Conference – Independent
2009 Record – 10-4
Best Win – 35-13 Over Missouri in Texas Bowl
Worst Loss – 24-17 to Hawaii
Three Word Sum-Up – Run run run.
Offense – The Navy offense is well known for their triple option-style running attack that has not changed since Ken Niumatalolo took over for current Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson. The Midshipmen have high expectations coming into this year, and deservingly so -Navy is returning 16 starters, including 7 on an offense that had the fourth highest rushing game in the nation last season. Niumatalolo's squad is led by quarterback and Heisman hopeful Ricky Dobbs, fullback Vince Murray, and left tackle Jeff Battipaglia. Dobbs, who will be a junior this year, had over 2,200 total yards with 27 touchdowns last season, his first as a full time starter.
Defense – Stopping the other team has always been Navy's weakness – not necessarily because they're not talented, but when your offense scores quickly, the defense comes on the field less rested than they would like. Navy did surprisingly well on the defensive end last season, ranking in the top 50 nationally in just about every defensive category. However, six of their starters on defense last year graduated, including all four of their linebackers. Rover Wyatt Middleton is probably the best of their returning starters, recording 68 tackles with four interceptions last season.
Overall – Navy looks primed to make a run at a BCS Bid, but they will really be hurting from their losses at inside linebacker and on the interior offensive line. Their offense can score at absolutely any time, and they are currently miles ahead of the other service academies. With their losses on defense, the Midshipmen's run stopping ability will be suspect. Look for Da'Rel Scott and Davin Meggett to pound it up the middle all game.
Prediction – 28-24, Maryland. This is an extremely important game for Maryland to win if they want to make a bowl game this year. The Terps have had all summer to study the triple option offense, and I think Alex Wujciak and the defense will come ready to play this Monday.