against the in-state SEC powerhouse (relatively speaking), on national TV, in a big stadium, and playing with swagger.

“They supposed to be SEC” is without a doubt my favorite moment of the young 2011 season. There are no moral victories. I understand that. You can, however, recognize improvement when you see it, and build on it. Considering that last season’s game against Kentucky was a 63-28 blowout, I’d say that this year’s 14-3 slugfest was indeed an improvement. Constant improvement will eventually lead to wins, but Navy rolls into Bowling Green looking to ensure that “eventually” is at least a week away.

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